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  1. #1


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    Using iWork09 Fonts for commercial use?
    I'm creating a design for someone to use commercially; to be printed on clothing, mugs, bumper stickers ect. I was wondering if I can use the fonts that came with iWork09' via Adobe Illustrator (specifically BlairMdITC TT Medium and Santa Fe LET Plain:1.0) commercially for this purpose? I've been trying to find the answer to this question for the past few hours on my own and have little to show as far as finding a straight answer.

    Also, I happened upon an article that mentioned:

    "Volume 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations specifies this about the copyrightability of typefaces:

    ``The following are examples of works not subject to copyright and applications for registration of such works cannot be entertained: . . . typeface as typeface'' 37 CFR 202.1(e).

    The regulation is in accordance with the House of Representatives report that accompanied the new copyright law, when it was passed in 1976:

    ``The Committee has considered, but chosen to defer, the possibility of protecting the design of typefaces. A 'typeface' can be defined as a set of letters, numbers, or other symbolic characters, whose forms are related by repeating design elements consistently applied in a notational system and are intended to be embodied in articles whose intrinsic utilitarian function is for use in composing text or other cognizable combinations of characters. The Committee does not regard the design of typeface, as thus defined, to be a copyrightable 'pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work' within the meaning of this bill and the application of the dividing line in section 101.'' H. R. Rep. No. 94-1476, 94th Congress, 2d Session at 55 (1976), reprinted in 1978 U.S. Cong. and Admin. News 5659, 5668.

    It's also in accordance with the one court case I know of that has considered the matter: Eltra Corp. V. Ringer, 579 F.2d 294, 208 USPQ 1 (1978, C.A. 4, Va.).

    The U.S. Copyright Office holds that a bitmapped font is nothing more than a computerized representation of a typeface, and as such is not copyrightable:

    However, scalable fonts are, in the opinion of the Copyright Office, computer programs, and as such are copyrightable:

    ``... the Copyright Office is persuaded that creating scalable typefonts using already-digitized typeface represents a significant change in the industry since our previous [September 29, 1988] Policy Decision. We are also persuaded that computer programs designed for generating typeface in conjunction with low resolution and other printing devices may involve original computer instructions entitled protection under the Copyright Act. For example, the creation of scalable font output programs to produce harmonious fonts consisting of hundreds of characters typically involves many decisions in drafting the instructions that drive the printer. The expression of these decisions is neither limited by the unprotectable shape of the letters nor functionally mandated. This expression, assuming it meets the usual standard of authorship, is thus registerable as a computer program.'' 57 FR 6202.''

    Does this mean that I cannot distribute the file of a font commercially (sell the actual font file) but that printing and redistributing the typeface of a font via on paper or clothing is not subject to copyright law?

  2. #2

    Aptmunich's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure all the fonts that come with iWork have been licensed by Apple to be used in all kinds of documents - commercial and non-commercial.

    Thousands of companies use iWork for business material and I haven't seen anything that indicates you would not be allowed to use the fonts in that way. If you want to double-check, I'd read the EULA for the iWork apps - it should be defined in there.

  3. #3

    louishen's Avatar
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    If a font is supplied as part of a program, then its use on that system is legal, since Apple have licensed the font, if they hadn't licensed it then they wouldn't be allowed to package it with iWork.

    The font license is for the electronic file on your system, and does not extend to its use in designs, otherwise every designer would be constantly sending money to the font foundries every time they design something - which simply does not happen
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  4. #4


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    Guys, read the OP's post again (unless he edited it after you wrote your replies): the fonts didn't come with iWork at all (have no idea why he even mentioned iWork) -- they came with Adobe Illustrator*.

    *I don't recall Adobe shipping fonts with Illustrator but I'm not familiar with every possible version of Illustrator so I can't say for sure.

    Anyway, those fonts are or were licensed to Adobe, thus it is Adobe he'll have to call to get a definitive answer on this. As far as I understand US law, if a user has paid for a license for the fonts, he is free to use them in any and all commercial projects, including those for resale.

  5. #5

    Aptmunich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    Guys, read the OP's post again (unless he edited it after you wrote your replies): the fonts didn't come with iWork at all (have no idea why he even mentioned iWork) -- they came with Adobe Illustrator*.

    *I don't recall Adobe shipping fonts with Illustrator but I'm not familiar with every possible version of Illustrator so I can't say for sure.

    Anyway, those fonts are or were licensed to Adobe, thus it is Adobe he'll have to call to get a definitive answer on this. As far as I understand US law, if a user has paid for a license for the fonts, he is free to use them in any and all commercial projects, including those for resale.
    Good catch on the OP's post.

    However, it doesn't matter whether a user paid for them or not, it depends on the license that was purchased.

    I can sell you a font and stipulate that you may only use it for non-commercial work, unless you buy a commercial license.
    But since most software (and especially pro software like illustrator) is designed for both commercial and non-commercial use (an example of the opposite would be office home & student edition), I think it's fine.

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