Copyrights and Fonts

Font refers to many characteristics of not only a specific typeface, but qualities such as pitch, size, and spacing. Bodoni is a popular style of typeface but has many font due to varying qualities such as bolding, italicized, and varying sizes. Fonts are considered creative/intellectual property therefore can be subject to copyright laws. In the case of creative and intellectual content, Copyright laws serve as a protective shield that defends the rights of the author.



In the general forms it outlaws copying, distributing, displaying, or editing of original work without consent of the author. For example,  If someone were to take an original painting and translate that art to digital illustration and try to distribute that, it would be violating copy right law with some exceptions.

In order to lawfully  copy the work, contacting the owner of the content is needed. Getting proper permission to use the content on agreed upon fashion. This may come with a fee for use, but paying a fee upfront is better than paying for a lawyer for copyright infringement.


Relating to Fonts

American copyright laws concerning font face (which is the appearance of the font) is not subject to copyright. This is rather confusing since font “program” is subject to copyright elements such as outline data. Fonts therefore can not affect distribution of printed material. However, proprietary fonts strictly forbid embedding. Embedding allows devices that d not have the specif font installed to view such fonts.


It is possible that devices embed fonts without authors knowledge this is done where font information is included in output. With that being said, it is limited where fonts can not be extracted from documents for redistribution. Laws are still rather muddy on this subject, but as of now embedding modified text as a form of redistribution.

To clarify type face is not protected under copyright. But the font soft ware that comes when using the font is. SO the creative design itself is separate from the computer file needed to allow the type face and other qualities of the font to be used.

Typeface is also an element in logo design. Thought typeface may not be protected the font style including spacing, kerning, organization, colors etc. can be under the copyright laws. This is in reference to Copyright Laws in the U.S. but is subject to change  in other countries.


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