View Full Version : font licensing
09-30-2004, 02:36 PM
can you use 'standard issue' windows fonts in games? what about freeware? anybody had experience with licensing a custom font? i am asking because i found a really cool font that can be purchased, but the license doesn't specify whether it can be used in a commercial application. so i am going to talk to the owner, but would like to know if anyone here has had experience with this so i sound like i kinda know what i am doing when i approach him.
09-30-2004, 04:53 PM
This topic was discussed extensively on the Dexterity forums. You might try searching the archive for 'font legalities' or something similar.
In a nutshell: it depends, but if you're using bitmap representations, you're probably okay. If you want to distribute the actual font file, that's when things get more hazy. If you're simply using the fonts that are already installed on users' computers, then you're in the clear (though you then have the problem of selecting fonts that are on *all* of your users' computers).
09-30-2004, 10:09 PM
thanks. i mean the bitmapped use of a font, not the actual distribution of a font.
09-30-2004, 10:50 PM
If you want to distribute the actual font file, that's when things get more hazy.We recently went through this for Dawn of War, as for non-english languages we wanted to use pre-installed Windows fonts, but for english we wanted commercial fonts. As kerchen said, using the pre-installed Windows fonts is not an issue, but even then you CANNOT distribute them; you have to assume they're on the users system, and if they're not, do something else. To use commercial fonts, an "embedded" license is generally required, and that is quite a lot more expensive than the usual license price - you may be able to work something out with the font copyright owner if it's just one person, but make sure whatever you do work out is very clear and concise.
A summary of what you can do:
- Pre-installed: Use the standard Windows font functions to display fonts.
- Commercial: Use FreeType (Open Source, good license) to load and display fonts from your games data directory/package files/etc. Don't install them into Windows however. An expensive "embedded" license is generally required for this.
I'm not a lawyer of course, but many very expensive ones were involved in giving us these rules to obey.
As for the bitmap-only font option, I believe this is in the clear, also as kerchen said - but this wasn't a viable option for us, so we never had to check with the lawyers (read: I'm not a lawyer, and have just heard about this being true..).
10-01-2004, 06:48 PM
I just want to say Dawn of War rocks, better then the base WC3 if you ask me (sacrilage I know). I was happy to note that it uses lua, very cool. The demo sold me, I'm going to pick up a retail copy tonight.
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