As both a user and designer (okay, only one font so far) of type, I am curious as to how the typical font foundry expects that their fonts will be used. I've seen both permissive licenses (do whatever you want except redistribute the font) to restrictive licenses (please buy our font but absolutely do not use it for anything) and then I've seen different font companies have similar (or even the same) apparently boiler plate licenses but, if you inquire, you find out they mean entirely different things by them. And, I wonder if some even pay attention to the license they offer. Just today, I looked at a font on FontSpring, checked the license, and the license read "this is an agreement between you and MyFonts.com". Copy and paste gone wrong?
I license fonts for use in producing printed materials, engraved goods, personalized items and custom rubber stamps. Years ago, font licenses seemed rather vague, so it was best to ask. These days, more and more font licenses are clearer with some specifically stating whether or not they can be used for producing personalized items. They are, however, not always clear regarding rubber stamps. To clarify, we don't make alphabet sets. We make custom stamps like return address stamps. Some foundries allow either; some don't allow alphabet sets but do allow stuff like personalized stamps.
So, in order to be compliant with the font license, I have made a habit of contacting the foundry to verify that my usage is acceptable, except in cases where the license is clear that it's not acceptable or would require a custom license. Sometimes, I feel like I'm stupid for even having to ask the question but I'd rather not take the chance of misinterpreting the license agreement.
But, sometimes it's not easy figuring out who to contact. I prefer to contact the actual foundry that released the font. Go straight to the source, you know? But some have licenses that vary based on the place where you buy it, which is fine except when you contact the site selling the font licenses and they say to check with the foundry and the foundry tells you to check the license with the site selling the font.
More commonly, I don't get a response at all. Taking a rough guess, I'd say somewhere between 30-50% of the foundries never respond. I don't assume that a lack of a response means that it's okay.
So, I have to wonder, is asking for clarification of the license agreement considered an annoyance? Is it just not worth the bother? Do they just think I'm stupid and unable to understand the license?