First font license

Hello there. I've been doing an extensive research (maybe I'm not using the right terms), but I'm trying to find out the steps to get my font to license; by that I mean: what do I have to do to sell a font I'm designing, I will try to sell them by myself to some graphic designers, so there will be no font service to help me out with this.

I'm not really that greedy about this font because it's a display font and it has a really specific use, so it's not the new helvetica or futura, and so I', not sure if I have to copyright it first or what to do.

I'm thinking, well maybe you just grab a license template depending on the use of the font (EULA, SIL Open font license, etc) and change the key words, but I'm pretty sure it's not that simple. I'm also not planning to be so strict about redistributing the font or installing it in different devices.

I would appreciate very much any help you could provide on this subject, I've been designing type for almost 2 years, but just for myself, now I want to start getting them out. If it's got something to do (because of the legal stuff), I'm from Mexico.


  • It pretty much is that simple. Except that you should start with a license that the owner doesn't mind you copying, and preferably one that is at least broadly similar to your needs. So if you are making a retail font, an open source license is not much help as a starting point.

    Copyright is inherent in authorship. For the US, you might want to register the copyright, but you can do that in parallel with getting the font out there.
  • Thank you so much @Thomas Phinney. This is what I needed to know. I've also seen some fonts that come with a license-like file simply with the rules of use, I should check on that too. Now I'm on to find a license that could work for my case, thanks again!
  • MyFonts offers a range of licenses to use, if you use them as a distributor.
  • Thanks for the info @Dave Crossland I looked at MyFonts and it sounds great. I've also checked Fontspring, but it looks like MyFonts have more info out to help the process. Right now I'm just checking out how it is to sell a retail font on a lower scale, but will definitely join a font distributor service once I feel ready for the mayor leagues.

    BTW, I once went to a workshop you gave at my school and hometown. That inspired me to explore type design, so, thank you for that too.
  • Be aware it's always best to err on the side of more restrictive EULA than less restrictive one as customers always assume with rose colored glasses, if something isn't expressly restricted it must otherwise be granted. Feel free to look at our EULA for ideas of things you may wish to consider restricting:

  • I would have said it's always best to err on the side of a more clear and explicit EULA, not necessarily more restrictive. 
  • Tiffany WardleTiffany Wardle Posts: 244
    edited October 2015
    I think the problem of a EULA is that most EULAs are written in English which presents a problem for a majority or users. No? I agree that being as explicit as possible is good, but I also agree that erring on the side of restrictive is good for business. When you err on the side of restrictive you can always make case-by-case exceptions for clients who reach out to you with specific needs. But if you err on the side of less restrictive you will find it difficult to back track.

    Additionally make the user feel that they can reach out to you if they need questions answered. 
  • My EULA is relatively permissive (although not as permissive as yours was) and I've run into some cases like that, too. It hasn't come up often enough that I would change it, though. Most people are satisfied with an email reply of "yep, that's allowed." 
  • Agree with the weirdness thing. I often get consultancy requests where clients contact OFL licensed rightsholders asking for an invoice to get permission to do what the OFL already permits. 
  • Popping in a year later to say that CJ Dunn’s new eula-builder is a web tool for writing a font EULA based on selected options.
  • Interesting! Also, here a link straight to an online version so folks don't have to clone the code locally.
  • You can also look at our EULA:  It's in the middle of a rewrite at the moment but as is it's still pretty clear.  We don't permit any embedded use (but do permit logos and commercial uses unlikely some more display oriented foundries).  I agree with both Stuart and Phinney  - err on the side of caution and clarity if that's a balance you can strike.  But also, I like your attitude.  If you make mistakes now you will likely still be fine.  
  • Interesting! Also, here a link straight to an online version so folks don't have to clone the code locally.
    Huh. This doesn't seem to really do much when I tried it (on latest Chrome for Mac). I mean, after I check something, then that particular section opens with a parenthetical comment that suggests the section should reflect what I checked... without, you know, actually offering any legal boilerplate whatsoever. Not quite what I had hoped for.
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