Corporation letting public download my typeface for free

Just found that an international fitness chain has adopted one of my typefaces for event branding (good) and is making all 20 styles of it available as a free download on their site. (bad)

Any advice from you licensing experts out there?


  • When you say "adopted", do you mean licensed? If so, are they violating that license? If so, I'd start with a C&D letter and go from there. Many times this happens out of ignorance.  
  • I don't know yet whether someone bought some sort of license. I'm asking around for advice before I go up against company. I assume whoever did this doesn't know better.
  • They're just looking up to IBM.
  • edited February 2021
    Yes, there's still not enough education about typeface IP, and companies giving away fonts to curry favor is sadly trending.
  • Thanks, Joyce. I've sent off a query to their legal dept. I don't have a record of a whole family licensed to these folks, though it might have gone thru an agency or other 3rd party.

  • Well, live and learn. I actually wasn't able to find any record of anyone plausibly connected with the chain licensing the face, or any footprint for a design department online, but I guess my detective skills aren't up to much. Thanks for the feedback, everyone!
  • Max PhillipsMax Phillips Posts: 474
    edited February 2021
    So a senior counsel at the fitness chain apologized and said their agency had taken down the link, and so they had. Agency got the files thru Adobe Fonts, which is why I couldn't find a license. And that's that. I have put away my flaming sword for next time. Thanks again, all.
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,863
    if it were me, I would request their download logs, so you have some idea of how many times the fonts were downloaded from their site before they were taken down. If it were just a handful, I would probably let it go, but if it were a lot I would go after them for compensation. They were acting as unlicensed distributors for a period of time, and it is very likely that the same fonts will start showing up in other places as ‘free’ because once a font has that label associated with it, it will get propagated to a bunch of free font sites.
  • I agree with John Hudson. In our initial correspondence with anyone offering unauthorized downloads is a request for download logs.  
  • All good points. Thanks, John and Ralph, and thanks again, Joyce. I'll look into this further.
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