I purchased a font with a desktop license at MyFonts. I checked the EULA twice before I placed the order. It was their standard Monotype desktop license. I made the purchase and downloaded the receipt PDF. The PDF had a link to the same license at MyFonts.com. I then downloaded the font file. When I opened the zip I found that there were (2) EULA licenses: a Monotype and a foundry license.
My question is: can a font purchase have 2 conflicting licenses? I thought a license was similar to a contract. These licenses are radically different with one having many more restrictions and those restrictions were never mentioned at their website.
I emailed MyFonts. They kind of suggested that their Monotype license was the agreement I should follow but their language in the email was vague. So, I replied asking if I should ignore the 2nd foundry license. Their response was: we are negotiating with the foundry and they will get back to me.
At the time of purchase the EULA had only a Monotype license and no mention of a 2nd license.
Is it legal to have (2) licenses? If it is legal shouldn’t the customer be made aware of this before the purchase?
Though I am not a lawyer, I believe you are 100% right about a EULA being a contract.
My guess is that Monotype is supposed to present you with the foundry license when you make your purchase and they are ignoring that obligation. The reason for them to do that is partly laziness (it takes some work to present multiple licenses iteratively at purchase point, especially when you might license fonts from more than one designer/foundry) and partly craven. That is to say, there is a degree to which you are caught in the middle with Monotype trying to usurp the authority of the foundry.
It's important that foundries know Monotype might be doing this. That said, I'm just speculating. The only way to know for sure is to contact the foundry that made the font you licensed and ask them. If they say that Monotype was supposed to only show you the foundry license then that solves the mystery of who should be your counter party to the contact. However, this is where things get tricky, because you weren't presented with that contract when you made the purchase.
To really know which license you're bound to in this scenario you'd need to ask a lawyer. I don't want to ever be confronted with this question in my business dealings, so I avoid Monotype.
Thanks for the info. I am hoping MyFonts and the foundry can work this out and simply agree to the license I thought I purchased. Otherwise I will purchase a different font & license.
Something seems to be going on with font resellers. Some of them seem to want to streamline EULA to be consistent for all fonts they sell. And some type designers don't want that.
As an independent foundry owner and license expert I hope you will give indie licenses a chance. They are often better than the monotype one, though not always. If you have specific concerns about this EULA it might be worth reaching out to the foundry to ask them for clarification. Often, they have standard ways of addressing common questions for a small fee, which are too complicated to display on reseller websites.
MyFonts emailed me and told me to use the Monotype EULA. Ignore the other one. They have since converted all that particular foundry's fonts to the standard desktop MyFonts Monotype license. They said they would fix the dual license problem. I am guessing they had a dispute with the foundry and it got worked out. They never told me why.
I am not hostile to type designers having desktop licenses with additional restrictions (like limited to 250,000 printed units). They should do what they want--its their work product.
I buy font licenses from independents. No problem there.
The real issue was the download included (2) conflicting EULA docs and I did not know what to do.
I spoke too soon. After viewing MyFonts website over the weekend and seeing they were showing Monotype licenses I see now that they reverted back again to specific foundry licenses. Strange. MyFonts might be re-doing their website often or it is broken. Or they are changing the EULA every few days to test which sells more product. I have no idea why licenses would change three times in a week. Does anyone here know?
I do have a problem with indie licenses that restrict printed units (often it's impressions, which is even worse) because it's basically impossible to accurately count and enforce. I also have a problem with logo licensing, broadcast, and social media. If all static uses are covered under the basic license, essentially tying the licensing to work flow, it's ever so much easier for end users to remember and comply with the license.
Now that you're sour on myfonts, may I suggest Adobe Creative Cloud? It's not the same, obviously (you'll need to go to the foundries directly for self hosted web fonts and app) but you get the basic level of use of all the fonts for the CC subscription fee. AND, they are all under the same basic terms which include all static uses.
1) I can't use fonts that restrict the quantity of printed units. That puts clients at risk.
2) Are you talking about using Adobe activated fonts thru Creative Cloud? I have used activated fonts from time to time. Good idea. Thanks. Do the font designers get paid when a font is activated? I only use desktop fonts. I don't need web or app fonts.
Any font license that reads like this: NO LARGE VOLUME COMMERCIAL USE OF MORE THAN 250,000 INSTANCES is not a font I would consider. I wonder if that turns off most designers. I have a feeling most independent designers or small design firms rarely read an EULA because they wrongly assume they are all the same. Which makes me wonder: are these types of desktop licenses intended to ensnare suckers for a lawsuit payout? Most of us don't read the legal agreement when we install an iPhone OS update. I don't know. I read EULA because I know there are type designers that litigate regularly. You might know a few. Maybe that is part of their business model. Give it away to the free sites that offer personal use, or let them pirate, and hope pros screw up.
said earlier, if you contact the foundry directly they will usually be very helpful. I've always had good dealings when I contact a foundry, just be aware they are busy so sometimes can take a few weeks to reply. But I have navigated complex questions and situations by just emailing them or sending them a message on their business social media.
The other reseller I recommend you try is I Love Typography. I've just started using them and they have been very helpful when I had questions, plus it seems like a large number of indies are signing up with them and saying it's been a good experience.
Foundries have come up with various ideas to address the imbalances between individual users and large corporations, and between small and large scale use of fonts. How do you make fonts affordable for individuals while also ensuring that license income in some way reflects derived value in large scale use? Since 2009, the market has grown used to the idea of licensing models that reflect unit-based usage for web fonts and ebook or app embedding, so something like impression-based print media licensing looks to some foundries like a reasonable equivalance.
I have always been amazed that graphic designers tend to give away their work without any rules or restrictions on usage. We do the work. Send it to the client and move on. In the old days photographers and illustrators always specified use. There was a point when my clients would ask for (TOTAL BUYOUT) for photography and illustration but they never asked that of me or any design firm I ever worked for. Isnt that strange?
I too feel like we get screwed but it has always been that way.
Meanwhile, there is CANVA and Adobe is trying to offer low-cost, easy to use services to amatuers and screw over designers who pay monthly subscriptions to use their apps.
Adobe seems to not respect their customers.
I think Adobe is about to announce a huge rate increase for CC. Why am I not surprised?
For those of us who were positioned to not care if we reallocated the bulk of basic licensing to Adobe, and positioned to capture referrals for the things Adobe doesn't support, it's been a boon. That is, not just financially (which it is) but also it's made the business easier to not have to think about basic licensing as much.
And I'm not complaining that the old guard doesn't like the Adobe arrangement. Our Halyard broke even two years earlier than projected and is booming, I'm convinced, mostly because Helvetica isn't on Adobe. The whole point of Halyard is to be a Helvetica killer but they gave us a huge assist by not competing with us on the CC platform. Total own goal, thank Monotype for being reliably stupid.
I feel like most of my job is giving clients what they need rather than exactly what they asked for. Often what they ask for is an over reach because they don't actually understand they can achieve what they need with less. Most of the people I know who feel screwed are the ones who don't know how to do this dance. I help where I can but they don't always listen (e.g. large volume licensing).
They are sending out those questionaires like they did when they went from standalone software to subscription. We'll see. Ask me in 6 months.