Origin of desktop EULA language?

When type designers and foundries write desktop EULA are they mostly concerned with large corporation usage, small and large design firms or something else? Just curious. I buy font licences thru MyFonts, FontSpring, Creative Market and direct from the Foundry if possible. I am guessing that makes me a small fry. I only buy the 1-5 license. I only do print media: packaging, brochures, sell sheets. I dislike working on web or social media. I can avoid that and still survive. For now. I get the impression some type designers feel ripped off. If this is true, who is ripping you off? Just curious.


  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,463
    When I rewrote mine in 2008, I was advised by my lawyer that it should be written with judges in mind. That's how we end up with the kind of language we see in EULAs. I've since heard other opinions about this.
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 1,183
    edited March 25
    @James Bridges Primarily any-size design firms and I don't feel ripped off.

    I experimented with EULAs in the 2000s but in the end, it was annoying for everyone—bothersome for me, irritating for the distributor and perplexing for the customer.

    Nowadays I use the distributors' stock EULA if it's available. I want the agreement to be predictable and easily understood by the customer. I assume my font isn't a customer's first purchase, so I don't want to throw curve balls at them. I used to have a more permissive license, thinking I was doing my clientele a favor, but it turned out to be a burden for them as they felt they needed to contact me to confirm details. They'd point out: most EULAs forbid certain uses but yours seems to allow it—is that okay? Can you confirm? I think if the purchaser feels the need to correspond with the designer before use, it's a shoddy EULA. Since I use several distributors, my old, acquiescent EULAs were irksome for their licensing and legal teams, and they didn't hesitate to notify me. Customers expect all the fonts in a store to follow the same rules. Switching to a typical EULA reduced friction. For my fonts with free desktop commercial use licenses on free font sites, I use a run-of-the-mill EULA, not much different from a typical distributors' stock desktop license.

    I restrict my innovation to pricing. If the distributor allows it, the eBook license is included with the desktop license, or I'll set it as low as I'm allowed to. I have price caps for families. Low-tier app licenses are cheap. Numbers don't require explanation. Everyone knows that prices in a store vary. On the Nintendo Switch store, some games are $89, some games are $9, and some games are free: nobody is confused by that.

    If you're starting in the font business and you're conjuring your own avant-garde EULA: it might be more aggravating than constructive.
  • JoyceKettererJoyceKetterer Posts: 658
    @Ray Larabie I don't think you can measure success by not getting questions.  You should see some of the questions I get!  I couldn't possibly do anything to avoid them.

    Also, the problem with your plan is that if you go with more than one distributor now you have the same font under multiple EULAs.  That can be a major issue if you have a violation.  
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 1,183
    That can be a major issue if you have a violation.
    How so?
  • JoyceKettererJoyceKetterer Posts: 658
    edited March 26
    @Ray Larabie loopholes upon loopholes. It's hard to enforce a license when a violator can just sneak off and buy another license. Sometimes this has happened to people who seek my advice in the midst of a enforcement negotiation.  I've not found a solution other than not permitting more than one license in the first place.  Perhaps a lawyer would have other strategems.
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