Online shops and language

kupferskupfers Posts: 246
edited December 2015 in Type Business
Random reminder how English EULAs etc. feel for a large part of the world : )
https://www.stormtype.com/business/conditions
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Comments

  • Thierry BlancpainThierry Blancpain Posts: 173
    edited December 2015
    Very true. One should also note though that, at least from Grilli Type experience, it’s pretty much only German and French people that just write us in German and French without thinking about it :)

    Sure, that probably has to do with us being Swiss, but it feels like it’s also related to those countries’ ideas about / views of their own languages.
  • kupferskupfers Posts: 246
    Do you think it’s weird that American customers write a German or French foundry in English? : )
  • Thierry BlancpainThierry Blancpain Posts: 173
    edited December 2015
    I don’t think it’s weird, although I obviously understand we’re you’re coming from. But we’re an internationally-operating business with customers from all over the world. Fewer than 10% of our customers are from Switzerland. And even if they were from Switzerland, we’re not even able to offer support in German, French, Italian, and Rumantsch, the four official Swiss languages.

    We offer full (and our fastest) support in English, with limited support in German. When it comes to French emails, I usually can understand that well enough to reply in English, but it takes longer for the customer because our regular support staff only speaks English (and Spanish, but we don’t offer Spanish support).

    To a degree, I think Swiss businesses are often very open to international markets because our home market is so tiny (and fragmented with its different languages), while businesses from larger markets are possibly less open for a fully international strategy because German, French, or the US markets are already so big on their own.
  • We should develop a system like Isotype for simplifying font licenses.
  • James Puckett said:
    We should develop a system like Isotype for simplifying font licenses.
    If foundries/vendors would be willing to adopt such a system, I think it would be well received by end users. How could it move forward? It's quite easy to misinterpret PO/licenses when each follows a different framework of rules.

    Ultimately, few end users are trained in legalese – in any language – nor remarkably skilled observers of essential clauses.
  • If foundries/vendors would be willing to adopt such a system

    It seems unlikely to me, since some prominent foundries I know consider their EULA to be completely central to their business models and competitive advantage.

  • Well, for one thing a EULA is a legally binding document, so some depth and complexity is probably impossible to avoid. IANAL of course, but cannot imagine how a simplified version with little pictures would be able to answer this need, or even qualify as a legal doc? Note that even licenses that do present themselves in such simplified, graphically-mediated ways (Creative Commons comes to mind) need to rely on linguistic “translations” of their cute little icons.
  • … a EULA is a legally binding document, so some depth and complexity is probably impossible to avoid.
    Agreed, but I'm curious what James had in mind. Does it need to be legally-binding?

  • The symbols would explain the EULA, not be the EULA. Similar to how the Commercial Type EULA is presented alongside explanatory text.
  • Stephen ColesStephen Coles Posts: 797
    edited December 2015
    I’d love to see a standardized, international, human readable EULA format, but decades of discussing similar ideas haven’t gotten us much closer to a universally accepted concept. (Though there are some good individual examples of simplifying and clarifying the English legal language, like Commercial, FontFont, and Fontspring.) Any comparable summary of EULAs is most likely to be produced by a third party, or crowdsourced. Is it worth starting a Google spreadsheet?
  • I think Tiffany did this a while back Stephen, I referenced it in my Future of Fonts talk at Typecon Milwaukee
  • I get requests for binary interpretations* on common usages and EULA requirements, e.g. PDF-embedding, imprint, multi-site, logotype. Excel is a good friend, but it could be easily bettered by something more readily accessible. Google spreadsheet could work well.

    * It is often a little more complex, but interpretation is the operative word.
  • Stephen ColesStephen Coles Posts: 797
    edited December 2015
    Stuart Sandler said:
    I think Tiffany did this a while back Stephen
    Yes, but it got lost in the old Fontlab website abyss. There is also her work with Nathan Matteson for Interrobang 2 (2004).

    This included only a handful of foundries, but I remember it was a pretty arduous task. I’d also format it differently today. The complicated footnote structure was my fault as I was trying to fit a lot of info into the small space allotted by our little publication. If you omit most of those individualized terms, allowing more columns and groups of columns, it might be a decent model for how a gdoc could work.

  • kupferskupfers Posts: 246
    Ah cool. I also started a document like this in preparation of my ATypI talk. We will definitely continue the conversation there next year. 
  • Yes, it's fantastic and really comprehensive. Thanks for posting the visual. Google-docs would be great to cater for updates / changes (incl. EULA updates). 

    How could this be promoted to end users or vendors? Many parameters do offer a competitive advantage for the end user that would be great to highlight and make more accessible. 

    [Haha, thanks John. Nice to join in.]
  • yanoneyanone Posts: 100
    What's the current stand of development in this?
    Is anyone taking care of it?
  • 1. By what parameters do we transform EULA data, i.e. what fields?
    2. How often is the data updated? Can there be a mechanism for this?
    3. Who is the intended end user? 

    The difficulty with in-depth representations is that it ends up being a lot of "yes, but…" which is little better than reading the EULA line-by-line.

    Happy to help in any way I can.
  • FWIW It was not until I did that research that I really understood that the EULA is a document representing how foundries run their business and value their fonts and as such could never be boiled down to one simple EULA. 

    Even if a new spreadsheet were created today it would still have to contain many levels and asterisks to explain addendum and minutia of how a font can be used. 

    That said it would be totally useful if it were interactive and one could click on, say, "app embedding" & "basic license" and only a list of foundries that allow app embedding with their basic license were shown. In fact, I'd say without some kind of interactivity this spreadsheet would be only slightly less confusing that simply finding the fonts you like and then reading the EULA and contacting the foundry.
  • The symbols would explain the EULA, not be the EULA. Similar to how the Commercial Type EULA is presented alongside explanatory text.

    I hope that our EULA will evolve into a Talmud-like document, surrounded by layers of interpretative commentary, and commentary on the commentary.
    When can I start?
  • Katy MawhoodKaty Mawhood Posts: 203
    edited February 2016
    That said it would be totally useful if it were interactive and one could click on, say, "app embedding" & "basic license"…
    The basic license appears to be consistent only as the privilege to file a single font copy on a single CPU as a collector's item. What a blessing app embedding would be.

    In 2016, one can do less with a font that was licensed in 2002. Hence, the ultimate font licensing spreadsheet endures.
    Even if a new spreadsheet were created today it would still have to contain many levels and asterisks to explain addendum and minutia of how a font can be used. 
    A work of art in itself, truly.
  • I came across this licensing guide today on Emoji One. A nice way to simplify, but still proves that even with simplification there is still a lot of parsing to do. http://emojione.com/licensing/
  • Well, for one thing a EULA is a legally binding document,

    Not so sure I agree 100% with this statement. Seems EULAs can be interpreted differently from country to country. Can also be expensive to see that your EULA is legit outside your own country.
  • @Ralph Smith It seems a slippery slope, I think, to play that game though. If a designer is going to test the waters to see if they can legally get away with something they might be surprised the lengths a foundry will go to in order to protect their IP. Certainly it depends upon many factors, but even still, I think it is in the spirit of being honest that we should follow a EULA no matter our country of origin. After all, wouldn't we, as designers, hope clients will follow any legally binding document they have signed with us?
  • I don't agree this is about playing games; while copyright licensing is uniformly global, contract law really does vary a lot around the world, such that some terms may be invalid and non-binding in some areas.

    And even then, there are regional variations. @Adam Twardoch  pointed out to me that under Polish law, if a copyright license doesn't have an explicit term, the Polish legal system gives it one - of 7 years, as I recall. 
  • See http://www.iubenda.com for an example of creating legal documents through simple automation–but with tons of legal knowledge necessary to cover all the countries they offer it in.
  • @Dave Crossland I see your point. I suppose what I meant to say is that designers might do well to respect the EULA and consider the country of origin instead of gaming the system?
  • @Thierry Blancpain Nice find. I wonder if this would be something that would translate well to the EULA. I would think so. @Katy Mawhood what do you think?
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