I am working on defining a special license for usage of the font in animation.
This is because an animated font is a separate product, so I would like to prohibit users to animate the font (decompose glyph parts/animate them) and sell it as a derivative product (or at least this would require a special license). On the other side, I feel that common usage of the font in animation is completely OK (for example letters of the text appear from different directions and have a glitch effect etc.).
In other words, it's ok to use the font in animation but it's not ok to animate the font. In this sense, I differ two levels: "text level animation" (ok) and "glyph level" animation (not ok).
But I found it tricky to articulate this idea through the license text, for two reasons:
- Not sure how to define a thin line between client work and derivative product (this applies to classic usage of the font as well). Here is an example: A user buys the font, and then on Fiverr offers the service to provide you rasterized text in that font. Technically it's client work and it doesn't violate the license, but practically it not a client work it's selling a derivative product (more practically redistribution). There is a term in licenses that requires that text must be a part of a bigger design in order to be considered as an element and not as a product itself. But again, this is a thin line, because you interfere with possible minimalism of creative work (take logo wordmarks for example). How this is usually regulated?
- The second reason is that applying animation effects over the text is an additional step that I don't know how to treat. Take the example from above and include applying animation effects on it (fade-in, glitch, color effects, blur whatever). Is it derivative work then? Let's say a user types the text "PARTY" and apply various effects on it. Is it ok that she/he can sell that as an animated SVG/GIF? And is it ok that someone offers the service to type the custom word and applies own animation effects over it? In my opinion—NOT—but how to say this?
I was hoping that this topic is interest of more type designers and that we can put it simply here and articulate the terms in this area which are generally acceptable