Widespread misunderstanding of AdobeType's license causing foundries to loose revenue.



  • @Christopher Slye. You'll remember that, back in the day when you were the head of Adobe fonts, I asked for an edit to the Adobe terms of use?  That edit would have expressly empowered foundries to enforce this exact kind of violative use, rather than Adobe being the only party with standing to do so.  I still think that would be a good idea.
  • Miles Newlyn said:
    I don't know where these font files come from. They are often anonymised with names like font.woff or 7ascn328gfh.woff.
    The opentype files that Adobe CC saves on your computer are not located or named super obviously, but they are neither hidden well. Adobe's syncher assigns them numeric file names, but aside from that they are on disk as plain otf files for anybody savy enough to find. It's pretty simple stupid.
  • @Christopher Slye this was a long time ago and both our memories could be wrong.  My recollection is that adobe stopped  allowing agencies to host their clients’ websites when they switched from the pay for traffic model to the current model. It’s possible I invented this explanation because it’s very intuitive.  By my logic, the old typekit system made more money when an agency was incentivized to push all clients to typekit.  But, by the time Adobe switched to the new model they had realized that large companies mostly were not going to use hosted fonts, and they pivoted to using typekit for cloud subscription retention. At that point, anything that allows companies to not have a subscription is bad.  No?  I don't remember hearing anything about piracy. 

  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,533
    they don't understand that the less you pay for the license the more violations you can have.  
    Can you expand on that thought? I’m not sure I understand it.
  • Regarding agencies giving the css link to their clients, why should we as foundries care?  

    For us it's an opportunity to sell a license to someone that's already decided to use our fonts.
  • @Miles Newlyn That's not the answer I expected given how angry you seemed about it.  Maybe I misunderstood.  Text communication can do that. 
  • ... It would have had to say something like ...

    You agree and understand that if you use these fonts outside of the Adobe system, by accessing the font files directly, you have an obligation to obtain a license to do so from an authorised seller.  Failure to do so is not only a breach of the Adobe terms of service but also a breach of the End User License Agreement issued by the owner of the font, which can be enforced by either.  

    I have no specific memory of this (beyond it ringing a bell), but looking at what you wrote I can see a problem with “if you use these fonts outside of the Adobe system”. Altogether, it would result in something like “You are prohibited from moving or copying the font data, but if you do ...”

    But in any case, you’re right, this would make corporate lawyers nervous. At Adobe these days, the Terms of Use are a huge amalgam of different apps and services, and so it’s very, very hard to insert something like this about fonts that wouldn’t have the threat of some ripple effect outside the font service scope. (All personal speculation/opinions on my part!)

    I had an incredibly valuable relationship with one person on Adobe’s legal staff for nearly my whole 22+ years there. She had been through most of Adobe’s great legal adventures with fonts, but was as smart, practical, and generous with all of it as you could imagine. I learned a lot from her, and her willingness to contemplate very reasonable suggestions made life better for all Adobe’s foundry partners, even if she couldn’t say yes to everything.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 2,395
    I know exactly who you mean, Christopher. I second your last paragraph: she was fabulous! Presumably still is, in her latest role elsewhere.   :)
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