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Commercial restriction on Home version

Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 5:39 pm
by bmercer
I am interested in producing some fonts for utility purposes and releasing them under an open source license, but the home edition seems to prohibit this. The description of the Home version states that fonts produced with it cannot be used for commercial purposes. This prohibits licensing the fonts under an open source license. I find this confusing, is there an official document which outlines exactly what the commercial restriction means?

Re: Commercial restriction on Home version

Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 5:52 pm
by Bhikkhu Pesala

Re: Commercial restriction on Home version

Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:26 pm
by bmercer
Thanks, that helps some, but I'm still not clear on whether I'm allowed to publish a Home edition font under an open source license.

From some of the discussions on this forum it looks like High-Logic does not allow a font to be used commercially by third parties if it was made with the Home edition. If that's the case, then Home edition fonts cannot be assigned an open source license.

Open source licenses do not place any restrictions on commercial vs non-commercial usage/sale of the product.

If this is the intention of the restriction, I think it should be more clearly outlined in the documentation, or in the license agreement.

Re: Commercial restriction on Home version

Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:01 pm
by Erwin Denissen
Do contact us through our ticket system if you are using FontCreator solely for making Open Source fonts. We can then give you a decent discount to either the standard or professional edition.

Re: Commercial restriction on Home version

Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:26 pm
by bmercer
Thanks, I will do that.

I do think it's important that you clearly document on the site that the home edition cannot be used to create open source fonts.

This is not a restritiction that most people would expect to see, and it's not documented in the license agreement, on the download page, or in the setup.
Most users won't search the forums before making a purchase, and I think this is something that should be clearly stated in both the license agreement and on the purchasing page.

Licensing restrictions are too important to be mentioned only in forum posts.

Re: Commercial restriction on Home version

Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:36 am
by PJMiller
It is something I would have liked to know about before buying the full commercial version as all the fonts I have produced are free and open source.

Re: Commercial restriction on Home version

Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:03 am
by Bhikkhu Pesala
My 2¢

The Standard and Professional versions are a lot more powerful than the Home Edition. They will save you hours of work. How much is your time worth?

For those users who want to tweak a couple of fonts for their own use, they may only ever edit a dozen fonts in their lifetime. The Home Edition is good enough for their needs.

For keen typographers, who spend hundreds of hours editing fonts, $199 for the Professional Edition is good value. The Standard Edition lacks the Optical Metrics feature, which on its own could save five hours on each font, but you save $50. The Home Edition lacks Complete Composites, Batch Transformations, Real-time glyph validation, and Get Union of Contours (among other things). It would be painful to go back to work without those features now.

I don't know how anyone can make money from selling fonts nowadays, but some do apparently make a living at it. If someone is making even $10 a week, a Professional Edition upgrade would pay for itself in 15 weeks. However, who on earth is willing to work for only $10 a week? I do it as a hobby, which I pick up again whenever a new version needs testing.

Re: Commercial restriction on Home version

Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 5:32 pm
by bmercer
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:03 am
My 2¢

The Standard and Professional versions are a lot more powerful than the Home Edition. They will save you hours of work. How much is your time worth?
I think you misunderstand the point of my post. I won't save hours of work with the Pro version, because I don't spend that many hours editing fonts.

I've been offered a discount on the pro version, so I'm going with that, and I'll probably enjoy the extra features, but I don't need them. The Home edition would have worked for me, if not for the license restriction.
For those users who want to tweak a couple of fonts for their own use, they may only ever edit a dozen fonts in their lifetime. The Home Edition is good enough for their needs.
This is only true if those users don't want to release their work as open source.

If I had not happened to read a post on this forum, I would not have realized that the home edition prevents open source licensing. I would have bought the home edition, licensed fonts as open source, and not realized there was anything wrong. I'm not even sure this is enforceable as it stands now.

I believe in following the rules, but the rules need to be clear, and known up front. I'm not recommending one product over another, I'm just recommending changes to the documentation and marketing to make this unusual restriction clear.

Re: Commercial restriction on Home version. New Thread

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:49 pm
by mainstreet1612
I've read the threads re this topic. I understand the company's position on Commercial use as far as selling fonts created/modified with their tools.

What is not clear to me is the implications to the following scenario.

I create a wholly new font using the Home version of the tool.
I imprint a piece of wood with a single letter from my newly created font.
I sell that piece of wood.

Question: Does the company consider that I am in violation because the tool's product is incidental to my work? That is - I am not selling the font that I created to be used by someone else.

Can someone from the Company clarify please. I would like a legal response, because someone not schooled in intellectual property rights management giving their individual opinion is not helpful.

I'm not trying to be obnoxious - I just need a clear and legally defensible position. I don't want to buy the Home edition, only to be threatened by legal action because someone's personal interpretation was incorrect.

Many thanks - looks like a great tool. I'm currently evaluating it and comparing it to other tools.

Re: Commercial restriction on Home version

Posted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:03 am
by Erwin Denissen
You are allowed to use the home edition as long as you do not use the exported fonts for commercial purposes. A home user or a non-profit organization usually does not make fonts for commercial purposes (e.g. they do not sell the font and do not use the font in products they sell), so they can buy the home edition.

In your example the font is used to produce a commercial product and that is indeed in violation of the license agreement of the home edition of FontCreator.

Besides this restriction, most people buy either the standard or professional edition because those come with more advanced tools which allow you to make better fonts in less time.

Re: Commercial restriction on Home version

Posted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 1:10 pm
by mainstreet1612
This is ridiculous and limits any practical use of your software.

That IS EXACTLY like producing a handtool and preventing me from using whatever I produce from that tool. By that logic, I should bill you back for the effort I used to create the font.

BTW - this and my prior text is by virtue of creation copyrighted and High-Logic has no right to reproduce, save, transmit in any shape or form. Violations will be fined on the basis of how many internet users view my original text. Yes, we all live in the land of lawyers and irrational intellectual property laws.

On that basis your product is worthless to 80% of the world.