As we all know, copyrights are meant to protect the property of one’s original content. It mainly deals with how the copyright owner’s determines if their material can be used and how it should be used. In this sense, we’ll discuss copyright claims over fonts with a certain type of fonts called proprietary fonts. It is mentioned that typefaces aren’t usually protected by copyright law. It’s generally due to the vast commercial and professional use of typefaces. And with this reason, all typefaces and their fonts are automatically protected. But we will discuss how and why that’s different from the protection of proprietary fonts.
Proprietary Typefaces and Fonts
Before we discuss the regulations on the these fonts, we must know what proprietary fonts are. So, proprietary fonts derive from typefaces that are owned by professionals or businesses in which the font used in their branding was made specially for them. This gives them all rights over their own work; whether to request permission or payment for usage, or to restrict it for usage overall. This is different from non-proprietary fonts, where their typefaces can be used by anyone. They too have copyright claims with regulations on how to use the owner’s fonts. But other from that, they’re accessible to all and is usually what you’d find on websites holding free-to-download typefaces.
To elaborate more on proprietary fonts, they are managed by their copyright owners on if and how their specialized fonts are used. This goes especially for businesses that use their type fonts for personal use, as well as typographers that make typefaces for a living. Because of this, copyright regulations vary on the owners so it’s always suggested to read their regulations before usage (if given the permission to of course.) To illustrate, here are some types of regulations that could be given if using a copyrighted typeface.
- Restrictions on the number of computers it can be installed on
- For personal uses only (then a list of examples are given)
- Restrictions on whether it can be broadcasted or placed online for advertising
- Requirements to use certain fonts if taken for commercial users
In all, the world of typeface and fonts are enormous, enough for their to be copyrights, trademarks, and patents on them. And in this era of technology, typefaces have quickly become a consistent aspect in our daily lives. As all this usually are, it’s no wonder that the usages of fonts must be governed by law. Hopefully, this has given you a sense of awareness to be more cautious when finding and download in fonts. For more information, check out this website I found about the legal factors on typefaces. Enjoy!