5 posts

Licenses on

Jun 08, 2012 at 16:41


Well my problem is understanding the licensing terms.

Free for personal use
Public Domain

But what do they actually mean? Is there anywhere i can understand them easily without having to troll through wiki to find answers - i already have a headache from that? I am I just being stupid? Please help!

Thanks a Million


Jun 08, 2012 at 16:48

Free for personal use means you can use them for personal and/or non-commercial purpose. If you want to use it for professional and/or commercial purpose you have to pay a license.

Free means free. like free.

Public domain, show me a font under this license please. I would say it's a digitized version of a font that is no longer under copyright.

Jun 08, 2012 at 18:14

My 2 cents.

The case, or as you name it problem, is that there are no uniform license terms. Not here on dafont nor anywhere else as each author uses its own definition. Yet, with a little bit of good will the three terms you mention can be understood as follows;

Free means free. That is you may use the font in whatever way you like but you may not make changes to the font.
Making changes is a copyright infringement which is an economical delict in many countries. In the USA this applies to the font-file (the software) in most other counties, following the Convention of Berne, this explicitly also applies to the shapes of the characters.

Public Domain means that you may use the font in whatever way you like including making changes as long as you acknowledge the original designer. But, as Vinz already said, a rare thing. At altbinaries though you may encounter some. Most revivals of designs that are over 70 years old andalso most straight forward digitalizations of scans including all irregularities.

Free for personal use: This means exactly what it says. Personal use. That is private use. Which means use only for oneself in a private environment. So that explicitly excludes any other use. Any other use will require a license which in the fast majority of cases here on dafont boils down to a very limited amount of money. But if a multinational company wants the exclusive use for say advertising world-wide it may very well run in the thousands - be it $ or .

The fast majority of the authors of fonts that are distributed through channels as dafont do not include their license terms in the naming section of their creation. If they did a lot of the confusion would disappear but, alas, they don't.

Now, there are thousands of very smart people around that wish to interpret 'personal use' as use for their own personal business or any other way of making a dollar for themselves. For one, they are knowingly and on purpose dishonest and for two they are playing with fire. Which in both cases is straight forward stupid.

End of lecture.

Jun 08, 2012 at 19:17

"Public domain" may be used incorrectly to refer to any font software distributed under a free font software license.

Jun 08, 2012 at 21:18

I second that. But still think that it up to the author to be specific about the license and to incorporate the license into te font itself to avoid any misunderstanding that could arise and to overcome the problem of the one million readme files that one way or the other will be separated from the font file and/or get lost.

Does it really make sense to refer to a readme.txt file that no-one - even if in good will - can trace anymore?

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