Suppose, I am creating a logo in a vector graphics editor (for example Inkscape) and I use there the font which cannot be freely distributed (for example Myriad Pro which can be obtained by downloading Adobe Reader).

Then I convert the text, which uses the not-freely-distributable font, to "path" (for example, Inkscape can do it), so all the information about the used font will be lost.

Is it legal to distribute such a logo (the font is no longer embedded in the logo, it was converted to path)?

  • 1
    Really grey area! In the UK, using a font is fine, but creating a derivative work is not (without the appropriate licence). You are using the font, and then creating a derivative work of it. Consult an IP lawyer! Jul 3 '13 at 20:32
  • @AndrewLeach is it actually a gray area? In the US, it's a tool of the trade. It's like licensing music. As long as you aren't breaking the license, you're good to go.
    – DA01
    Jul 4 '13 at 3:06

The legality is governed by the license. As far as Adobe products are concerend it appears that YES, you may use a typeface within a logo as long as you do not distribute the font file.

The arbiter of this is the license and licenses vary.

An answer from an apparent Adobe employee ( http://forums.adobe.com/message/5106212 )

You certainly may use any of the fonts bundled with Adobe applications for a logo or similar static content. You may also embed the font in the resultant PDF file or EPS file that you create for the logo for placement in other content. What you cannot do is give out the font file itself to others. By having the font embedded in the PDF or EPS (PDF is the preferred format, by the way), you avoid any such problems or limitations. Note that this is true for Adobe fonts, but not necessarily fonts from other vendors.

My personal opinion is that this is not "derivative" in the normal sense because the sole function of a typeface file is to create works derived from it.

  • I think it's fair to call it derivative, but it's LICENSED derivative work. ;)
    – DA01
    Jul 4 '13 at 3:06

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