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This is purely a hypothetical question.

But let's say a large corporation or company was using a font family that was not free to use commercially and the font was published by a high-end font foundry.

More detail on font use: in their logo, stationary and across all printed and digital media.

What could actually happen?

Is there any online legal information that I could refer too?


On another note:

If the creative/publishing agency who created the brand on the behalf of the corporation/company, and they purchased the font with a licence. Do these usage rights then get passed onto the company which they created the brand for?

Or does every individual company need to have a licence to use the font family commercially?

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    What country are we talking about, hypothetically? – Andrew Leach Sep 11 '14 at 9:17
  • @AndrewLeach Global – joshmoto Sep 11 '14 at 9:27
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    No, nothing is global in licensing. Where is the company's Registered Office? The law in the UK explicitly allows some of your "unlicensed" usage, for example, and a licence cannot exclude it. – Andrew Leach Sep 11 '14 at 9:28
  • @AndrewLeach I'm with you now. Japan is where company is registered. – joshmoto Sep 11 '14 at 9:58
  • Japan is a very fictional country, indeed. :) – Vincent Sep 11 '14 at 10:22
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In the fictional case that the font foundry would, in theory, take note of this abstract breach of copyright, they would, presumably, undertake legal action towards this assumed corporation.

Details of such suppositional legal action would possibly be influenced by the severity of the imagined case, as well as the theoretical nationalities of both the foundry and the offending corporation.

I suppose.

  • Thanks Vincent for your answer. But if the creative/publishing agency who created the brand on the behalf of the company, and they purchased the font with a licence. Do these rights then get passed onto the company which they created the brand for? – joshmoto Sep 11 '14 at 9:35
  • You might want to include those details in your original questions by editing it. To answer: that wholly depends on the Terms and Conditions of the contract between the agency and the corporation, and the way the corp is using the material. – Vincent Sep 11 '14 at 9:38
  • Thank you for your help on this, still a grey area, I think I need to get back in touch with them. – joshmoto Sep 11 '14 at 9:58
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    Hypothetically, I would, if I were you :) – Vincent Sep 11 '14 at 9:58
  • This is what frequently happens. The company has no license to the font, once you make them aware of this they say: "this will not do", and suddenly the font changes to one of the base windows fonts and everybody has a crappy design again. And the cycle repeats itself. As a buyer make SURE you specify the possible font list/sources – joojaa Sep 11 '14 at 11:26

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