Question: How much has a font to be different from another to not run into license troubles?

Background: I'd like to use a specific font in my application but there is a pricetag problem. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem paying for others good work, but 12.000€/year is too much. Gross that up to 20 years... Justin Bieber has to sell off Madison Square Garden for that. Ridiculous.

Anyways, thanks to github the font happens to be in my download folder. I thought, what about opening it up in a font editor, adapt it to my liking (there are some characters that I'd like to change a bit anyways) and for the rest, maybe change a few bendings. Do you think I get through with that?

Thank you!


1 Answer 1


This is a legal question. Ask a lawyer and you'll probably take this more seriously. Or, since you seem willing to actually pay for a font, find another one, there are many in the 20-50-100$ range. If your app is really successful and has the potential to be relevant for 20 years, you can update the font at a later stage, no need to start with "high-end" resources. See:

And what if somebody decides to download and replicate your app and just change a few things. Would you not mind?

  • My app does not charge 12k per year. If it did, most likely there would be someone to develop a replica for a lot less and I couldn't do anything against it. Feb 26, 2017 at 22:54
  • Generally, there's always a cheaper font that looks like the expensive one. This will not always be on purpose and it certainly shouldn't encourage you to risk a lawsuit.
    – Lucian
    Feb 27, 2017 at 1:58
  • Yeah you are right. Maybe I'll just buy it. Feb 27, 2017 at 2:41

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