Skip navigation
This discussion is archived

This Question is Answered

1 "correct" answer available (10 pts) 1 "helpful" answer available (5 pts)
25,878 Views 12 Replies Last post: Jan 15, 2014 12:25 AM by Confusion400 RSS
Level 0 20 posts since
Nov 20, 2012
Currently Being Moderated

Jan 10, 2014 1:34 AM

Are any MS fonts free to use?

Are any of the fonts that come with MS Word (XP 2003) ok to use for Kindle and Create Space versions of books, which are distributed world wide? I like candara and constantia, but my primary concern is price (i.e., none). Previously, I used Times Nrw Roman. It serves the purpose , but if something else is also free, that would be nice.

 

I read many of the threads on FONT topics, but they made me more rather than less confused. Reminds me of the Beatles' song Taxman. In other words, if I used Arial, or any other font, that would mean I have to pay someone?  (How would that work? A fkat fee, a unit of money per letter,  or how many copies are printed?)

 

What can I use that I DON'T have to pay someone? That is my question.

 

Thanks

 

.

Level 5 15,793 posts since
Mar 8, 2009
Currently Being Moderated
1. Jan 10, 2014 8:02 AM in response to: Confusion400
Re: Are any MS fonts free to use?

Yes.

 

Seal

Professional Secrets Revealed in

Need A Job? Publish A Book! with Open Office and

FREE OpenOffice Interior & Cover Templates available at:

http://www.stevenwjohnson.com

Level 3 627 posts since
Sep 24, 2009
Currently Being Moderated
2. Jan 10, 2014 9:42 AM in response to: Confusion400
Re: Are any MS fonts free to use?

Confusion400 wrote:

 

What can I use that I DON'T have to pay someone?


 

With that in mind:

  • Libre fonts are both free (no cost) and can be used freely for any purpose.  They will have a free license, such as SIL or OFL, some are GPL with the font exception.
  • Gratis fonts (no cost, but with a EULA) can usually be used in print (if no-cost fonts have strings attached, such as "personal use only," they aren't really gratis).
  • Fonts that are bundled with software (operating system, Office, etc.) are typically licensed for use in print with that software.  Because the cost of the font license is included in the price of the software, they can typically be used in print without any additional cost.

 

Electronic formats, such as e-books or PDFs that will be sold directly to the customer, are increasingly covered under a separate, usually more costly, license.  Most e-book readers have fonts built into them, so additional fonts are not really necessary.

Level 5 15,793 posts since
Mar 8, 2009
Currently Being Moderated
4. Jan 10, 2014 8:21 PM in response to: Confusion400
Re: Are any MS fonts free to use?

ANY font that was installed with MSW is free to use.

 

Seal

Professional Secrets Revealed in

Need A Job? Publish A Book! with Open Office and

FREE OpenOffice Interior & Cover Templates available at:

http://www.stevenwjohnson.com

Level 3 627 posts since
Sep 24, 2009
Currently Being Moderated
5. Jan 11, 2014 8:33 AM in response to: Confusion400
Re: Are any MS fonts free to use?

The word "free" introduces some ambiguities with interpretation due to its multiple meanings, but the four fonts you listed are most definitely not free fonts.

 

They are commercial fonts that have been licensed by or designed by Microsoft for distribution with their software (the operating system, Word, etc.).  The cost of the license forms a part of the price of the software you've already paid for, so you can use them at no additional cost for uses that are permitted by the license (neither of those things is "free").  However, I would be real surprised if making a PDF to send to CS for printing is not permitted by a Microsoft license.  The licenses vary from product to product and over time, but I don't recall ever seeing one from Microsoft that prohibited printing or inclusion in PDFs for print use.

 

Kindles and other e-book readers have built-in fonts, and in many models the user can select which of those fonts to use, so embedding a font in your Kindle file isn't really necessary.  If you want to embed commercial fonts, my only suggestion is to consult the license because embedding fonts in a product (an e-book file seems to be classed as a software product) is viewed as a redistribution of the font file, something that is not allowed by most commercial licenses for desktop fonts.  Free fonts don't have that restriction.

 

Font licenses vary all over the map, many are self-contradictory, some would make any actual use of the font a violation of the license, and most seem to have been written by people who have never used a font; so any comments without a legal interpretation of the particular license can only be a BGLA*.  SIL, OFL, and GPL are the main free-font licenses.  Wikipedia or Google can give you a lot more info.

-----

* Broad General Limited Answer

Level 5 7,665 posts since
Feb 1, 2008
Currently Being Moderated
6. Jan 11, 2014 9:47 AM in response to: troffer
Re: Are any MS fonts free to use?

Somewhere around, I read that Garamond is the preferred font at CS and Amazon. It is be one of the free ones listed in Word 2010, but I don't know about earlier versions.

Level 3 627 posts since
Sep 24, 2009
Currently Being Moderated
7. Jan 11, 2014 1:25 PM in response to: Ninian
Re: Are any MS fonts free to use?

The Garamond genre is very popular, but the version that is bundled with Word is not a free font, but a commercial typeface that Microsoft has licensed from Monotype for use with Word.  (Emphasizing again, because the license is included in the cost of the Microsoft software, it isn't necessary to pay again to use it in accordance with the terms of the license.)

 

The license section of the newest version of Monotype Garamond I have reads:

 

NOTIFICATION OF LICENSE AGREEMENT

 

This typeface is the property of Monotype Typography and its use by you is covered under the terms of a license agreement. You have obtained this typeface software either directly from Monotype or together with software distributed by one of Monotype’s licensees.

 

This software is a valuable asset of Monotype. Unless you have entered into a specific license agreement granting you additional rights, your use of this software is limited to your workstation for your own publishing use. You may not copy or distribute this software.

 

If you have any question concerning your rights you should review the license agreement you received with the software or contact Monotype for a copy of the license agreement.

 

Monotype can be contacted at:

 

USA 847-718-0400  UK 44(0)1737 765959

 

For license terms and usage rights, please visit our web site at www.monotype.com/html/type/license.html

 

I didn't receive a copy of a license agreement with the software, at least that I could find.  Microsoft just says to go see what Monotype says, and the link doesn't work--- but the Monotype home page has a link to a EULA page that begins by claiming (as I read it) that they can unilaterally change the EULA retroactively, and requires the reader to click an OK button before proceeding any further to be able to read the EULA that was supposedly received with the software.

 

 

Contrast that with the license for Libre Baskerville, a free font:

This Font Software is licensed under the SIL Open Font License, Version 1.1. This license is available with a FAQ at: http://scripts.sil.org/OFL

 

The link actually works.  The SIL Open Font License is lengthy, so here are a few extracted quotes:

SIL

The SIL Open Font License (OFL) is a free, libre and open source license specifically designed for fonts and related software based on our experience in font design and linguistic software engineering.

 

...

 

We have gone through a lot of effort to make our license readable and easily understood by users, designers and software developers as well as package maintainers and distributors. To make the OFL even more human-readable, we have provided a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

 

...

 

The 4 FSF Freedoms

 

The OFL is listed and recognized as a valid Free Software license on the FSF  License List. It complies with the  Free Software Definition and its four foundational freedoms as defined by the Free Software Foundation for the GNU project:


Use: the freedom to use font software for any purpose. (freedom 0)


Study and adaptation: the freedom to study how font software works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access and rights to the source code is a precondition for this.


Redistribution: the freedom to redistribute copies of the font software so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).


Improvement and redistribution of modifications: the freedom to improve the font software and release your improvements (freedom 3), so that the community benefits. Access and rights to the source code is a precondition for this.

 

Comparing the two, the commercial license says "Thou shalt not, unless we say that you can" while the Free license says "Do, go forth and achieve".

 

Commercial licenses vary considerably.  Some font vendors have very reasonable terms, and others are very restrictive.  Many people seem to ignore the license altogether, I use it as a basis for purchase decisions:  If I don't like the license, that translates into "No Sale."

Level 5 19,567 posts since
Sep 5, 2009
Currently Being Moderated
9. Jan 11, 2014 8:59 PM in response to: Confusion400
Re: Are any MS fonts free to use?

Scanning the thread, the simple answer is you're okay.

 

Font designers have the option to set embedding rights.  They can set them to prevent commercial use by not allowing embedding and if you can't embed the fonts, CS (or any other commercial digital press) cannot print it.  That's simple.

 

The terms of use and the run around between Windows (by the way it is most likely that the contract you agree to before you can run your computer asks you to agree to its terms and the terms contained within the system, for example the fonts, is illegal inasmuch as it is unilateral and asks you to agree to things you cannot know before agreeing) and Monotype is absurd.  Also, type as type cannot be copyrighted in the US.  Long and short of it is this . . . I would say that if you can't get a good, intelligible answer about the rights to use fonts that came with your system, then rely on the embedding permissions.

 

Walton

Level 5 5,650 posts since
Jan 17, 2010
Currently Being Moderated
10. Jan 11, 2014 11:47 PM in response to: Confusion400
Re: Are any MS fonts free to use?

Confusion400 wrote:

 

What I'm getting is that if I use MS installed fonts, Kindle is OK.

Not necessarily. Embedding a font in a PDF for print reproduction purposes is one thing. Embedding a font in an ebook (which is essentially an application) is an entirely different matter. As was stated above, this is akin to distributing the font with software, and this is not always allowed under a license that allows commercial printing use of the same font. If you're unsure of a font and can't find the license, visit fontsquirrel.com to look for a font you like. The licenses are always included there, and are all free for commercial printing use. You'd have to read the license to determine if ebook embedding was acceptable, though.

 

Sarah
Editor & Book Designer
http://sleepingcatbooks.com
Find us on Facebook

 

Learning French? Try our bilingual English–French series
The Count of Monte Cristo (Unabridged), Vol.1
New Fairy Tales for Small Children
Shakespeare's Sonnets
Candide
Fables of Jean de La Fontaine
Selected Works of Edgar Allan Poe
The Picture of Dorian Gray

Level 3 627 posts since
Sep 24, 2009
Currently Being Moderated
11. Jan 12, 2014 6:53 PM in response to: Confusion400
Re: Are any MS fonts free to use?

If you'd like a sample look at some free typefaces, this PDF compares a few of the better ones for body text with some Windows fonts and some commercial fonts (8-10 of each).  They are set up in two-page spreads and several different point sizes so as to give an impression of how they might look in a book.  All of the free fonts in the PDF are available from fontsquirrel.

 

https://www.createspace.com/Preview/1139339

Actions

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...