Adobe’s restrictive font licensing rules
Some of the features that I described in my video tour of e2publish won’t be making their way into the first release. Adobe’s font licensing is just too restrictive.
It looks like ligature, digit case and digit width only have an effect on certain fonts. But there are licensing issues with those fonts. Adobe sells five user licenses for US$29 or US$35 per font.
Five user license? What does this mean in a networked collaborative online context?
Well, according to Adobe this licensing model is VERY restrictive. Too restrictive for online use.
“You may not use the fonts on any internet or web-hosted service outside of your internal network”
This means that Adobe’s guided tour of the Text Layout Framework is somewhat misleading. Because technically, you wouldn’t be allowed to make your own website or collaborative application using fonts like Selentium Pro.
Adobe can do it – because they’re obviously exempt from their own licensing conditions. But for anyone else – it would be technically illegal.
So it seems like Adobe’s heavy-handed legal shackles are restricting our potential to really fly with the technology.
Clearly, Adobe need to think about this. (I’m not holding my breath.)
How should Adobe monetise the online use of its fonts? There is a licensing model for Monotype fonts that they may want to look at.
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