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Adobe AIR Development

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Developer
Kai001
Posts: 200
Registered: ‎03-10-2011
My Device: Not Specified
Accepted Solution

Font legality issues

Most fonts, included those built into Windows seem to have either hard to find, very complex, or very expensive licenses for commercial use in an app with editable text.

 

My question is, what fonts are safe to use? Can I use Arial without any problems? I thought Microsoft fonts were pretty much public domain, but further research shows otherwise.

 

I could REALLY use some help with sorting this out.

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Developer
peter9477
Posts: 6,473
Registered: ‎12-08-2010
My Device: PlayBook, Z10
My Carrier: none

Re: Font legality issues

The PlayBook will have many fonts included, including Arial, so you should have no worries with that one at least.

 

There are other ones not listed there, since the more recent SDKs add some.  The default used to be BBAlpha Sans but that's been changed to Myriad Pro. 

 

You can use Font.enumerateFonts(true) to get a list of the installed ones (that didn't work with 0.9.3 but works again in 0.9.4).


Peter Hansen -- (BB10 and dev-related blog posts at http://peterhansen.ca.)
Author of White Noise and Battery Guru for BB10 and for PlayBook | Get more from your battery!
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Developer
Kai001
Posts: 200
Registered: ‎03-10-2011
My Device: Not Specified

Re: Font legality issues

So we can use all these fonts without licenses? I LOVE Myriad Pro but I can't afford the license. I can just set my font properties to 'Myriad Pro'?

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Developer
peter9477
Posts: 6,473
Registered: ‎12-08-2010
My Device: PlayBook, Z10
My Carrier: none

Re: Font legality issues

You don't need a license to use a font, only to distribute it.  Since you aren't distributing these fonts inside your .bar, you don't need a license.  All of them are pre-installed in the tablet and available for any app to use.

 

Here's the full list, from 0.9.4.  Naturally, anything in the beta SDK is subject to change without notice by final release, but I expect this will be fairly stable (probably only additions, if any, and no removals).  We did get confirmation that Myriad Pro is definitely to be the default font now.

 

 

Adobe Arabic
Adobe Caslon Pro
Adobe Caslon Pro Bold
Adobe Devanagari
Adobe Gothic Std L
Adobe Hebrew
Adobe Heiti Std R
Adobe Ming Std L
Adobe Text Pro
Adobe Text Pro Semibold
Adobe Thai
Andale Mono
Arial
Arial Black
BBAlpha Sans
BBAlpha Sans Condensed
BBAlpha Sans Mono
BBAlpha Serif
BBArabic Keypad
BBGlobal Sans
BBGlobal Serif
BBThaiKeypad
Bitstream Vera Sans
Bitstream Vera Sans Mono
Bitstream Vera Serif
Comic Sans MS
Courier New
DejaVu Sans
DejaVu Sans Condensed
DejaVu Sans Light
DejaVu Sans Mono
DejaVu Serif
DejaVu Serif Condensed
Droid Sans Mono
Georgia
Impact
Liberation Mono
Liberation Sans
Liberation Serif
Myriad Pro
Myriad Pro Black
Myriad Pro Black Cond
Myriad Pro Black SemiCond
Myriad Pro Black SemiExt
Myriad Pro Cond
Myriad Pro Light
Myriad Pro Light Cond
Myriad Pro Light SemiCond
Myriad Pro Light SemiExt
Myriad Pro SemiCond
Myriad Pro SemiExt
News Gothic Std
Ryo Gothic PlusN B
Ryo Gothic PlusN H
Ryo Gothic PlusN L
Ryo Gothic PlusN M
Ryo Gothic PlusN R
Ryo Text PlusN L
Ryo Text PlusN M
Ryo Text PlusN R
Tahoma
Times New Roman
Trebuchet MS
Verdana
Webdings
Wingdings
Wingdings 2
Wingdings 3

 

 


Peter Hansen -- (BB10 and dev-related blog posts at http://peterhansen.ca.)
Author of White Noise and Battery Guru for BB10 and for PlayBook | Get more from your battery!
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Developer
Kai001
Posts: 200
Registered: ‎03-10-2011
My Device: Not Specified

Re: Font legality issues

I guess what I meant were usage rights. I can find plenty of free fonts, but ones that can be used in an application like mine are rare or expensive.

 

Thanks so much for clearing this up for me though! :smileyvery-happy:

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Contributor
FuzzDog
Posts: 32
Registered: ‎03-17-2011
My Device: Playbook
My Carrier: None

Re: Font legality issues

I used Verdana as an embedded font in my app and included the font file I found in windows in the source file of my app to make it work. I'm not breaking the law am I?

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My Playbook Apps
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Developer
peter9477
Posts: 6,473
Registered: ‎12-08-2010
My Device: PlayBook, Z10
My Carrier: none

Re: Font legality issues

I'm not a lawyer so I can't say for sure.

 

It looks to me after some brief googling like you probably have no rights to distribute that font.

 

I suggest searching for things like "verdana font license" and related terms (e.g. "copyright") and decide for yourself.

 

I also suggest that if you include any third-party asset in your software, which means anything you did not create yourself, you should clearly establish your right to distribute it.  If you can't find some explicit statement that you have that right, you probably don't.

 

Also note that you supposedly told RIM when you create the release (in the Vendor Portal) what third-party assets you had and something about your right to distribute those.  Didn't you consider this to be third-party material?


Peter Hansen -- (BB10 and dev-related blog posts at http://peterhansen.ca.)
Author of White Noise and Battery Guru for BB10 and for PlayBook | Get more from your battery!
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Developer
Innovatology
Posts: 1,280
Registered: ‎03-03-2011
My Device: Playbook, Z10, Q10, Z30 with Files & Folders and Orbit of course
My Carrier: Vodafone

Re: Font legality issues

[ Edited ]

This seems rather a grey area. What constitutes "distribution"?

 

In Flash, if you use a typeface in a dynamic TextField it is often (partially) embedded. But it not in an easily usable format such as .ttf, and can normally only be used by that .swf. The user of your app/swf can't install it for use by other applications. I'm not 100% sure how FlashBuilder handles this, but I expect it revolves around the [Embed] attribute.

 

It's a similar story with fonts embedded in a .pdf. They can be used in the document, but not installed in your \Windows\Fonts folder.

 

So I suppose one could argue that the app/swf/pdf is a publication. If you have a license to use the font (e.g. if you have a licensed copy of Windows) you should be okay.

 

Now, if your app uses the font to produce publications - perhaps a word processor or a photo caption utility - then that's a different matter. In that case it could be argued that the font is packaged with the app, and you'd need a license to distribute the font to the end user

 

I'm not a lawyer, so this is just my personal opinion.

 

Cheers,         - Jon -

Files & Folders, the unified file & cloud manager for PlayBook and BB10 with SkyDrive, SugarSync, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Google Docs. Free 3-day trial! - Jon Webb - Innovatology - Utrecht, Netherlands
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Contributor
FuzzDog
Posts: 32
Registered: ‎03-17-2011
My Device: Playbook
My Carrier: None

Re: Font legality issues

"Also note that you supposedly told RIM when you create the release (in the Vendor Portal) what third-party assets you had and something about your right to distribute those.  Didn't you consider this to be third-party material?"

No I didn't. It never crossed my mind. lol.

 

From what webbsites   said, I think I should be fine. I've only used the font to display some text like scores and only embeded it because I had to rotate the text.

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My Playbook Apps
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Developer
Kai001
Posts: 200
Registered: ‎03-10-2011
My Device: Not Specified

Re: Font legality issues

I guess 2D rotation in Flash must be different than 3D rotation? Because almost everything in my app rotates in 3D at one time or another but I never had to embed any fonts.

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