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So I'm a little confused in regards to legality of using fonts for web.

Often from designers I get a PSD file and it uses a special font, and the font is supplied. However attempting to convert the font using:

http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fontface/generator

Ends up with a message saying it's blocked by Adobe.

Not only that sometimes if the font can be converted, it often looks like crap when viewed in a browser.

I assume that the generator is primarily for people to convert their own fonts, but if you purchase the use of a font then you can only use it for Web if the terms allows you to?

The fonts used in PSD's are often Adobe Fonts, I can't find anything that suggests I can convert those and use them on the web. So I'm wondering if anyone knows the legal rights around using Photoshop supplied fonts on the web?

In addition I'm wondering what resources are available (free/paid) that provide fonts that can be used on the web.

Free:

Paid:

This is the only one's I've found so far that aren't cartoon type fonts like what's primarily on www.dafont.com

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2 Answers 2

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Ends up with a message saying it's blocked by Adobe.

FontSquirrel allows font publishers to request to be put on a blacklist.

Not only that sometimes if the font can be converted, it often looks like crap when viewed in a browser.

Sometimes automated conversion doesn't turn out perfectly and adjustments or alterations to the fonts are needed. (This is outside the scope of this site, and a potentially large topic.) The TypeKit blog has often published posts detailing some of the things they've had to do, if you're curious.

I assume that the generator is primarily for people to convert their own fonts, but if you purchase the use of a font then you can only use it for Web if the terms allows you to?

Correct. There's no universal answer to this. Fonts are generally licensed, not purchased outright. You need to refer to the license you, or the designer, agreed to. Some foundries don't allow embedding of any kind, some include it in the base license, others allow for the purchase of more liberal embedding privileges, etc.
(Strictly speaking, those designers probably shouldn't even be sharing those font files with you–again, refer license–but this is largely overlooked as a matter of practicality.)

The fonts used in PSD's are often Adobe Fonts, I can't find anything that suggests I can convert those and use them on the web. So I'm wondering if anyone knows the legal rights around using Photoshop supplied fonts on the web?

There's no such concept as "Photoshop-supplied fonts" for purposes of your question; it doesn't mean anything. As to Adobe's terms, here's the page with their various documents. I can tell you it's highly unlikely you're allowed to do your own conversion. That said, and particularly because of, they now own TypeKit, and have made a good chunk of their library available through it. Plans are affordable and there's even a free level, though it does require a fairly unintrusive badge.

Some other foundries don't have any relationship with an embedding service and so their license may specify that you can do your own conversion/embedding(eg. FontSquirrel) as long as it meets certain technical criteria, and so on. Again, you'll need to refer to their own documentation for such details.

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Awesome reply, thanks! By "Photoshop-supplied fonts" I mean the Adobe font library installed when you install Photoshop. Just weird wording on my behalf. –  Phill Sep 14 '12 at 7:46
    
Ah, that makes more sense. @Nick covered those in his response, then. –  Su' Sep 14 '12 at 9:25
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Your designer should supply fonts with their license agreements, or be able to link to the agreement on the web that makes it clear whether or not the fonts can be used online.

For example, the bundled fonts included with Photoshop and other Creative Suite applications are only licensed for use on the computer they were installed on [source]; you can't use them on a web server:

You may not use the fonts on any Internet or web-hosted service outside of your internal network. You may use the fonts as part of a hosted service in your internal network, provided that no external users can access the fonts, all users accessing the service have a license for the fonts and you do not exceed the permitted number of computers.

Some of Adobe's fonts will be available to license from one of the growing number of commercial web font hosting companies, most of which require a subscription:

If you can't find the font you need from the popular font hosting companies above, you may be able to license them directly (for free or paid) and download them as a file for use on one website only. For example, MyFonts and FontFont both provide many of their fonts as downloadable web fonts for a one-off fee, and Fontsquirrel offers many open source fonts for commercial use.

Finally, a good web designer will be aware of their font options, and should supply or direct you to licensed versions of the web fonts you'll require to build their designs. If they ask you just to convert a font without licensing it, don't. Find a free or paid alternative from one of the resources above.

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Awesome information! Thanks a lot. –  Phill Sep 14 '12 at 7:50
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