1

Is Helvetica Neue free to use on any website or does it require any licensee fee?

I found a dozen of source, from where proper files (.otp, .ttf) can be downloaded and no sign of payment / license info. And I also found some places claiming, that using this font encorces paying for quite expensive license.

What is the current legal state of this font?

2

It's legal to ask the browser to use Helvetica Neue if it's available on the system, but you'd need a license if you want to serve the font yourself. One option is to use Helvetica Neue if it's system-installed and fall back to some other sans-serif font like Arial if it's not.

License details

Source

If you don't want to pay you may consider the second post which states a good alternative. The most up-voted posts suggest

Liberation Sans.
Roboto.
Tex-Gyre-Heros.
MgOpen Moderna.

Source

You can buy a license from places like https://www.myfonts.com/fonts/linotype/neue-helvetica/ or http://www.linotype.com/1266/neuehelvetica-family.html

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