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TMP and font licenses

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by aero80, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. aero80

    aero80

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Posts:
    27
    I want to use a font in my game that is free to use if you are using it to create logos, art..etc in Photoshop or something. But it requires a licence if you are embedding it in your app/game/website.

    Text mesh pro says after the text asset is created the font file is not included in the build. So even if the content is sort of dynamic; technically, you are not embedding the font in the app.

    How do you think the licensing would work in that case?
     
  2. xVergilx

    xVergilx

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2014
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    2,766
    As usual. You're still using a direct copy of the font, so the same license applies to them.
    Even if the actual file is not used, it would be pretty easy to sue your studio because they are looking identical.
    That if anyone would want to do so.

    Check your local laws (or the place where you're going to distribute the game) or contact a lawyer if in doubt.
     
    stain2319, SparrowGS and Socrates like this.
  3. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

    Moderator

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    Check the license. If you are unclear, contact the author. Opinions given on an Internet forum won’t hold up in court.
     
    Kiwasi, Ryiah, SparrowGS and 3 others like this.
  4. Owen-Reynolds

    Owen-Reynolds

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    Feb 15, 2012
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    1,649
    This may not apply at all, and be garbled, but Unity used to prefer to not include fonts. It often knew the client had it, so could save space. Say, running on iOS you knew every user, through Apple, had Verbanna, including a license. It may be that TextMeshPro is merely saying "yes, we also have that Unity optimization". In that case, if this is a non-standard font, it wouldn't even appear on devices without it.
     
  5. Lurking-Ninja

    Lurking-Ninja

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    Jan 20, 2015
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    8,670
    Currently in TMP you need to "render" it out before you build your game. Which means you will include the SDF of the font in you application. I believe TMP will have on-the-fly SDF generation (in the future?), but still it's better to generate it at build time.
    So you will need the license to the font to include it in your application.

    It does not work like that since it's pre-generated SDF.
     
  6. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    Yikes, this is a great question!

    My perception before now has been that in creating the SDF you're using the font file to create a new piece of media, the SDF texture, which is embedded in your game. It's drawing the font to a picture, which you're usually explicitly allowed to do. The fact that you use that to show arbitrary text one character at a time is an implementation detail. So it's never occurred to me that this could be an issue. (This isn't SDF-specific. The same concern would apply to any character sheet, because SDF is just a character sheet with different encoding.)

    However, now that you've asked I can definitely see another perspective, that the character sheet is just a translation of the font from one format to another. From that perspective embedding it sounds like a loophole at best.

    That said, personally I do my best to stick to fonts which allow full usage rights anyway, just to maximise future flexibility. I don't want to miss out on opportunities because some license has awkward limitations.
     
    Ryiah likes this.
  7. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    8,267
    If you don't have an embedded font license, don't use a font in a dynamic manner. If a company sends you a cease and desist over a font license, do you really want to deal with the costs and implications of dealing with that in court? Especially considering that this could easily get your game removed from stores? The amount that would cost you is such that you may as well just pay for the advanced license.
     
  8. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    Indeed, and that is how some publishers see it. We were pretty careful about this stuff at my last studio, and always directly contacted the publishers. Some (mostly the larger ones), drew the line at constructing words/sentences etc. So you could use it in a game if it was static, like a texture on a sign or model or something, but if you are actually building words (regardless of the format) they required a separate license. And others only considered it embedding if you included source/outlines. It's bast to just check with the publisher or use an open source one. (there are ton of great ones).
     
    Kiwasi, Socrates, Ryiah and 1 other person like this.
  9. nicmarxp

    nicmarxp

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2017
    Posts:
    391
    Just chiming in here on this old thread, I talked with FontSpring who sells/licenses fonts, and here's what they said about using it with Textmeshpro:

     
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