Adding Diacritical Marks to Adobe Fonts

New Here ,
Apr 28, 2008 Apr 28, 2008

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Hello,
We are a non-profitable organization propagating Sanskrit. We would like to add some diacritical marks as a pronunciation guide. Do we need to take permission to add these diacritical marks in your fonts? If so, whom do we contact?
Warm regards.

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Explorer ,
Apr 29, 2008 Apr 29, 2008

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Sheela,

Check the license that you have for your fonts to see if font modification is allowed. If allowed, be aware that these modified fonts cannot be freely distributed or sold. You are still limited as to the number of workstations that the fonts can be installed on, which would be a count of both unmodified and modified fonts.

Neil

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Enthusiast ,
Apr 29, 2008 Apr 29, 2008

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Really, this is a legal question, and you should consult a lawyer for advice in interpreting the license terms of the font(s).

I am not a lawyer. That being said, my understanding is, as long as the fonts are already legitimately licensed, you can modify the fonts for your internal use. Your modified fonts are covered by the same license terms (and copyright law) as the originals. You can't sell or redistribute the modified fonts, for example.

Regards,

T

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Explorer ,
Apr 29, 2008 Apr 29, 2008

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>I am not a lawyer. That being said, my understanding is ...

I'm shocked! Thomas, if you, as former head of Western fonts (please forgive me if I've misremembered your former title), are not clear on the terms of the Adobe font licence, what hope do the rest of us have? Maybe all software users will have to attend law school in the future!

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 29, 2008 Apr 29, 2008

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Dominick wrote:

Maybe all software users will have to attend law school in the future!

...

Ahh.. but that would negate our defense on the grounds of plausible
deniability ...

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Explorer ,
Apr 29, 2008 Apr 29, 2008

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But even non-lawyers know that ignorance of the law is no excuse.

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Enthusiast ,
Apr 30, 2008 Apr 30, 2008

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It's not that I think I don't understand the license terms. It's that the license is a legal contract, and folks should be clear that the contract, which they agree to, takes precedence over what people tell them outside of that contract. Maybe I should have put it that way.

This may also reflect the perspective of somebody who spends too much time talking to lawyers. :)

Cheers,

T

Thomas Phinney
Product Manager
Fonts & Global Typography
Adobe Systems

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Explorer ,
Apr 30, 2008 Apr 30, 2008

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>This may also reflect the perspective of somebody who spends too much time talking to lawyers.

It does tend to rub off, doesn't it?

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Explorer ,
Apr 30, 2008 Apr 30, 2008

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But if Thomas were an attorney, he'd have the nicest stationery. <g><br /><br />Neil

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Advocate ,
May 08, 2008 May 08, 2008

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Can I drag this back to the original question? Thomas mentioned that Adobe's EULA allows modifying fonts for internal use, and many of us are very grateful for how Adobe stands out in this regard. (In the 5-seat EULA, the relevant paragraph seems to be no. 14.7.4.) However, the OP speaks of preparing material for "propagating" Sanskrit, which doesn't sound like "internal use." On the other hand, the very next paragraph (14.7.5) speaks of embedding, which is allowed for printing and viewing, and would seem to provide an avenue for propagating documents with custom Sanskrit diacritics.

In other words, is it permissible to embed a modified Adobe font in a PDF that is used to print a document that is then distributed on paper? Is it permissible to make such a PDF available for downloading? Of course, much of the value of a PDF is that the information it contains can be indexed and searched electronically, and under those circumstances it is far better to render macron-a with the appropriate Unicode encoding, rather than by kerning the macron character over a bare "a."

I rather expect Adobe would prefer not to be more specific, and risk opening up a can of worms here--as Thomas says, a contract is a contract. But I also expect Adobe would not go after those who strive to uphold the spirit of the contract (as well as the design qualities of the original typeface). I hope I'm not way off base.

Thanks,
David

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Explorer ,
May 09, 2008 May 09, 2008

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It is unwise to modify a font without modifying something else about
it (not sure whether it's necessary to change the name; maybe UniqueID
or equivalent is enough)... Otherwise, someone who owns the unmodified
font could find that THEIR copy is used for viewing the PDF.

Aandi Inston

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Enthusiast ,
May 08, 2008 May 08, 2008

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Basically, the modified font has the same restrictions as the original.

Regards,

T

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Enthusiast ,
May 08, 2008 May 08, 2008

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Basically, the modified Adobe font has the same restrictions as the original.

Regards,

T

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New Here ,
May 09, 2008 May 09, 2008

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I would like to second Aandi and add to his concerns:

in many situations the only information used to identify/reference a font is its (internal) name. If a font is modified it is absolutely mandatory to also change its internal name. Otherwise somebody is going to shoot somebody (often themselves...) in the foot at some point of time.

Friends don't let friends modify a font without modifying its name at the same time!

Olaf Drümmer

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Enthusiast ,
May 09, 2008 May 09, 2008

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Agreed!

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