Font licensing for eBooks (epub with @font-face)

New Here ,
Jan 10, 2011 Jan 10, 2011

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Hello,

The ePub format supports - as you may know - the CSS2 @Font-face, but  Adobe's fonts aren't directly embeddable that rule.


At the moment, there are not FAQs or license terms specifically written  for ePub (or other kind of ebook formats) so I'm going to refer to the  currently available documents I found on the web.

A Typblography blog post  (http://blogs.adobe.com/typblography/2010/10/web-font-licensing.html)  clearly describes the difference Adobe sets between "embedding" and  "serving" a font.

Epub format - unfortunately - lies in a sort of no man's land, because  it is a zipped container of browsable documents (xhtml files,  stylesheets, images, fonts), so it can be considered a self-contained  and portable document, but at the same time, it doesn't protect the  fonts from unauthorized use.

Also the Adobe Font Licensing FAQs  (http://www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/antipiracy/ff_faq.html) partially  clarify the field of discussion.

The Adobe's proprietary font obfuscation feature, supported by Adobe  Digital Editions, can be easily overridden with few lines of python code.

Adobe doesn't allow for @Font-face embedding but let authors access to  use its fonts via specialized web font services such as Typekit.com  which can't be used by ePubs because of its offline nature.

My questions are:

  1. Can I use an Adobe licensed font (i.e. Minion Pro) in an  ePub ebook using @Font-face?
  2. What kind of license or agreement should be  used?
  3. Is there a dedicated contact for licensing-related issues (the font-licensing@adobe.com address just bounces back)?


Indeed, I can already download some ePubs featuring the Minion Pro  typeface. I.e: "Il fu Mattia Pascal" edited by Mondadori (the most important italian publishing company) and freely  downloadable from the LaFeltrinelli store  (http://www.lafeltrinelli.it/products/9788852013089/Il_fu_Mattia_Pascal/Luigi_Pirandello.html).

That makes me confident that an arrangement is possible, isn't it?

I hope to hear soon from you, as I'm writing also on behalf of some  others italian ebook designers.
Thank you,

Matteo Balocco

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Explorer ,
Sep 02, 2013 Sep 02, 2013

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Great question. Did you ever get a reply?

Steve

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