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Can i use any font commercially if they comes with software which i have?

For example Can i use Fonts commercially which came with

  • Windows 7
  • MS Office 2007
  • Adobe Photoshop
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The U.S. Copyright Office holds that a bitmapped font is nothing more than a computerized representation of a typeface, and as such is not copyrightable:

"The [September 29, 1988] Policy Decision [published at 53 FR 38110] based on the [October 10,] 1986 Notice of Inquiry [published at 51 FR 36410] reiterated a number of previous registration decisions made by the [Copyright] Office. First, under existing law, typeface as such is not registerable. The Policy Decision then went on to state the Office's position that 'data that merely represents an electronic depiction of a particular typeface or individual letterform' [that is, a bitmapped font] is also not registerable." 57 FR 6201.

-Norman Walsh quoted on this site: http://www.krissteele.net/blogdetails.aspx?id=155

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Why is it always about the 'States? Not everybody lives in America! :) –  squircle Jun 20 '10 at 13:08
    
If someone creates something in the UK, they are covered by UK law and various international conventions (esp. Berne). While it might be harder to defend those rights elsewhere in the world it does not mean they cease to exist. Note also the huge difference between a bitmap bunch of dots which make up a printed / on-screen picture of a glyph, and the complex mathematical definition of that shape as help in an actual font file. –  AdamV Jun 20 '10 at 13:12
    
@thepurplepixel: this is a U.S. site. And most fonts are created/owned by U.S. companies like Linotype anyway. However, most modern fonts aren't bitmapped fonts. And the general attitude about IP has changed in the U.S. Most fonts used today are certainly copyrightable/copyrighted, and that's how companies like Linotype make their money. –  Lèse majesté Jun 20 '10 at 13:37
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Depend what you mean by "commercially". Using the font to design your company logo, product packaging or marketing materials and distributing things electronically or on paper using that font is fine, that's the whole point of letting you have it in the first place. You can give away or sell these materials as long as the content (words) is the main "substance" and the typeface merely incidental.

You will not be allowed to re-distribute the font though, so for example using the font for all the text on your website and enabling this to be visible to others by uploading the font to make it available online will almost certainly fall into "distributing" it.

Re-selling the font or materials where the typeface itself is the main purpose (eg a reference card showing all the characters in various typefaces) may not be permissable.

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