What is a Font License?

Similar to any other software usage license, a font license states the terms of use granted to you when you purchase or download a font. That license may permit personal or commercial use of the font, limit where or when you can use it, and prohibit you from altering or repackaging it for sale or distribution. Despite popular belief to the contrary, even most free fonts have usage licenses.

Graphical image of computer user tracking font licenses

Font License Terms Differ Widely

Managing your font licenses can be a challenge since font designers and vendors have the right to create licenses with any terms they wish. If you don’t know the licensing details associated with your fonts, you can usually find their license terms in a few minutes of online searching. To avoid legal issues downstream, it’s safest to understand the license terms of fonts before using them in your projects.

The Advantages of Tracking Licenses

FontAgent® Server includes a font license manager to help you store, track and enforce the terms of your font licenses. You are not required to use the license management features of FontAgent Server, but by using the License Manager, you can:

  • Create a central repository of your font licenses
  • Track the number of seats licensed for each of your fonts
  • Monitor the number of times that fonts are distributed to your users
  • View alerts when you exceed licensed seat count
  • Stay in compliance with your font licenses
Graphical image of a workflow using various fonts

Tracking Licenses in FontAgent Server

To track font licenses in FontAgent Server, you first create font licenses and define their details using the Licenses tab in the Server Manager’s left sidebar. Then, you assign those licenses to fonts and sets of fonts, which establishes the number of instances of the font that you can legally distribute to users.

As you assign fonts and sets to users, FontAgent Server keeps track of which fonts are in use by which users. You can view reports and alerts by font, user, group or machine to get a quick, real-time snapshot of font usage and compliance across your organization for specific time periods.