About fonts license in Microsoft Windows

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Here I will show you what happened in China and I want to know if there is the same situation in your country.

In China, if a company user(not personal) posted a product poster on the web, and the poster used the Chinese font(Msyh, Microsoft YaHei) that comes with the microsoft windows system, the company will be judged by the court to infringe the copyright of the font, and it is necessary to compensate the font development company for a fee.

In China, there have been many occurrences in the past few years. The company users became the defendant of infringement due to the use of microsoft windows fonts for commercial purposes, and finally compensated the font develop company.

So, has the same thing happened in your country? I mean, if the company users use fonts built into microsoft windows for commercial purposes, it will be judged by the court to infringe the font copyright?
Or is it the only situation in China?


hi yichuang

font licensing is a complex thing. but every software package (os, office...) has its own 'end user license agreement' (eula), usually with a special section about fonts. if you read your 'eula' carefully (wich almost no one does...), you should find out what you're allowed to do with your software – and you'll be prepared to defend, if you're accused when your use of the font was according to the 'eula'.

as i don't use any 'microsoft office' or 'windows' i can't check ms font licensing here. but there may be differences anyway (business, home & student...)
i would suggest to use free fonts. (i. e. those under the 'sil open font license') there are lots of fonts under 'creative commons licenses' but some of them are for non commercial use only. you have to take a look at the terms of use!

in most countries no one cares about font use for a simple flyer for a local event. i don't know if china is the only exception. (...and you'll never know if this will change...)
but companies may care about non-licensed use of software in more professional cases (books, big shiny event posters, home fonts for companys...)

take care, if you do typographic artwork in china.



The FAQ from Microsoft says:

QuoteUnless you are using an application that is specifically licensed for home, student or non-commercial use, we do not restrict you from selling the things you print and make using the Windows-supplied fonts.


But it may be different in China...

According to this page:

QuoteMicrosoft Licensed the font glyph from Beijing Founder Electronics Co. Ltd. GB18030-2000

So it may be some kind of disagreement between Microsoft and Beijing Founder Electronics Co. Ltd. ....

I found this issue in GitHub:


Thank you, @utnik @Nermander ~

The OS I use now is linux, and occasionally some tests will be done using windows VM. The font uses google noto cjk fonts.

In the past 10 years, too many companies have been claimed by Beijing Founder Electronics Co. Ltd for commercial use of msyh fonts. Therefore, no one in China will use ms-yahei fonts for commercial use.

After these 10 years, the Chinese are very sensitive to copyright and have become more and more respectful and protective of copyright.
Such a result has a certain relationship with the Beijing Founder Electronics's font claim behavior, I guess.

Therefore, no incidents have been claimed in other countries for commercial use of Microsoft Windows fonts? Only China?