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1earache
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Purchasing fonts in Asia

Mar 28, 2012 7:34 AM

This is more of a rant than a question, but any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

I'm doing a lot of business with a label supplier in Malaysia... I'm in the US.  I provide the supplier with Illustrator files containing the graphics/type I need and they make my labels.  My company uses Univers 65 Bold exclusively which usually makes it really easy for us to work with suppliers.  We recently switched to OpenType format (from Type 1) and asked that our supplier purchase the font on their end.  Much to our surprise that turned out to be extremely difficult.  So difficult in fact that my supplier still hasn't been able to purchase the font.  First of all, there's no way for them to buy the font online and download it.  The Adobe Malaysia store doesn't sell fonts and it's not possible for them to buy the font from the US store.  Apparently they have to go through a official reseller.  Well, the reseller tells them that they have to buy Font Folio, that it's impossible for them to sell just the one font they need.  But the real kicker here is that they have a minimum order quantity of 20 units.  Absolutely f*ing ridiculous!!!  A font that I can buy for $30, is going to cost my supplier $60,000?  Attempts to contact Adobe directly about this have been less than fruitful.  Nobody seems to have any answers.  It's really frustrating.

 

We're trying to do the right thing here and be legit.  Adobe is always concerned about piracy of their products and rightfully so, but with purchasing policies like these how else is a small business supposed to do it?  I can't ask my supplier to spend $60k for a single font and I can't ask them to acquire it illegally either.  So what are they supposed to do?  Yes, I could send them files with outlined text, but that's not a long term solution for us.  Has anyone else run into this problem before?  Any solutions?  Sorry for the rant, but this seems like such a stupid problem to be having.

 

Eric

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 28, 2012 11:42 PM   in reply to 1earache

    What follows is the reply from Caleb Belohlavek, Principal Product Manager Type, Adobe Systems Incorporated.

     

    ---------------

     

    Eric-

     

    First I would like to thank you three times for your response.  First, for wanting to do the right thing with respect to licensing fonts.  Second for upgrading from Type 1 to OpenType, and third for letting us know about this issue.  We always want to know when someone is having a bad experience, because that is how we can correct them.

     

    To be honest, this is the first time we’ve had a problem where someone in the States had a workflow problem with someone in Asia.  But I can understand it happening.  Until recently there were several other vendors who could license Univers fonts through Adobe and could offer them internationally.  But we recently lost the ability to extend those rights to those sub-licensors.  And although Adobe fonts are available in many of our international sites, individual fonts are not available through our Adobe.com site in Malaysia as of yet.

     

    The official reseller that your vendor was steered toward was an official licensing vendor for Adobe.  And while we offer Font Folio to our licensing vendors, we don’t offer individual fonts for sale through our licensing program.  That is true even in the United States, and it is mostly because offering over 2500 individual fonts at different price points is unmanageable.  The Font Folio product at $8999 for 20 users is a bargain.  It is a tremendous value for customers looking for a broad library of fonts, but it was never meant to be a method for buying just a single font.  So, I somewhat agree with your assessment, although a 20-user license would be available at $8999 not $60,000. :-)

     

    However, even at $8999, that doesn’t solve your problem.  I do have a suggestion, though.  But it does take a little extra effort on your part.  Adobe’s End User License Agreement (or EULA) includes the following in section 4.4:

     

    “You may, however, transfer all your rights to use the Software to another

    individual or legal entity provided that: (a) you also transfer this agreement, (ii) the serial number(s), the

    Software and all other software or hardware bundled, packaged or pre-installed with the Software,

    including all copies, upgrades, updates and prior versions, and (iii) all copies of font software converted

    into other formats to such individual or entity; (b) you retain no upgrades, updates or copies, including

    backups and copies stored on a computer; and (c) the receiving party accepts the terms and conditions of

    this agreement and any other terms and conditions under which you purchased a valid license to the

    Software.”

     

    Since you already have a business relationship with your Malaysian partner, you can simply purchase the font through Adobe’s North American web site, and e-mail it to your partner.  When you do so, please send them the copy of the EULA that comes with the font when you download it.  Then you can bill your partner for the font and subtract the difference from your payment to your partner for the service they provide you.  Or you can choose to pay for the font yourself and provide it to your partner free of charge provided they comply with section 4.4 above.  Fonts don’t have serial numbers, so you don’t have to comply with that item.

     

    I hope this is helpful.

     

    Regards,

    Caleb

     
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