What follows is the reply from Caleb Belohlavek, Principal Product Manager • Type, Adobe Systems Incorporated.
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
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.
Thank you Caleb! I really appreciate your response, it explains a lot. To be honest, I didn't expect any kind of official response from Adobe in this forum... not after having dealt with Adobe's support representatives on this matter. We didn't think we could purchase the font locally and then transfer ownership. That's such a simple answer, I just wish support had offered that as a solution to us before.
Thank you again for you help.