The Need for EULA Abstracts
There are several reasons many people believe we need an abstract, computerized form of the EULA.
The key point is that they enable users to know what they can do with a font without the pain of interpreting the legalese in its official EULA. One way of thinking about the abstract EULA is as a set of Frequently Asked Questions for font licenses, for example:
- Can I embed this font in a PDF?
- Can I send this font to a service bureau for printing my documents?
- How many computers can I install the font on?
The answer to each question is – and has always been – dependent on whatever the foundry permits, but without an abstract EULA it is very difficult for users to keep track of what they may do with the various fonts they license.
The EPAR page shows the current set of “permissions data fields” (or questions) that are proposed for the EULA abstract plus four EULA data fields with information about the EULA and EEULAA.
EULA abstracts inside font files
Most discussion so far has argued for including the EULA abstract into the font file itself. This will allow a user to find out at any time what he may do with the font. Makers of font utilities and operating systems will be encouraged to expose this information to users. So, a user may be able to list all the fonts on their hard drive that allow PDF embedding, or server installation, for instance.
EULA abstracts stored on a distributor’s or foundry’s server
One argument against placing the EULA abstract inside font files is that, in a corporate environment, it is difficult for a customer to upgrade a license properly. For example, a corporation may upgrade its license from 200 to 1000 users, and allow its employees to embed fonts in PDFs. For users to be able to see what can currently be done with a font, all fonts on the company’s computers would need to be replaced, since the license that’s stored in them has changed. This may be impractical for corporate customers.
Therefore some stakeholders argue that the license purchased by the customer should be stored on the foundry’s or distributor’s server, and that font personalization – perhaps nothing more than a serial number – be used to determine what EULA currently applies to the font. The EULA can then be upgraded without the font files changing. One may need to be connected to the internet for this to work, although a special service running on the corporation’s internal network could also provide licensing information.