Q: Are fonts subject to copyright protection?
A: Yes. Fonts — which are basically computer programs or software that tell your printer or computer screen how to create the shape of a letter or character — meet all the requirements for copyright protection. They are:
So fonts are subject to copyright protection in the United States unless their owner explicitly releases them into the public domain.
- fixed in a tangible form
If you want to use a font that is not in the public domain, you must have a license to do so. Many fonts are free, others are packaged with software and some are sold separately. When obtaining a standalone font, work only with reputable, known companies (or “font foundries,” as they are often called) and be sure to read the license to make sure that what you’re purchasing meets your project’s needs and that you are complying with its terms.