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Using images of font characters

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Hey all. I was wondering about this issue. I have a font I like, but have no intention of distributing the TTF with the game, but rather just making a little text engine that reads some PNG file that has the characters on it. Is this pretty much the way to go about doing legal font use?

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Fonts licensing is it's own bag. Some fonts are free some you have to pay for some are free for non-commercial use, etc, etc. Any license covers any representation of that font; it has nothing to do with how you distribute it. An image of a font is no different than using the TTF file.

If you're speaking of engineering, yes do not use TTF files. That's horribly slow. Google for "texture atlas" and that's what you want to implement along with a nice shader to handle the rendering. Again, however, this has absolutely nothing to do with licensing a font.

When you download a font that font will have a license with it (probably you agree to the license before you buy it). Take care and read exactly what you are permitted to do with the font before you download/purchase it.

-me

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Someone using the name 'aenigma' made a ton of fonts awhile ago and released as free for any use. His page is down now, but his fonts can still be found all over the place by googling his name.^^^

Look up a tool called BMFont on the AngelCode side for generating a texture atlas and rendering them.

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Quote:
An image of a font is no different than using the TTF file.

This is not my understanding for bitmap fonts in the USA but IANAL. As far as I know bitmaps of fonts do not infringe copyrights.

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With a tool like BMFont, you end up generating a lot of textures if you need different fonts or different sizes (they don't scale as well as when you make new textures). What has worked well for me is to integrate the font texture and glyph description generation into the engine and then just call getFont("myfont.ttf", 22). With Java this is easy; with C++ you would need a library that can parse TTF files for you (writing this yourself is a waste of time).

Legally you are best off using fonts that are free for commercial use. Many of the fonts you download off the internet's "freeware" font sites are only free for non-commercial use. In any case make sure to carefully read the included licensing terms, if any. If a font is not free, then making a texture of the font doesn't help you.

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Quote:
Original post by lightbringer
If a font is not free, then making a texture of the font doesn't help you.

Again as far as I know in the US (as the OP is) this is not the case.
http://www.faqs.org/faqs/fonts-faq/part2/

As Mona posted to the Tig forum:
Quote:

I know German law has specific IP protections regarding calligraphy and typeface, and I believe a couple other European countries have similar laws. But under U.S. law the only copyrightable subject matter is the computer file itself; technically a screenshot of a letter wouldn't constitute infringement under U.S. law or a violation of the GPL because the GPL only applies to the code/file itself as opposed to the font generated by the image.


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Quote:
Original post by CmpDev
Again as far as I know in the US (as the OP is) this is not the case.
http://www.faqs.org/faqs/fonts-faq/part2/


I don't think it actually matters whether the bitmap is copyrightable or not. To generate that bitmap in the first place, you first have to process the TTF file (whether you do it yourself or have a 3rd party program do it for you), and with many fonts this would already be a violation of the license terms in case that you are making it with commercial purposes in mind. Of course, I am also not a lawyer :)

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