Font Copyright Laws

Don’t Font Up.

John Iovine
5 min readApr 11, 2024
Licensed from Adobe

You could break the font copyright law without knowing it.

Recently, a friend of mine was contacted by a legal group who requested that he show proof that he had the rights to a font he used in a published document.

Fortunately, he had purchased that font, provided the proof, and settled the matter. However, this brought to the forefront the possibility that many writers may be using fonts that are not licensed for commercial use, as in printed and electronic books.

Personal Use

Before I proceed, let me first state that I am not a lawyer and am not offering legal advice. I am expressing the font copyright laws as I interpret them.

Most free fonts are giveaways to anyone who wants them for personal use. However, if the font is used commercially, the situation changes. You will most likely need to purchase a license to use that font for books and publications that are for sale.

Have you used a Microsoft font in your Amazon ebook or in print?

Microsoft allows Microsoft fonts that come with your computer to be used for personal use. However, when those fonts are used commercially, for instance, in a book, you may be violating Microsoft’s copyright.



John Iovine

Science writer, thinker, self-experimenter, focusing on personal development and health —