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Licensing Question: PDF generator

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Hi there, 

I'm currently working on a website, which will be using a PDF generator in the background. The user will be able to bookmark their favourite articles and the generator will spit out a PDF. Now, I'm not quite sure how this works with the font licence for the generator. The site is using Helvetica (light and heavy) as it's main typeface and the client does have a licence for web and desktop, but I assume this is not enough for the PDF generator – by the way, the generator needs TTF files to work.

I was wondering if I could use Arial MT (light and bold) or Arial Nova (light and bold) as is, without a special licence? 

Thanks for your help

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Ralf Herrmann

For commercial fonts, this will probably require a server license.

You can certainly use free fonts licensed under OFL. 

System fonts like Arial are usually only licensed for the system they came with. So even though they came free with the operating system, they cannot be moved to other systems. 

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Riccardo Sartori
51 minutes ago, swiwi said:

the generator needs TTF files to work.

But you still should be able to not embed them, no?

54 minutes ago, swiwi said:

The site is using Helvetica (light and heavy)

21 minutes ago, Ralf Herrmann said:

You can certainly use free fonts licensed under OFL.

There are several open source typefaces metrically compatible with Helvetica or Arial ([1], [2], [3], [4]), but none that I know of has a light weight.

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Hi Ralf 

Thanks for the Info. That's what I thought and better safe than sorry. Will have a look at some open source fonts instead.


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Hi Riccardo

Thanks for your help. It shouldn't embed the whole fonts but the ttf file will be on the server. So I think I will use open source fonts instead (thanks for the options!). Better safe than sorry.


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