How to protect your font for commercial use

I’m wondering how to protect your font for commercial use.
Is there a way to set time time during which your client can use it?

There es not much you can do. Think of it like an image file. You cannot protect that, either.

There are services like Fondstand or Adobe Fonts that offer limited time access, but they are only a simple protection. The font files are still accessible to anyone who knows how to get them.

The only sure way to protect a font is to not release it.

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you are a very smart guy

very very

Awareness & License Agreement / EULA (END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT)

Many incorrect answers – there actually is A LOT you can do.

Just a few ways:

  • Remove glyphs, put a symbol that warns against commercial/public usage.
  • Attach text files, write something that warns against commercial/public usage.
  • Write descriptions in and outside of file, that warns against commercial/public usage.
  • Name the font DEMO/NON-PUBLIC or similar.
  • Write a clear EULA that warns against commercial/public usage.
  • If you want to share online, put only on sites you trust and ones that warns against commercial/public usage. (Dafont.com, Fontspace.com, 1001fonts.com has always been fair to me.)
  • Remove styles, offer for example only Regular for free.
  • Be harsh against sites that illegally share your fonts. I know several that has been shut down; when they are not, it is often because no one bothers to report them.
  • Be harsh against people using your font illegally. If all steps above are followed, you can be harsh with a clear conscience.

Would love to see more people add to the list.

There is a similar discussion here: https://typedrawers.com/discussion/comment/54514. Many other threads on this topic can be found online.

I wonder how many people actually open the EULA file and read through it, and how many keep the EULA file together with the font file at all times. It’s hard.

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99% do not, of course. But if one out of ten that reads the EULA pays, that’s better than nothing.

In my experience, the EULA and the font generally keeps together. Not on people’s computers necessarily, but when distributed.
You should also have the EULA online so it’s easily findable. And you can link to your EULA in the font file, like http://www.example.com/fonts/eula

Another reason to make sure the EULA is present and clear, is if there ever is any issue, no one should be able to use the excuse “I did not know”.