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Delta-Lawyer
Delta-Lawyer, Patent Prosecutor
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3546
Experience:  Patent Bar Certified
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I'm looking to design a website that allows users to design

Customer Question

I'm looking to design a website that allows users to design fliers and brochures online and save them as PDFs. I believe there are many font licensing issues involved when exporting a document to a PDF that get complicated. If I require each user to upload their own copy of the fonts, and I put the responsibility to review the End User License Agreement on the end user, have I protected myself from any legal issues? Our site wouldn't publicly display or use any fonts not freely available for commercial use. Any non-commercial usage fonts would be uploaded by the end user and could only be seen and used by that end user.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

If I require each user to upload their own copy of the fonts, and I put the responsibility to review the End User License Agreement on the end user, have I protected myself from any legal issues?

Yes and no. You have protected yourself against the likelihood of successful litigation against your company because you are acting as nothing more than a conduit and your clients have signed off on that acknowledging this simple fact. However, that does not prevent you from getting sued...and even frivolous litigation can be expensive to defend. Anyone that sues will likely take a "shotgun" approach and sue everyone initially and then try to pair it down as the litigation moves forward.

That being the case, I still think you have done what it takes to prevent successful litigation. Purchase a good umbrella insurance policy for liability such as this and proceed forward.

By the way, I am a licensed IP attorney with over a dozen years experience.

Please rate my answer positively and best wishes going forward!

Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Just checking in on you to see if you have any other questions. I want you to be as comfortable as possible moving forward. Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Delta-Lawyer. My only other concern is around the hosting/location of the fonts. In order for this to work, the fonts would need to be uploaded then stored on my servers. Again, I'm just the conduit, plus the public would never see the fonts. So a foundry or font-owner would not be able to see which (if any) clients were using the fonts.Still "ok" in your opinion?
Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

I think so...(sorry for the late reply by the way). You need to do your best to insulate yourself, as you have described, by throwing the liability back on the users of your service. You can also ad an indemnity clause to your contracts with your clients wherein you will be reimbursed for any liability that may occur as a result of a person's use of your service.

The indemnity clause can be very effective and it is a written acknowledgement by the user of your service that if you get hit with legal liability, they are on the hook for it.

Let me know if you have any other questions or comments. Please also rate my answer positively. Thanks!

Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Just checking on you to see if you had any additional questions. I want you to be as comfortable as possible as you move forward. Thanks!