Type provider Monotype Imaging has introduced a non-commercial end user licence agreement, or EULA, that permits the use of fonts in the Embedded OpenType format on the Web. Intended to extend font choice for web page design, the EULA requires no additional fee for use on a non-commercial website when licensing products from the company’s Monotype, Linotype, ITC and Image Club typeface collections from Monotype Imaging’s e-commerce sites: Fonts.com, Linotype.com, ITCFonts.com and Faces.co.uk.

Historically, web pages have been designed using fonts that exist on client or recipient computers, a scenario that has presented a limited typographic selection for web page design. Through the use of Embedded OpenType, or EOT, fonts can be linked to web pages and downloaded to the client’s machine, enabling web designers to specify typefaces that are not present on the recipient’s computer. The use of EOT fonts opens opportunity for designers to work with a significantly broader range of typefaces.

“Web designers should have the same options as print designers when choosing a font,” said John Seguin, executive vice president of Monotype Imaging. “Through our support of EOT, web designers can now turn to our selection of high-quality typefaces to legally use on their sites, without incurring additional licensing fees.”

The Embedded OpenType format, which enables designers to specify EOT fonts for use on defined web pages, was developed by Microsoft and made available as part of the Internet Explorer browser. As with images and graphics, the fonts are downloaded to the client’s machine, allowing pages to be rendered using the designated fonts. Fonts in the EOT format can be linked to a domain – a step required by Monotype Imaging’s new EULA – which prevents fonts from being used on unlicensed web sites. The EOT format acts as a wrapper around a font based on the TrueType or OpenType format. The wrapper contains encrypted information that prevents the font from being used on a recipient's computer beyond the ability to display the content of the web pages. The EOT format also uses Monotype Imaging’s MicroType Express compression technology.

“MicroType Express minimizes EOT font file sizes, which helps reduce font download times and improves user experience by ensuring that textual content is displayed by a browser very quickly,” said Vladimir Levantovsky, senior technology strategist at Monotype Imaging. “EOT is particularly useful when delivering web content in complex languages such as Indic languages, where a choice of resident fonts is very limited. As a member of the World Wide Web Consortium, our goal is to establish a universally supported web font format, either through browser adoption of EOT, or other format with similar capabilities, in order to provide an abundant selection of type for everyone designing or viewing content on the web.”

Monotype, Linotype, ITC and Image Club products can be licensed under the new EULA. Like its predecessor, the new EULA covers personal and internal business use but has been expanded to allow use of EOT fonts specifically on non-commercial web sites. Commercial use, including use of an EOT font on a commercial web site, requires a separate licence that can be obtained by contacting Monotype Imaging. Licensed fonts can be converted to the EOT format through the use of any publicly available utility.

Fonts that were licensed prior to the availability of the new EULA will need to be repurchased, if EOT rights are desired.