I made an open source project that requires the use of the Impact.ttf font from Microsoft. I looked around but couldn't find a definite license option for MIT projects.

Do Microsoft's fonts (like Impact.ttf) conflict with the MIT license? If yes, are there different open source licenses that can accept such fonts?

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    Impact, if used in an application has licenses - you will unlikely be able to bundle it without violating that license. There are lots of open source fonts out there using licenses such as this - you need to search for them.
    – user40980
    Jun 16, 2015 at 18:15
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    Then it would likely be a license violation.
    – user40980
    Jun 16, 2015 at 20:31
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    Always write your code in comic sans. For readability
    – Ewan
    Jun 16, 2015 at 20:45
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    Impact in particular is part of Microsoft's "Core Fonts for the Web", which have a more permissive license. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Core_fonts_for_the_Web) You may be able to redistribute the entire bundle of them, as long as you're not making any money off it. But you'd have to watch out for compatibility with the licensing for your overall project. Here's the Core Fonts for the Web EULA: microsoft.com/typography/fontpack/eula.htm Jun 18, 2015 at 21:49
  • 2
    Maybe you could consider giving this question a go over at opensource.SE and see what response it gets there?
    – overactor
    Jun 28, 2015 at 10:23

1 Answer 1


About Impact.ttf
Based on your question, you can find information about Impact.ttf from Microsoft site itself. See Impact.ttf 2.3 and Impact.ttf 5.0. The font isn't a copy right with Microsoft either. It just tells you that following Microsoft products are using this font, and they would have contractually worked out the mutual license to it. The font is owned by Monotype.com which provides many such fonts and customization service. Also, you can find out that the same font is available for sale at $49 from fonts.com. So it is clear that it is definitely not a free for all font. There are numerous sites which allows for download - i think it is clearly piracy!

Now having said that, the reason why I wront this answer is to clarify two important things.

First: Nothing really conflicts any other license. So if you download & bundle Impact.ttf and distribute it, you are clearly violating copyright. Whether you distribute it like pirates or under MIT or other free license or under commercial or binary license.

Distributing anything for which you don't have license to distribute, let alone license to use it, is clear violation of copyright and it has nothing to do with license under which you distribute other parts of your own work

Second - BUT, if you distribute any thing where by you dont have to bundle Impact.ttf in your own distribution, and you can instruct users to download and link with your font, then clearly you are not distributing the font. End user who need to use it, need to pay and use Impact.ttf or they can be directly available in their system by the virtue of the fact that Windows Xp, Vista, 7 & 8 provides to all end users throught Microsoft's own license.

All you need to do is, do not bundle Impact.ttf in your distribution but rely on system dependency and in case it is not available in system there could be system's own fall back. Then it is perfectly legal for your software to utilize it on client's desktop.

Again, MIT license or any other license has nothing to do with license of the font!

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