During a recent project with Crystal Reports, we discovered that the previous bar code fonts used by the application did not comply with Crystal's requirements, i.e. our existing fonts were created in 1997 using Macromedia 4. This led to a long and entirely too torturous search for new, compatible fonts. We were successful, of course, but this search led to several revelations.
1) The license for a font, whether free or purchased, is required reading. There are too many restrictions hidden in the license which invalidate the agreement.
2) There are no free fonts, unless they are used for personal reasons or a non-profit. In some cases, non-profits are those with budgets of less than 1M.
3) The volume of printing or cost of printing equipment is a completely invalid reason for breaking a license agreement or forcing user into every larger license purchases.
This quote-unquote industry deserves disruption. I should create a company called www.fivedollarfonts.com that sells any font for a simple fee. Included in the price is a simple license agreement, which includes the following stipulations.
1) You can use the font forever, on any number of machines, servers or for any number of users.
2) You cannot have the font for free.
3) You cannot have support for free.
4) You can print the font on any piece of equipment you ever purchase or hire for printing.
5) You can convert the font to any other format.
6) You can embed the font in any electronic media.