I have learned that Eric Bentzen does not actually grant a right to the Alpha pieces he created for commercial use for free He charges 50 eruos. I do not know how the Merida or USCF pieces i use are impacted
Now he was surprised because these pieces were originally created in the 90s as a chess set that would print well for chess club publications."Mildly put I was surprised when I was contacted the first time and asked if it could be used in a commercial context (a chess database). I didn't mind per se, but it was only natural that I should enjoy a piece of the cake, so I charged 50 euro or the equivalent, and the guy was free to do what he wanted with the font except selling it on as his own."
I did offer to pay my 50 euros for the period i used his font commercially but he said:" At the time printed club magazines were common, and that was one of the uses I had in mind, because most of the other fonts available at the time didn't look especially good on print with the fairly low resolution of laser printers back then."
I did challenge him though because the page says freeware. This is what De Mund told me when i emailed him years ago That if I did not like his license i could use the chess font which was freeware. He replied:"if you made a buck or two using his pieces, you did so with no bad intent, and as you app is now free, let bygones be bygones. All the best, and thanks for your honesty"
I did tell him i would post about this on talkchess but he only replied he didn't have a smartphone so could not try my app and no objections to my annoucement I intended to post.""First: The download file contains the font and a document. The first two sentences in the document say:
“Chess Alpha” is free for personal non commercial use. If distributed please include all files.
It says nothing about how to use it commercially, but from "free for personal non commercial use" follows logically that any other use requires my permission. Page after page with legal bla-bla is unnecessary in my view.
Over the years I have granted some licenses to people who asked me, if and how they could use it for commercial purposes. The very first was for a chess database, which probably never came to life, others have been app developers and maybe one or two writers, who wanted to use the font for diagrams in chess books.
The license has been plain and simple, and granted them lifelong permission to use the font in whatever way they wanted, the only condition being that they couldn't resell the font (original or modified) as a font. No limits to the number of apps or whatever.
I think 50 euro is a modest "piece of the pie", and to be blunt I don't give loans to young developers. They (probably!) pay a lot more for their computer, their smart phone and maybe for the programming language software, they use to create apps that will hopefully earn them a bundle."
I think we got to pay this guy if we use his pieces commercially. Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org