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Arial Unicode MS

On May 24th, 2005, I received the letter from some Ascender Corp. with the next content:

Excerpt from the letter
Domain official data

Ascender Corporation is an authorized licensee of Microsoft Corporation with respect to certain font trademarks and software.

It has come to our attention that your company is offering the following Microsoft fonts for free download and that you may not have appropriate authority to do so. This could amount to infringement under trademark, copyright and other intellectual property laws.

        * Arial Unicode MS

We ask that you remove these fonts immediately for free download from your website.

As an authorized licensee of Microsoft, Ascender does offer the Microsoft fonts for license and we are prepared to establish a link from your site to our font store. We are further prepared to enter into an affiliate agreement and to pay you 15% of any revenues we earn from licenses which result from any such link.

The above will also serve to insure that Microsoft's font software is properly used and would remedy any past unlicensed activities.

We would very much like to address this matter with the appropriate individual at your company at the earliest possible opportunity. Please contact us by return e-mail.

Regardless of your decision to establish a link and become an affiliate, unless you are able to produce a license agreement authorizing you to offer these fonts, please stop making the Microsoft fonts available for download immediately.

We look forward to working with you.


Bill Davis (Ascender official data)

Ton was a little bit... you can see it by yourself ... I can understand BIll: if you go to google and use few searching strings as Download Arial Unicode MS or Download Arial Unicode or Arial Unicode MS download or Arial Unicode download etc., the project will be one of the first web-sites which will offer to you free downloading. I am not Microsoft fun (and of Arial at all; Helvetica is another story) but Arial Unicode MS is font with the largest range of Unicode symbols / glyphs and helped me a lot in many projects. I am not fun of Ascender also:)) but: rights are rights! I wrote to Bill something as "Prove it." and he answered very kindly as "... We've announced our legal rights license with Microsoft: and the font properties of Arial Unicode explain that it is not a shareware font but a commercial font. Hope this makes the situation clear -- Arial Unicode is not to be re-distributed outside a Microsoft product..." so I forgive him the first letter intonation.

The link on free downloading of Arial Unicode MS font is deleted from all my pages; I am not sure that it is good but I couldn't do anything with that. We need to respect the work of other people. I think that that font will become available again for free download after few years... or maybe some other fonts will complete their Unicode ranges... who knows.

So far, Arial Unicode MS is available for downloading (not for free) from Ascender web-site or, as Bill mentioned, it is supplied together with other Microsoft products.


1. Ascender corporation. -- 25 Northwest Point Blvd, Suite 975. Elk Grove Village, IL 60007. Phone: 847-357-0730 x10
2. Microsoft
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