Recently, many OXID eShop operators have been affected by warnings relating to the use of Google Fonts. In this blog post, we explain why Google Fonts have become the target of warning letters, how you can avoid this and what you should do in the event of a warning letter.
Why are Google Fonts a problem?
Google Fonts is a service provided by Google that allows you to embed fonts on websites without hosting them yourself on your own server. This is a convenient way to use fonts on a website, but there are some legal pitfalls to be aware of.
Google Fonts is available under an open source licence, which allows the fonts to be used free of charge. However, there are certain conditions that must be met in order to legally use the fonts. For example, a link to the licence must be included on the website.
Unfortunately, this is often neglected and the fonts are used without observing these conditions. This can lead to the rights holders of the fonts sending out cease-and-desist letters, but this is not the main reason for the currently rampant wave of cease-and-desist letters.
An important fact that should be noted is that the use of Google Fonts is not always DSGVO-compliant. According to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), website operators must obtain the consent of visitors before collecting, storing or using their data. However, since Google Fonts are hosted on Google's servers, the visitor's data is transferred to Google every time the website is called up. This happens without the visitor's consent and can lead to warnings.
How can I avoid the risk of a warning notice?
There are several ways to avoid the risk of a warning notice through the use of Google Fonts:
Self-hosting: One possibility is to host the fonts yourself on your own server. However, this requires some technical knowledge and keeping the fonts up to date.
Use alternative fonts: There are many free fonts available under similar licences to Google Fonts. These can be used as an alternative.
Remove Google Fonts from OXID eShop template: If you are using an OXID eShop template that contains Google Fonts, you can easily remove them from the template.
It is important to note that compliance with the GDPR is a responsibility of the website operator and that warning letters may be issued if the requirements are not met.
In conclusion, it is important to emphasise that one should never engage in a warning letter without a process. It is always advisable to consult a lawyer to review the situation and respond appropriately. By following the above recommendations and complying with the applicable laws and regulations, the risk of warning letters and problems with the GDPR can be avoided.