For approval: SIL Open Font License 1.1
bruce at perens.com
Wed Nov 5 04:49:45 UTC 2008
OSI refused to consider the Open Hardware License because they felt
their task should be limited to software. So, I'm not sure they will
wish to take this on at all. Whatever they feel, I feel the license is
worth working upon.
If OSI does not take it on, I recommend that you ask the Debian team to
look at it, as they require the entire contents of their distribution to
comply with the DFSG, which is the document that eventually became the OSD.
The OFL allows the licensed fonts to be used, studied, modified and
Although we know between ourselves that you mean "libre", we can't
expect the rest of the world to know that you don't mean "gratis". It
will confuse them. Delete the word? This is more a neatness quibble than
a strong complaint.
as long as they are not sold by themselves. The
fonts, including any derivative works, can be bundled, embedded,
redistributed and/or sold with any software
Only software? I can't for example, distribute the fonts as part of a
disk full of documents that incorporate them by reference? This seems to
me to be a pretty big problem. I understand that you want to avoid the
1000-Fonts disks, but it seems the cure is worse than the disease. My
free software is on lots of CDs that are sold. If anything, that has
helped to enlarge its community.
provided that any reserved names
names are not used by derivative works.
I understand that you don't want the reserved names to be used as font
names in derivative works, so that people will get the font they asked
for. But suppose I wrote one of the reserved names into a
machine-readable list of front names from which the font was derived.
That is useful but fails the above term. Suppose someone had a font
named "The", and I had a font named "The Tiger". That one fails too.
What if I started with "Lucida" and made a derivative called
"Lucida-Munged". Would that be inpermissible? Can you tighten this
language up so that the limitation is no larger than necessary?
The fonts and derivatives,
however, cannot be released under any other type of license.
This makes more sense if stated as "All fonts derived from this work
must be under this license". You should probably define what fonts are.
Maybe "glyphs" too.
requirement for fonts to remain under this license does not apply
to any document created using the fonts or their derivatives.
So, if the font gets incorporated into a document, and I extract it from
that document, I can now put it under any license I like? Better make
that more clear.
"Font Software" refers to the set of files released by the Copyright
Holder(s) under this license and clearly marked as such. This may
include source files, build scripts and documentation.
This is confusing. Is it a computer program, or data? Software generally
means a program. If you used the word "The Work" instead of "Font
Software", it would be more general. If you don't want to be that
general, you can call it "Font Package".
"Reserved Font Name" refers to any names specified as such after the
"Original Version" refers to the collection of Font Software
distributed by the Copyright Holder(s).
"Modified Version" refers to any derivative made by adding to,
or substituting -- in part or in whole -- any of the components of the
Original Version, by changing formats or by porting the Font
Software to a
"Author" refers to any designer, engineer, programmer, technical
writer or other person who contributed to the Font Software.
PERMISSION & CONDITIONS
Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining
a copy of the Font Software, to use, study, copy, merge, embed, modify,
redistribute, and sell modified and unmodified copies of the Font
Software, subject to the following conditions:
1) Neither the Font Software nor any of its individual components,
in Original or Modified Versions, may be sold by itself.
2) Original or Modified Versions of the Font Software may be bundled,
redistributed and/or sold with any software, provided that each copy
contains the above copyright notice and this license. These can be
included either as stand-alone text files, human-readable headers or
in the appropriate machine-readable metadata fields within text or
binary files as long as those fields can be easily viewed by the user.
Outside of the license, please define a standard for where the license
goes in the work. Business people tear their hair at the amount of work
that must be done just to find the licenses, because they aren't all in
the same place or readable with the same tools.
3) No Modified Version of the Font Software may use the Reserved Font
Name(s) unless explicit written permission is granted by the
Copyright Holder. This restriction only applies to the primary font
presented to the users.
Our experience is that copyright holders die, etc. And then the names
are frozen forever. Be nice to the font developer world and provide an
escape hatch so that someone can continue to maintain the font and its
name once the copyright holder is no longer responding to requests
regarding the work for a protracted period.
4) The name(s) of the Copyright Holder(s) or the Author(s) of the Font
Software shall not be used to promote, endorse or advertise any
Modified Version, except to acknowledge the contribution(s) of the
Copyright Holder(s) and the Author(s) or with their explicit written
5) The Font Software, modified or unmodified, in part or in whole,
must be distributed entirely under this license, and must not be
distributed under any other license. The requirement for fonts to
remain under this license does not apply to any document created
using the Font Software.
This is repeating previous paragraphs. Please condense so that this is
said once rather than twice.
This license becomes null and void if any of the above conditions are
You mean "this license terminates". Null and void could be read as
removing the requirements of the license.
THE FONT SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND,
EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTIES OF
MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT
OF COPYRIGHT, PATENT, TRADEMARK, OR OTHER RIGHT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE
COPYRIGHT HOLDER BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY,
INCLUDING ANY GENERAL, SPECIAL, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL
DAMAGES, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING
FROM, OUT OF THE USE OR INABILITY TO USE THE FONT SOFTWARE OR FROM
OTHER DEALINGS IN THE FONT SOFTWARE.
So, have you had a lawyer look at this yet and clean up the language?
If I had to guess, I'd say no. I think that's a necessary step before
you submit this license to OSI, because you don't want to saddle the
whole world of font developers with the unexpected consequences of a
license that hasn't had attention from legal counsel. And OSI's board
would not be responsible if they approved a license that needed that
sort of help. There are various sources of free legal help such as the
Software Freedom Law Center.
I think this isn't ready for submission yet. I suggest you withdraw it,
move the discussion to a public list other than license-review, and get
More information about the License-review