For approval: SIL Open Font License 1.1

Dag-Erling Smørgrav des at
Thu Nov 6 16:20:43 UTC 2008

John Cowan <cowan at> writes:
> Dag-Erling Smørgrav <des at> writes:
> > This is probably off topic (perhaps we should continue this on license-
> > discuss), but I am very surprised to learn this.  Can you explain the
> > resoning behind it?  I would have thought that fonts and logotypes would
> > be considered works of art, and be copyrightable as such.
> In short, because they are not artistic enough.  The 4th Circuit Court
> of Appeals decided the leading case, Eltra Corp. v. Ringer, 579 F.2d 294
> (4th Cir. 1978).  [...]

Thanks.  I wonder how they would have ruled if the case revolved around
a decorative typeface such as ITC Willow, though.

> Note that the amount of effort put into a work is not, in the U.S.,
> relevant to its copyrightability, so arguments like "It's much easier
> to take a photograph (which is copyright) than to design a font, so why
> doesn't a font get copyright protection?" aren't relevant.

Photographs aren't always copyrightable either...

Dag-Erling Smørgrav - des at

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