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NRSI: Computers & Writing Systems

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You are here: Type Design
Short URL: http://scripts.sil.org/OFL_review

OFL 1.1-review

community feedback on the Open Font License

OFL Revision 1.1

Over the past year we have worked on substantive revisions to the OFL to improve clarity and to fix some possible ambiguities. That review is now complete, and the OFL is now officially at version 1.1. Here are text diffs for both the OFL and the OFL-FAQ, and a prose explanation of the changes to the OFL.

OFL 1.0 -> 1.1 diff
Victor Gaultney, 2007-02-26
Download "OFL-1.1.diff", Text document, 6KB [2190 downloads]
OFL-FAQ 1.0 -> 1.1-update1 diff
Victor Gaultney, 2007-02-26
Download "OFL-FAQ-1.1-update1.diff", Text document, 39KB [2363 downloads]

OLD>>> This Font Software is Copyright (c) <dates>, <copyright holder> (<mainURL>). All Rights Reserved. Copyright (c) <dates>, <additional copyright holder> (<mainURL>). <Font Name> is a Reserved Font Name for this Font Software. <Additional Font Name> is a Reserved Font Name for this Font Software.

NEW>>> Copyright (c) <dates>, <Copyright Holder> (<URL|email>),
with Reserved Font Name <Reserved Font Name>.
Copyright (c) <dates>, <additional Copyright Holder> (<URL|email>),
with Reserved Font Name <additional Reserved Font Name>.
Copyright (c) <dates>, <additional Copyright Holder> (<URL|email>).

EXPLANATION: This more clearly associates Copyright Holders with their respective Reserved Font Names. "All Rights Reserved" is a phrase now deemed to be unnecessary in international law as various treaties reserve rights by default.


OLD>>> This Font Software is licensed under the SIL Open Font License, Version 1.0. No modification of the license is permitted, only verbatim copy is allowed.

NEW>>> This Font Software is licensed under the SIL Open Font License, Version 1.1.

EXPLANATION: The second phrase was eliminated as it could potentially restrict people from quoting from the license. In addition, it is not really needed as restriction 5 already requires derivatives to use the OFL. If there are changes it ceases to be the OFL.


OLD>>> SIL OPEN FONT LICENSE Version 1.0 - 22 November 2005

NEW>>> SIL OPEN FONT LICENSE Version 1.1 - 26 February 2007

EXPLANATION: Version change.


OLD>>> ...to stimulate worldwide development of cooperative font projects, to support the font creation efforts of academic and linguistic communities, and to provide an open framework...

NEW>>> ...to stimulate worldwide development of collaborative font projects, to support the font creation efforts of academic and linguistic communities, and to provide a free and open framework...

EXPLANATION: Better wording.


OLD>>> ...can be bundled, embedded, redistributed and sold...

NEW>>> ...can be bundled, embedded, redistributed and/or sold...

EXPLANATION: This makes it clearer that bundling, embedding, redistribution is compatible with selling. This was always the intent, and the way that people have interpreted it. This just makes that clearer.


OLD>>> ...provided that the font names of derivative works are changed.

NEW>>> ...provided that any reserved names are not used by derivative works.

EXPLANATION: This brings the Preamble into sync with the change in Reserved Font Name usage as mentioned below.


OLD>>> The fonts and derivatives, however, cannot be released under any other type of license.

NEW>>> The fonts and derivatives, however, cannot be released under any other type of license. The requirement for fonts to remain under this license does not apply to any document created using the fonts or their derivatives.

EXPLANATION: The last phrase was added to make it clear that embedding a font, or using the font to create other artwork, did not require that the resulting document had to be licensed under the OFL. This was always the intent, but to avoid any confusion we decided to explicitly underline this feature of the OFL.


OLD>>> "Font Software" refers to any and all of the following: - font files - data files - source code - build scripts - documentation

NEW>>> "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.

EXPLANATION: This definition is clearer, and defines what is covered by what is marked with the OFL, not by the type of file. Note that it is possible to include non-OFL items alongside OFL ones in a larger package. For example, a fontconfig file may be included and released under a permissive license before being submitted upstream.


OLD>>> "Reserved Font Name" refers to the Font Software name as seen by users and any other names as specified after the copyright statement.

NEW>>> "Reserved Font Name" refers to any names specified as such after the copyright statement(s).

EXPLANATION: This avoids disagreement on what is meant by 'as seen by users', and makes it clearer to everyone exactly which names are reserved. This is the only operational change in the license. It means that authors must explicitly list any names they wish to have as Reserved Font Names. No font names are reserved by default. Note that this is a significant change for those releasing their fonts under the OFL.


OLD>>> "Standard Version" refers to the collection of Font Software components as distributed by the Copyright Holder.

NEW>>> "Original Version" refers to the collection of Font Software components as distributed by the Copyright Holder(s).

EXPLANATION: This change was made throughout in order to avoid the word "standard", which has a variety of meanings. Standard has been replaced with Original throughout.


OLD>>> "Modified Version" refers to any derivative font software made by...

NEW>>> "Modified Version" refers to any derivative made by...

EXPLANATION: Simpler.


OLD>>> 2) Standard or Modified Versions of the Font Software may be bundled, redistributed and sold with any software

NEW>>> 2) Original or Modified Versions of the Font Software may be bundled, redistributed and/or sold with any software

EXPLANATION: As above.


OLD>>> 3) No Modified Version of the Font Software may use the Reserved Font Name(s), in part or in whole, unless explicit written permission is granted by the Copyright Holder.

NEW>>> 3) No Modified Version of the Font Software may use the Reserved Font Name(s) unless explicit written permission is granted by the corresponding Copyright Holder.

EXPLANATION: "in part or in whole" was eliminated, because it could be interpreted to mean that any font based on "Foobar" could not use the letters f, o, b, a or r in the font name. The intent, however, was to be sure that no other font could be called "Foobar", and that still remains true. This also more clearly associates permission with corresponding copyright holders.


OLD>>> This restriction applies to all references stored in the Font Software, such as the font menu name and other font description fields, which are used to differentiate the font from others.

NEW>>> This restriction only applies to the primary font name as presented to the users.

EXPLANATION: This limits the restriction to the primary font name as users would see it. This makes it more clear that the original font name can be used in less visible fields in the font metadata.


OLD>>> 5) The Font Software, modified or unmodified, in part or in whole, must be distributed using this license, and may not be distributed under any other license.

NEW>>> 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.

EXPLANATION: Changed for clarity and consistency with earlier changes.


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