If i use a font under the Sil open font license 1.10 including it in my website with (@font-face), where have I to include the license?

1 Answer 1


On my website, I mention the license in a CSS comment above the @font-face and provide a link to the license. Depending on the exact license this may be an external link, or to a license file hosted next to the font if the font license includes extra details such as copyright notices. In the case of the OFL, you will also have to keep track of reserved font names.

(However, I just realized that these CSS comments have been “optimized“ away during deployment so I'll have to fix that…)

This approach shows the license to users who are looking at the CSS to find my fonts, without cluttering more user-visible pages like the legal section.

The OFL is very flexible in where the license may be placed (bullet points mine):

the Font Software may be […] redistributed […], 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.

I interpret my solution (CSS comment that points to a file) as compliant with alternatives 1 and 2. I wouldn't know how to read or write font metadata fields as suggested in the third point, possibly the fonts files I obtained already contain such data and would therefore satisfy the license by itself.

The OFL-FAQ also discusses @font-face, but without discussing where to put the license:

Question: 2.1 Can I make webpages using these fonts?

Answer: Yes! Go ahead! Using CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is recommended. Your three best options are:

  • […]
  • […]
  • using @font-face to distribute the font directly to browsers. This is recommended and explicitly allowed by the licensing model because it is distribution. The font file itself is distributed with other components of the webpage. It is not embedded in the webpage but referenced through a web address which will cause the browser to retrieve and use the corresponding font to render the webpage (see 1.11 and 1.15 for details related to embedding fonts into documents). […]
  • Many thanks amon! Probably the css comment is the best way.
    – Orso Nero
    Jun 30, 2018 at 13:56
  • But a website user, how can read the comment in CSS? And this comment must be on the @font-face, or where the css call the font (for exmaple the font-family of h2)? And what means "have to keep track of reserved font names"? Many thanks
    – Orso Nero
    Jul 1, 2018 at 9:04
  • 1
    @OrsoNeroツ Users can read the CSS using the view-source functionality or the developer tools of their browser. I think that is good enough because without reading the source, they wouldn't be able to find the URL for the fonts I'm hosting anyway. Reserved font names are a feature of the OFL. The notice of a reserved font name is part of the copyright notice and must be preserved, therefore simply linking to the OFL text without that notice would not be compliant. For details see the license text (definitions section and condition 3)
    – amon
    Jul 1, 2018 at 15:06
  • Many thanks again Amon, so a not active link in css is it ok?
    – Orso Nero
    Jul 1, 2018 at 19:19
  • I think that would be OK. Best to point to a copy of the license that is hosted next to the font files, not to an external server.
    – amon
    Jul 1, 2018 at 19:22

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