The OFL has been around for quite a while - it’s been almost two decades since the first release back in 2005 - so it’s fair to say that it has taken on a life of its own. Here are some of the most significant events from the past few years (in reverse chronological order):

November: New OFL website at openfontlicense.org

A redesigned website at openfontlicense.org is launched. There is no change to the license itself, only improved documentation and guidance. It replaces the now retired website at scripts.sil.org/OFL.

November: OFL-FAQ updated with new entries: version 1.1-update7
October: Google Fonts contains over 1500 font families, almost all under the OFL

The Google Fonts service has now published over 1500 font families, the vast majority commissioned and released under the OFL.

December: OFL-FAQ updated with new entries: version 1.1-update6
October: ATypI 2020 All Over, a virtual event: Q&A about open fonts

Q&A Session: Contributing to the Commons: What, Why, and How? ATypI (Association Typographique Internationale) Q&A session moderated by Dave Crossland.

October: LT4all poster session at UNESCO about the OFL

Poster about open fonts produced by SIL International under the OFL is presented at the LT4all (Language Technologies for all) conference at UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in Paris, France. This conference took place as part of the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL). Later 2022-2032 was proclaimed the International Decade of Indigenous Languages (IDIL) by the United Nations and its partners.

April: OFL-FAQ updated with new entries: version 1.1-update5
September: Google re-licenses the Noto project under the OFL

The large-scope Noto font collection designed to cover all of Unicode is re-released and re-licensed under the OFL, having originally been released under the Apache license.

October: ATypI 2013 in Amsterdam: presentation about open fonts

Open and collaborative font design in a webfonts world, ATypI (Association Typographique Internationale) panel moderated by Victor Gaultney.

September: OFL-FAQ updated with new entries: version 1.1-update3
May: OFL-FAQ updated: version 1.1-update3-draft (with more on webfonts and RFNs)

OFL-FAQ draft with coverage of new questions and a separate paper on Web Fonts and Reserved Font Names becomes available for review and comments before being published.

February: WSIS+10 conference at UNESCO

The OFL is presented at WSIS+10 (World Summit on the Information Society) at UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), in Paris, France as a follow-up from previous WSIS events in Geneva and Tunis.

May: Webfonts services are launched with OFL fonts

Google sets up a webfont service - Google Fonts - with a growing catalog of open fonts, the vast majority under the OFL. Other more commercially-oriented efforts follow, such as Adobe Fonts (formerly Adobe TypeKit), that include a selection of open fonts under the OFL.

2004-2010: Face-to-face community engagement events

The goals of the OFL and its methodology are presented and discussed at major industry conferences: ATypI (Association Typographique Internationale), Unicode Conference. Open-font-related presentations along with BoFs (Birds of a Feather meetings) take place at many free and open software events to discuss what would be needed to improve the general font landscape and gather feedback: TUG (TeX User Group) meetings, LGM (Libre Graphics Meeting), Ubuntu Summit, Rencontres Mondiales du Logiciel Libre, GUADEC, FOSDEM (Free and Open source Software Developers’ European Meeting), DebConf (Debian Conference), TextLayoutSummit. Useful discussions allow for the establishing of a solid licensing model especially designed for fonts.

August: The W3C publishes WOFF as a web standard

The WOFF standard (Web Open Font Format) by Jonathan Kew (Mozilla), Tal Leming (Type Supply) and Erik van Blokland (LettError) opens the door for better support of @font-face across browsers. Fonts under the OFL are used for research, technology demos as well as implementation examples in the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) documentation.

August: OFL-FAQ updated: version 1.1-update2
April: OSI recognizes the OFL as compliant with the OSD

The OFL is recognized as compliant with the OSD (Open Source Definition) by the OSI (Open Source Initiative) and placed on their list of approved licenses.

January: Dave Crossland publishes his MATD research

Dave Crossland publishes his MA dissertation on the Free (Libre/Open) Font Movement as part of his MATD (Master of Arts in Typeface Design) at the University of Reading. He also releases Cantarell first under the GPL, then under the OFL - a contemporary Humanist sans serif, used by the GNOME project for its user interface.

October: Paper and presentation by Lorna Priest Evans at IUC31

Unicode on the Front Lines: Endangered Languages and Unicode presented by Lorna Priest Evans, SIL Script Technologist and SIL Unicode representative at IUC31 (Internationalization and Unicode Conference), covering the OFL among other topics.

26 February: Release of OFL version 1.1 (with OFL-FAQ 1.1)

A refined version of the OFL - version 1.1 - is released with improvements and clarifications, but retains the general working model of the license. The OFL-FAQ is also expanded and updated.

January: Community review of OFL-1.1-review2

Another round of reviews and minor refinements towards version 1.1.

August: Go for OFL campaign

The Go for OFL campaign is launched with official support from key organizations in the FLOSS community: Unifont.org, FreeDesktop.org, the GNOME foundation, KDE, the Linux Foundation, the Free Software Foundation. It encourages designers, foundries and supporting institutions to consider choosing the OFL for their font projects. The campaign is presented and launched at the TextLayout Summit as part of Gnome Live! 2006 at the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Media Lab in Boston, USA. This results in various new releases across the community.

March: First LGM in Lyon, France

The very first LGM (Libre Graphics Meeting) 2006 (LGM) is held in Lyon, France, with a lightning talk about the OFL and key discussions with community members.

March: Community review of OFL 1.1-review1 draft

A minor revision of the OFL enters the review phase.

January: Gentium is accepted into Debian main

Gentium, the first font ever released under the OFL, is accepted into Debian main, the repository containing only free/libre/open source software, which shows compliance with the DFSG (the Debian Free Software Guidelines).

January: SIL fonts released under the OFL
23 January: FSF recognizes the OFL as a free software license

The OFL is recognized as a free software license by the FSF (Free Software Foundation) and placed on their list of approved licenses.

22 November: Release of OFL 1.0 (with OFL-FAQ 1.0)

The first version of the OFL (version 1.0) is released along with its FAQ. See below for historical information about OFL 1.0.

November 2004 - November 2005: Community review of early drafts

The draft OFL receives wide review by the public, including relevant experts in the legal, font, and free software and open source communities.

November: Version 1.0-review2 submitted to public mailing-list
November: WSIS in Tunis

The OFL is discussed and refined at the WSIS (World Summit on the Information Society) in Tunis, a follow-up from a previous event in Geneva in December 2003.

October: ATypI 2005, TypeTech Forum in Helsinki, Finland

The OFL is discussed and refined at the ATypI (Association Typographique Internationale) TypeTech Forum 2005 in Helsinki, Finland, with a presentation by Victor Gaultney.

September: Version 1.0-review1 submitted to public reviewers
2001-2004: Research and analysis of needs and potential models

Research and analysis is carried out by Victor Gaultney and Nicolas Spalinger while working on various other projects. Some initial research was done as part of UNESCO’s (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Initiative B@bel.



We want to express our heartfelt thanks to all the reviewers in the type and FLOSS communities who gave valuable feedback. Congratulations are also due to the many designers, foundries and sponsoring companies who have seen the value of the OFL for some of their projects over the years and have benefited from this open and collaborative approach.

OFL version 1.0 (archived)

We recommend all authors use version 1.1 of the OFL rather than version 1.0. The most important change going from version 1.0 to 1.1 is that font names are no longer reserved by default. Any Reserved Font Names must be explicitly listed alongside the copyright statement(s) in the OFL header. Download the OFL version 1.0 OFL-1.0.txt, but only for historical reasons, not to actually use it.