I would like to use a custom font in the game I am developing. I found out that the most common license for commercial use is SIL. This license indicates that:

  1. 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.

Does this mean, that I have to indicate this copyright notice inside of my game (since it is going to be compiled) somewhere in credits? Is this even a common practice? I have deliberately checked credits in several mobile games (Android) and didn't find any credits for a font. I didn't find the credits on the play store either.

I am not reselling the font, I am using it to display some text. Do the conditions of this license apply in such a case?

  • Did you check games that used a font with tge same license? Nov 7, 2020 at 20:03

2 Answers 2


It does not matter, under the license, whether you sell or give away the content, except that you cannot sell the fonts alone (you can sell them as a part of something, or give them away alone).

The SIL OFL as promulgated by SIL itself is available here. It has much more practical information, and could be useful if you used an actual SIL open font. It is more likely that you are using a font from somewhere else which is vaguely licensed by reference to OFL, and at least copying that version of the license. The difference is that the penumbra on the SIL page makes more explicit what they are allowing / requiring, but those contextual "permissions" don't carry oven when someone only ports the license text. They have an explanation, under Using the OFL, about copyright and Reserved Font Names information. The gist of it is that it goes in a file somewhere, and you don't have to display it in the game, e.g. in the distribution file. Specifically, they say

Put your copyright and Reserved Font Names information at the beginning of the main OFL.txt file in place of the dedicated placeholders (marked with the <> characters). Include this file in your release package.

If you do that, you will have satisfied the notice requirement. This does not require inclusion in what is displayed in the game. You can also put it in metadata, but then it has to be "easily readable" by the user, not just "technically available to superusers".

  • Isn't this segment of the OFL in case you want to license your own font? The first sentence says: "It is relatively simple to use the OFL for your own font project. ...". I don't want to license my font. I don't have one. I just want to use one from google fonts, which uses the OFL. Nov 11, 2020 at 4:04

IANAL. The relevant sections of the Open Font Licence FAQ state (emphasis added):

1.1.2 [regarding print publications] Is any kind of acknowledgement required?

No. Font authors may appreciate being mentioned in your artwork's acknowledgements alongside the name of the font, possibly with a link to their website, but that is not required. ...

1.4 Can I sell a software package that includes these fonts?

Yes, you can do this with both the Original Version and a Modified Version of the fonts. Examples of bundling made possible by the OFL would include: word processors, design and publishing applications, training and educational software, games and entertainment software, mobile device applications, etc. ...

1.10 Does the full OFL license text always need to accompany the font?

The only situation in which an OFL font can be distributed without the text of the OFL (either in a separate file or in font metadata), is when a font is embedded in a document or bundled within a program. ...

1.11 What do you mean by 'embedding'? How does that differ from other means of distribution? By 'embedding' we mean inclusion of the font in a document or file in a way that makes extraction (and redistribution) difficult or clearly discouraged. In many cases the names of embedded fonts might also not be obvious to those reading the document, the font data format might be altered, and only a subset of the font - only the glyphs required for the text - might be included. Any other means of delivering a font to another person is considered 'distribution', and needs to be accompanied by any copyright notices and licensing information available in OFL.txt.

( From the OFL FAQ (OFL-FAQ.txt), copyright (c) 2005-2020 SIL International. Used by permission. http://scripts.sil.org/OFL-FAQ_web )

So I read that as: if you include the font as a separate file on a DVD or otherwise usable by others as a typeface, it counts as bundling and you should also include the OFL licence. If it's, on the other hand, something like a resource in a binary that is difficult to extract, it's embedding, and you don't strictly need to.

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