Feedback Regarding STIX Fonts License

Last Date Responses Were Added to this Page: 16 November 2007

Comment: The Debian project ( would like to distribute your fonts. Unfortunately there seems to be a consensus that the licence agreement does not meet the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG). The licence does not seem to allow modifications to parts of the fonts that are not the glyphs, which clashes with DFSG 3. This includes modifying the README.txt and any other files.

Response: In our haste to release the fonts before the end of October, we accidentally failed to use the final version of the STIX Fonts license. That version of our license does permit the modifications required to conform to the DFSG, and indeed to other open source software licenses. (16 November 2007)

Comment: There is no copyright or licence information embedded in the fonts
themselves, nor is there any licence information in the zip file.

Response: Using the Microsoft OpenType Font Files Property Extension, Version 2.30.0000 it is possible to view copyright and license information. Look under the Names tab to see the copyright statement and under the License tab to see a license description and the URL of the full license. If an updated version of the beta fonts is released, we will include a copy of the license in the zip file. (16 November 2007)

Comment: Of secondary concern is the fact that you only release in binary OTF
form, preventing the fonts from being placed into a version control system or patched easily.

Response: Our current plans call for only releasing in binary OTF form. (16 November 2007)

Comment: We have been approached by one of the major font suppliers who have told us that we require an extension to our existing font licenses in order to use their fonts in online commercial products (separate to both our existing licenses for font usage, and also the licenses our typsetting suppliers already have). Use in commercial products includes, for example, embedded fonts in PDFs availabe in access-controlled online journals. We're currently in the process of gathering information in order to discuss this further with them and resolve the situation.

I don't think our position is unique and would be interested to hear if any of the other STIX publishers have had similar approaches or concerns. I'd be happy to talk further about it if necessary.

From what I've seen STIX does not have any such licensing restriction, but perhaps it would be a good message to emphasize in any marketing material: it should encourage take-up!

Response: We agree that the STIX Fonts have no such restrictions in the license. (16 November 2007)

Comment: Your license is very permissive -- do you REALLY need the user to acknowledge it?

Response: Yes, we believe that some modest acknowledgement should be requested. Given all of the bogus email addresses that downloaders have provided, it is clear to us that requesting an email address was not the best choice for this indication. We will probably pick a different method for the production release. (16 November 2007)