License update II

[UPDATE – May 12th 2009]

You may use this font for Font-Face embedding, but only if you put a link to on your page and/or put this notice /* A font by Jos Buivenga (exljbris) -> */ in your CSS file as near as possible to the piece of code that declares the Font-Face embedding of this font.


This regards all my free fonts. Also the free weights of Museo and Museo Sans!


Filed under News

98 responses to “License update II

  1. aestheticrew

    Cheers Jos, i was wondering about this yesterday when i made a @font-face example available on Æ and thought about using Museo, but i was too lazy to mail you, so i choosed another one.

  2. Thought it was better to cover the @font-face thing in my lisence. I hope you appreciate it that it’s allowed under the restrictions I stated.

  3. Thanks for the clarification — it’s good to see that free-font authors are thinking about it.

  4. elv

    Am I the only one to think this makes the fonts totally unusable for client work?
    The copyrights for the site’s team, design, dev, etc. are usually in a page behind a “credits” link, so I don’t think a single company will allow copyright for a font on every page (like if if one of your fonts is used in the h1 tag).

    As a web designer I truely understand why credits are important, but in my opinion this goes a bit too far. As much as I love your fonts, I certainly won’t be able/allowed to use them in an @font-face rule with this restriction.

  5. You’re welcome Olly.

    @ elv: I can understand that very well. I would think twice myself about it, but you’ll have to consider that the link to the font(s) used is easely ‘distilled’ by viewing the source of a page. That means that the fonts are for grabs so to speak … The fonts are not embedded(!) For this reason I want a link on each page where my font(s) is/are used. Maybe in the future, when things work different I’ll addapt my license.

  6. I want to say right off the bat that I’m a huge fan of your work. It’s amazing how great your stuff is, truely. And mostly for free, even.

    I’m considering using Delicious for my personal log, linking the typeface through @font-face. I’ve already included text in my CSS file and my markup stating that Delicious is your work along with a url to your website. When people sniff around for the font on my site they’re likely to come across the typeface in the CSS file; surrounding it is a big disclaimer. Also on each page’s markup there’s metadata containing a link back to your website. Shouldn’t that suffice?

    Otherwise I’ll have to find some way to fit a link to your page in my disclaimer at the bottom of the page. I wasn’t counting on a large disclaimer.

  7. The link to my site could just be: “Delicious font by exljbris.” Nothing more, nothing less. I wish here were other ways to protect the possibility of a direct download but there isn’t at the moment. Have you seen other @font-face license statements? I wonder how other people ‘solve’ this thing.

  8. If the link is in the disclaimer at the bottom of the page a person looking to see what typeface you use on your website is just going to go straight to the header of the document, not the footer. Chances are with that method they’re not going to know who created the font or not. They’ll go straight to the CSS and download the font using the link in the CSS file whether there’s a link to someone else’s website or not. The best way IMO to let people know someone else created this font is to put the info in a comment in the CSS near the @font-face declaration hence why I did so before you updated your license. If they want the font that badly that’s where they’ll go. Access to my directory tree through HTTP will not be allowed, so that’s the only way.

    There are other ways to protect direct downloading of the font by allowing access only to the font file to documents that use it similar to how streamed movies are done online. I haven’t the slightest clue how to do this with IIS, but it’s fairly easy with Apache. Regardless of this the person viewing the website with a browser capable of understanding @font-face will download the font anyway into its browser’s cache. So even then someone with some knowledge of how their browser works can grab the font straight from their hard drive.

    Most free fonts are of questionable quality, so for the most part their creators could care less about @font-face if they even have knowledge of such.

  9. As Dustin Wilson suggests, it makes much more sense to insist on attribution in the stylesheet rather than the document to which the stylesheet is attached: if a visitor likes your typeface and is sufficiently technically savvy to attempt to get it for themselves, they’ll know to go to the stylesheet to find out what it’s called–wherein they are guaranteed to the see the attribution.

    Besides, it’s the stylesheet making use of the font, not the document: the document is just along for the ride, as is the user’s Web browser, framebuffer and ultimately their monitor. Licensing terms requiring attribution in documents linking to a stylesheet which embeds a font make as much sense, technically, as terms requiring attribution on the monitor bezel.

  10. Here’s my thoughts, Jos. I’ve exchanged quite a few e-mails with you about this by now (I believe I was the one that prompted you to update your license? I’m not sure).

    So you know the vast majority of my thoughts, but I will summarize them here for other readers.

    Instead of requiring a direct link to your site in the footer, I would suggest requiring:
    A) attribution anywhere the file is direct-downloadable (Commentary in the CSS file, attribution in the footer of any directory listings containing the fonts, etcetra – all easily do-able)
    B) attribution, in a one-jump page from every page on the site. i.e., the page on which your font is attributed, is linked from every page on the site. most sites already have a ‘license’, ‘attribution’, ‘about’, or similar page that is already linked from every other page on the site. This page usually includes copyright information, as well as links to responsible parties – such as wordpress, font authors, php, the designer of the site, etcetra.

    This would be much more accessible for the designers likely to want to use your font – most of us have quite a ‘thing’ against stuffing a page with too much extra stuff, and another link in the footer (which I would guess the majority of us love to keep as minimal as absolutely possible) when one with nearly exactly the same purpose is there… just offends our sensibilities. In most cases? Probably even enough to decide to use another font, even if we like yours far more.

    As has been explained above by others, and by myself in e-mails to you; there’s little or no way a potential ‘font-pirater’ (I will use the term, even though these particular fonts are free) will notice the footer link; but they will certainly be digging through the CSS source, or directory listings, for these files. You, personally, as the author, are much better off if people using the fonts in this way attribute you in such a way as people that might be grabbing them will see the attribution there.

    @ Dustin Wilson – Yes, that’s what I will probably be doing, personally. It’s so much easier to avoid all of this stuff, by just psuedo-embedding the fonts in the site (requiring referrer validation and such) – and it’s the work of a few moments in LightTPD.

  11. By the way, I think I may have put together the first-ever page using Jos’s fonts in a @font-face d-: – check this out, if you’re in a browser that supports said feature (at this point in time, I think that’s just Safari 3.1): contact elliottcable

  12. aestheticrew

    @elv & Jos: Maybe in such a case you could consider the use of sIFR. I use “Apex Serif Medium” for all my h1, h2 and h3 tags (, but the apex.swf file (which can be easily downloaded as well) is hardcoded to be only usable on my domain. elv could do the same for his client.

    Am i right on this one, Jos?

  13. aestheticrew

    @elliotcable: …I may have put together the first-ever page using Jos’s fonts in a @font-face…
    Super, but i can not see how that goes well with the license. You only mention Jos in your css.

    @Jos: Now that i think about it, you could be a bit more specific in your article text above (so it is clear to everyone at the first second). It just says “Not Museo!”, nothing more. Why not state how Museo is licensed regarding of @font-face usage.

  14. Jos, I’m thinking about using Fontin Sans with @font-face after reading the license allowing it, didn’t knew it could be done. However, I’m facing a trouble with the slash / Is it possible to edit the font (I use FontForge) to create a smaller slash inline with x-height? Thank you very much.

  15. Thanks all very much for commenting! I have some easter familily obligations so I won’t be able to reply until tomorrow … 😉

  16. I exchanged e-mails with Elliott on this matter so I asked him if he would join this post. Elliott tried to convince me of most of the things you’ve came up with. I felt reluctant to give up the “copyright notice” because site traffic is very important to me. That’s why I decided to adapt my license the way I did.

    But … reading all your comment made me change my mind. If there is a proper disclaimer in the CSS *and* a proper credit in an about (or similar) page, it’s ok with me.

    I’ll make a change to my lisence probably this week.

    Thank you all for your valuable input!


    @ aestheticrew: sIFR makes use of an embedded font file. That was already allowed. So you are right 😉

    About Museo: The free weights are offered at MyFonts. My contract doesn’t allow distributing the font files myself, so they can’t be used for the @font-face thing.

    @ Reiem: Modification of my fonts is allowed but *only* for personal use. Not for the @font-face use. Changes of many different versions of my fonts swirling the web would be too great.

  17. Well we were just looking out for your best interests. They’re just more likely to visit your site from the CSS. Thanks for the license change. I’ve told just about everyone I know about your site, so don’t feel like you’re missing some traffic :D.

  18. Jos, thanks for replying. The license change is welcome, it will be less troublesome to some clients if the disclaimer is in the css. Besides, if someone wants to find out about the font being used, it will read the css. Maybe even the disclaimer could be above the @font-face line if many fonts are used.
    I understand and respect your terms about font modifying.
    Thanks again Jos for the wonderful work you share!

  19. @ Dustin: Thanks for spreading the news 😉

    @ Reiem: Great idea. To avoid misunderstandings and confusions and so on … and a few kb’s extra won’t hurt the internet.

    So what do you think of this as “disclaimer”?

    *edit* Damn … code samples look terrible. Take a look at the image in the openings post.

    Inplemented on *every(!)* font face thing it should look like this:

    @font-face {
    font-family: 'FontName_1';
    src: url(http://yoursite/FontName_1.otf) format('opentype'); }
    *** My piece of code ***

    @font-face {
    font-family: 'FontName_2';
    src: url(http://yoursite/FontName_2.otf) format('opentype'); }
    *** My piece of code ***

    Let me know...

  20. Whoops, i somehow missed Elliots long reply. Nevermind my comment Elliot, didn’t know you were already talking to Jos.

    Crediting in the CSS is very welcome indeed, although i think this can be only possible if we have to “deal” with such generous guys like you, Jos.

    And i second Elliot, i don’t like the cluttered footer idea either. I hope some new techniques to include something script’ish in the otf or CSS will emerge. No clue though how and what could be done.

  21. @Elliot: I think i still don’t get something here. How is it ok, to use Museo as a web font for your contact page? Or just being lazy? 😉

  22. elv

    “But … reading all your comment made me change my mind. If there is a proper disclaimer in the CSS *and* a proper credit in an about (or similar) page, it’s ok with me.”
    @ exljbris: that’s great news! It seems to me it’s a far more flexible solution. By the way, you could add it as a PS/update in the original post. Or maybe in a License update strikes again -the revenge- III 😉

  23. Thanks. I’ll update this post and the license info on my site this weekend.

  24. Mateo

    I just found MUSEO in the MyFonts newsletter and started browsing your site. And I have to say: Pure beauty!
    I like all of your fonts and downloaded them, which made me then send you a donation, as well. Rrreally nice work! I’ll step by pretty soon again, I’m sure.

    Thanks and best wishes,

  25. BTW … For anyone who hasn’t read it …
    here’s the link to the MyFonts newsletter:

  26. David

    Hello Jos,

    I sent you an e-mail about using your font (Diavlo) in a video game.
    Could you answer it please?
    I sent it with the e-mail associated to this post.
    Thank you 😉


  27. fluffless

    Hi there!

    First of all, you rule. 🙂

    I don’t get something about the @font-face thing: should we host the fonts or is there a specific url to point our css to?

    I’d say it is the first.. but hey you never know

  28. @jos: I read your interview on iLoveTypography and I found you extremely inspiring! The fact that you do not consider yourself a type designer, you self-taught yourself, you do such great typefaces and you are in tune with the most recent developments (the @font-face thingie) are reasons for me to congratulate you.

    @fluffless: I think that a specific url would be cool for font designers, that can host the files and retain control over their property. What do you guys think about this? It would be achievable… not too much on bandwidth, I suppose.

  29. Pingback: A new way to share fonts for @font-face | no more stories

  30. @everyone: The discussion behind distributing web fonts, licenses and stuff really made me think.
    I’ve tried a server-side approach to font distribution and I wanted to point it out. Well, just follow the trackback above.

    I’m really curious to find out what you think about an approach like this.

  31. fluffless

    Well, relying on a solution like this leads to a couple of issues:

    1. When the “font server” is down, no cookie for you
    2. When the “font server” is up, but for some reason it is lagging (massive load, problems on the network, etc), your css will take forever to load (and if you tried to use @font-face already you have noticed there’s already a small delay in loading the text using the imported font … delay + delay = unhappy visitor)
    3. If for some reason the server outputs something different from what you are expecting, you’ll end up with an unexpected result

    Plus, you should sanitize your $_GET before using it 🙂

  32. Pingback: CleVR » Panoramic photography and image stitching blog » Blog Archive » Shiny new site design

  33. exljbris thanks for the high quality free fonts you offer. I really appreciated the fact that you’re also offering a font embedding license so I went and purchased some Museo Sans that I’m planning to use on a web site ( with proper credit of course.



  34. Hi Nikos, the font embedding, with the @font-face tag is only allowed for certain free fonts*. Museo, Museo Sans and Anivers have a diferent license. Their free (and paid) weights/styles cannot be used for font-face embedding.

    * Delicious, Diavlo, Fontin, Fontin Sans, Fertigo Pro and Tallys.

  35. Hello,

    your license still states your “old” information:
    Using this font for a @font-face decleration is allowed, but only if a
    readable link to my homepage is put on every page where this font is used. This link may be the size of a regular copyright notice.

    I love your fonts and it’s nice that they are free to use and embed!
    Thank you!

  36. Thanks for pointing that out, Johannes. You’re absolutely right. I need to update the info real soon … And I will 😉

  37. I’m confused. The license on MyFonts says “You may use this font for Font-Face embedding, but only if you put a link to on your page and/or put this notice /* A font by Jos Buivenga (exljbris) -> */ in your CSS file as near as possible to the piece of code that declares the Font-Face embedding of this font. ” This doesn’t include @font-face? What about sIFR? (don’t shoot me, I’m a newbie to using real fonts on the web.)

  38. Also,

    I was hoping to release a wordpress theme that would include a graphical logo using the Museo font. There would be an editable PSD in the download, and instructions on registering at MyFonts and downloading the free weights. Is this allowable?

  39. @font-face = Font-Face. sIFR in allowed but *ONLY* for Fertigo Pro. The excerpt from the MyFonts license in your post is from the Fertigo Pro font. Museo, Museo Sans and Anivers have a different license and can *NOT* be used for @font-face.

    About the PSD: Yup that’s allowed.

  40. But I clicked on the license from the museo page.

  41. Tammy, I checked and checked again, but Museo can only be downloaded with the “exljbris Standard License Agreement”. Fertigo Pro comes with the “exljbris Free Font License Agreement” and that one covers the @font-face thing.

  42. Hi, Jos –

    Is there a central location where we can see those two license agreements and the fonts to which they apply? Your main site lists all your fonts under the heading “Free Fonts,” but not all of them have license information on their main pages. Clicking on the license link under the “buy” tab at MyFonts brings up the license for those fonts, but it took me a while to figure out where that information was located.

    Museo’s license for the free weights (300, 500, 700) allows @font-face (with attribution), which is different from the paid weight (900) and the family bundle, which is probably what Tammy is referring to.

  43. Ah! Now I understand (sorry, Tammy). Thanks for pointing this out. I only looked at the 100 weight license, because that used to be the same for all weights. The only explanation I can offer for this is that MyFonts changed it without me knowing it. I’ll have to think about it … but I’m willing to leave it like this.

    You’ve made a good point about the license agreements. I’ll have a thorough look at it.

  44. I knew I wasn’t losing my mind. 🙂

  45. “I’ll have to think about it … but I’m willing to leave it like this.”

    I’m glad to hear it, Jos. For my part, I think that’s a good strategy. Having your fonts available for @font-face, even if only some weights, just adds power to your marketing, and (as with Cory Doctorow’s freely downloadable books) increases people’s motivation to buy the fully featured version of your product.

  46. Thanks for clarification on the Museo license. Glad to hear it *is* available for font-face linking in the free weights, as I’ve just told the world all about Museo’s success and how you cleverly acknowledge and allow font-face linking for this and your other free fonts.

    I’ve had my readers say that they would pay money to be allowed to host the paid weights for font-face linking too. Servers can be configured to prevent hotlinking (from another domain) and direct downloading. With those barriers in place, would you consider a paid font-face license for your non-free weights?

  47. I’m one of the “readers” Richard is referring to – I took a closer look at your fonts after Richard’s post about Museo on Clagnut.
    As has been pointed out, there seems to be conflicting licensing info posted in different places.
    My problem is that attribution on every page is out of the question.
    Within the CSS, no problem.
    My confusion lies here: what if I buy Fontin? All weights available. Can I use it with @font-face or not?

    And, if not, what about if I only wanted to use it in Internet Explorer’s EOT format which offers copy protection from the casual downloader?

    Hoping to hear…

  48. I don’t know how you do it, Jos — first of all you manage to produce such a prolific number of beautiful fonts in such spaces of time, then you give them away for free, and then we have the decency to come and tell you THEY’RE NOT FREE ENOUGH. Your patience in having the decency to reply to these demands and treat them as perfectly reasonable is absolutely admirable.

    The particular crime I was about to commit upon you was the conversion of Museo (or indeed any of your fonts for the sake of argument) from Open- to TrueType. Does this count as modification?

  49. Richard (Rutter)
    I’m not ready for paid @font-face licensing (yet).

    Richard (Fink)
    Fontin can’t be paid for, because it’s free. You can use it for @font-face embedding if you mention it in your CSS. I’ll change the license text on my site soon. I’m not familiar with EOT. If it’s a sIFR like thing, no crediting is necessary. If it relies also on CSS mentioning it there should be enough.

    That’s very kind of you. I like having you all over at this place. I owe a lot to all the people who like what I do and who spread “the word”. Fonts are made to be used and fontmakers should have an open mind to things that change like the embedding of fonts on the internet.

    Converting Museo *is* a modification. If you want to do so you will need the “Foundry’s prior written consent” as my license states. The fonts which you can download directly from my site (like Fontin) are allowed to be modified.

  50. Pingback: Embedding Web Fonts: 5 Free @font-face Resources | Es Developed - Fresh Website and Graphic Design

  51. Very nice fonts and thanks for the update on @font-face licensing.

    I’ve added a link to your site (and this post) to my post about finding free embeddable @font-face fonts.

    Embedding Web Fonts: 5 Free @font-face Resources

    Thanks again for creating so many great fonts.

  52. Thanks Shawn. I updated this post. The *free* weights & styles Museo and Museo Sans can also be used for the @font-face declaration.

  53. Thanks for the update, Jos. I adjusted my post to reflect the change.

  54. Thank you for allowing use of your fonts. I just set up my site to use @font-face with Fontin 😀

  55. Evan

    Hi Jos,

    I was just wondering whether the free weights of Museo can be used for cufon. I noticed you’re using cufon already so I won’t bother explaining how it works, but it’s a great typeface that I would love to use cross-browser!

      • Awesome, this was my precise question. I just put Museo to work on my personal business cards and site redesign.

        Thank you for allowing such usage! I know I and many others will continue supporting you and your work because of it!

        And now I’m thinking I might just have to put Museo Sans to work for the body copy using @font-face…

  56. Mike

    Hi Jos,

    Nice work.

    Above, David brought up the topic of licensing your font for use in commerical software.

    Please email me.

  57. Todd

    I would also like to know if it’s fair to use Museo (free faces) with Cufon.

  58. Dovi

    Hi there,
    I really like your fonts and I’d like to use some of them for a music video that is set to appear on Israeli cable television (and would probably be online as well). Do I have your permission to use them for the titles and credits?

  59. Thomas

    “and/or” is not really unambiguous… do you mean “or”, so that the notice in the CSS is sufficient, with an optional “and” as in “it would be nice if you put up a link to my web site, but it’s not strictly required”?

  60. That’s really great news. Is there any way you’d allow to use the Museo 100 and 900 for @font-face as well?

  61. zooshej

    Thanks for the information!

  62. Can you clarify whether cufon is allowed for the paid weights of Museo, or only the free ones? I would love to be able to use the 900/100 weights on the web. (But maybe I just need to wait on the @font-face change you’re working on…)

    And do you know yet whether the same licensing will apply to Museo Slab? There is a dearth of slab serifs with good screen hinting and good web licensing so I’m hoping you’re going to fill that void!

  63. Hey Jos,

    anything new regarding your not-free versions of Museo Sans for font-face embedding? We would be interesting in using them on our websites. But thats not possible at the moment, regarding you license.

    bye Sven

  64. Hi Sven,

    For all my fonts I allow Cufón. If you are interested in @font-face you can use Fontdeck ( ) or Typekit ( ).

  65. Thanks for the quick answer. I indeed use Fontdeck. And would love to see more Version of the Museo Sans 500 in it. The 500 is just not enough.

    We can’t use Cufon. Font-Face is our only possibility. If you would distribute more Museo Sans Version via Fontdeck, we would be a gratefull customer of yours :).

  66. I did send Fontdeck all weights of Museo Sans. It should only be a matter of time I guess.

  67. Perfect, thx a lot.

  68. Cecilia

    So I can really use the font Museo Sans 500 with Cufon for example?
    As long as I put your message on the style.css
    Are you SURE!! 🙂 I dont want to get sued! 😛

  69. Cecilia

    I downloaded Museo 500 for free
    I also purchase Museo 700 from My fonts.

    Can I use both fonts on my WP site with cufon?

    And I’ll put your www. on the “style.css”

    Let me know

    • Cecilia

      Note: I also purchase the Performance plan with Typekit to use museo sans and then I realized that it looks terrible on IE8… So im trying cufon as an alternative…

      • Yes, I was excited about Calluna on Typekit, as well.

        But it looks horrific. 😦

        At least on Windows (no matter which browser), the glyphs are jagged, sometimes not even connected. And absolutely impossible to read for longer than a sentence or two.

        The lesson? Probably: Hinting matters big time for screen fonts.

        • Thomas, hinting matters but is real specialist work and time consuming, so it costs a lot of money to have your fonts hinted in a way they look marvelous on scree. The fonts on Typekit are autohinted, but in time I will update them with manual adjusted versions.

          • I didn’t mean to be snide, so I apologize if you read it that way.

            I know that proper hinting is a massive undertaking.

            And the big publishers probably also use autohinting mostly…

            But in the end it’s really something that matters on screen.

            Your fonts have PS outlines and are not subject to fine-tunable Truetype instructions, do they?

          • Hi Thomas, yes my fonts are PS only. Typekit converts them to TT. Ascender is working on manually tuned TT versions of some of my fonts, but they will be exclusively available at Ascender.

      • Yes, for all my fonts Cufón is allowed.

  70. Cecilia

    Can I use Facelift wit museo Sans 700?

  71. Cecilia

    Hi exljbris, I just have to tell you that you are my hero! First, i love your font Museo Sans (700) and I love the fact that you are generous and let people use them.

    I strongly believe in artists who are so good that they don’t mind sharing, at the end no matter how many licenses you’ll use people will always find the way around it. (music for example)…

    Also, thanks to your last comment (I can use Museo Sans 700 with cufon). I will put your credits on the CSS and believe me I will always buy your fonts.

    Also, you pretty much saved my job!

    LOVE 4 ever! 😛

  72. John

    Hi Jos –

    I _just_ stumbled upon your awesome font and wanted ot use it on my website sing @font-face after seeing it on

    Now, if I include: /* A font by Jos Buivenga (exljbris) -> */ in my css file, is that enough?

    I notice that even mozillalabs does not do that…


  73. I and my guys happened to be digesting the good advice found on your web page then then I had a terrible feeling I had not expressed respect to the site owner for those tips. All of the women had been absolutely joyful to study them and now have pretty much been making the most of these things. Thank you for turning out to be quite considerate and then for opting for variety of fine themes millions of individuals are really desperate to be informed on. My personal honest regret for not expressing appreciation to you sooner.

  74. Hi, first of all, Museo is awesome!!!!
    I downloaded the following from myfonts for $0 (free! Thanks)
    1. Webfont: Museo 700 by exljbris
    2. Webfont: Museo 300 by exljbris
    3. Webfont: Museo 500 by exljbris
    4. Webfont: Museo Sans 500 by exljbris
    5. Webfont: Museo Sans 500 Italic by exljbris
    can I use any/all of these on a website using @font-face?
    Myfonts generated a webfont kit for these and the css includes
    Name, url and “Copyright: Copyright (c) 2008 by Jos Buivenga. All rights reserved.” for each of them.
    So can I use them without worrying about legal issues? I’ve unlinked all ttfs and am using only woff and eot.
    Is that fine?

    Thanks a lot!!!

  75. Thanks so much for these fonts, they really are awesome. Its quite obvious that everybody who has commented agrees too!