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I want to be able to release my game as open source, and I need to be able to distribute font files with my game. Where can I find fonts which I can use in this way, and what font licenses should I be looking for?

Are there any further considerations if I want to release my game under GPL rather than a less restrictive open source license such as BSD?

Edit: In response to Olie saying that the question is unclear: My main problem is that fonts which I find on the Internet either do not clearly state their licenses, or have licenses which do not make it clear whether I can distribute the font with software. I know very little about font licenses, but I am looking for sources of fonts which guarantee that the fonts are basically open source / creative commons / public domain / some other font license which allows me to distribute it with a game without paying license fees.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the clarification. I did a quick Google search for "public domain fonts" and got about half a million hits. Several are people asking the same question (the answers they get might be helpful! :), but there were also several good font sources. (one example: tulrich.com/fonts ). If the person posting the font claims authorship, and states that it's in the public domain (or CC), I'd think you'd be in the clear. Good luck! \$\endgroup\$
    – Olie
    Commented Jul 26, 2010 at 16:05

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I've used the BitStream Vera fonts in several open-source game projects, and they're quite nice. The license should be good for just about any game, and the gnome project has already worked out the legal issues and currently ship them. Full unicode support which is very rare for free fonts.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 for a license that explicitly says you can redistribute the font. \$\endgroup\$
    – talljosh
    Commented Jul 15, 2010 at 23:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ The link is broken. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 8:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ The Wikipedia article says (13 years after this answer was posted) that "Bitstream Vera itself covers Basic Latin and Latin 1-Supplement letters. It comprises only 300 glyphs." \$\endgroup\$
    – Sz.
    Commented Mar 4, 2023 at 0:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, the current download link (@BenediktS.Vogler): download.gnome.org/sources/ttf-bitstream-vera/1.10 \$\endgroup\$
    – Sz.
    Commented Mar 4, 2023 at 0:17
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dafont.com is a great site for finding cool fonts. Each font comes with a license, so just make sure that the font you choose is free to use.

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Open Font Library seems pretty good now that it's working (last time I looked there it was broken). All its fonts are licensed under the Open Font License or are in the public domain.

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Blambot has a nice selection free of fonts that are under it's Free License

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    \$\begingroup\$ According to that site, "No Blambot font may be altered or redisributed without the express, paid permission of Nate Piekos." This would seem to exclude embedding the font in an Open Source game. \$\endgroup\$
    – talljosh
    Commented Jul 15, 2010 at 23:20
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Here is a link that you might find useful.

Seriously, though -- what did you try?! Maybe I don't understand your question, but it seems to me that the answer is all-over everywhere.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Sure, I can find free fonts everywhere on the Internet. Most of them have unclear licenses or if the licenses are clear they explicitly exclude software embedding. \$\endgroup\$
    – talljosh
    Commented Jul 15, 2010 at 23:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Right. The thing I'm saying is: your question isn't clear. Are you looking for a source of public-domain fonts? Open-source fonts? An explanation of the various licenses? Do you not understand the GPL license? BSD? Public-domain/open-source Fonts abound, so it would help us help you if we better understood where you're getting stuck. Btw, you might forgo open-source fonts and look into public-domain. No confusing licenses! :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Olie
    Commented Jul 17, 2010 at 16:50

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