I let all fonts I used to use when I found there was free and paid between them and the files were mixed. I started from zero to find a clear resource and I found google fonts. Then I was shocked with this word "attribution". I think, "It is impossible and insane to attribute if you use a font for one word or in a piece of art or in a video, and the usage rate was simple." I've never seen anyone do that! I cannot find a clear answer, and on the other hand, by attribution, do they mean the source if you edit it or use it in a piece software or in a project?

  • Insane? It takes literally 1 minute to mock up a credit slide for the end of your video. White text on black background. You're saying that's too much work? And why shouldn't you attribute the author? How easy do you think it is to make a font? Just make the fonts yourself then you don't need to attribute anything. Problem solved! Jan 19, 2018 at 14:45

4 Answers 4


First not all Google fonts have the same license. A quick search found the following licences (which are listed on attribution page, but there can be more):

  1. SIL Open Font License, 1.1 (OFL)
  2. Apache License, Version 2.0
  3. Ubuntu Font License, 1.0

Now, obviously all of those have different requirements.

  1. OFL fonts have no attribution requirement of downstream work. The license as such applies to the font program and the name. This is by far the most common Google font license. You only need to include the license and copyright if you distribute the font program (in other words a font file so end users can edit things).

    OFL specifically has a clarifying exception that work made with the font is not part of the license.

  2. The Apache license is more opaque on this matter, because its a license for code. Presumably it means the font program, but is not clear on the subject. Also it has a specific possibility of a NOTICE file that will need to be shown.

    This can be problematic in countries with more stricter font licensing policies than can be found in the US (in the US you can only aim licenses to the font program as the outlines are not copyrightable). And it really would require some precedents to be followed. Your most likely OK, not showing any document that does not include the font file. It is just not not as given as in the case of the OFL.

  3. Much like OFL the Ubuntu license specifies that the license only applies to the font program and name. So no worries there.

And no I am not a lawyer, and even worse I am not your lawyer. However, yes, a free font can have a non monetary cost that is so great that no one could afford to use it in a real design.


I am not sure if I understand clearly what you are concerned with. Google fonts are free to use in both commercial and non-commercial projects, so you should be able to use them in any piece of art or film without attribution.


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Google fonts are free to use for normal use in a project, without attribution. By normal use, I mean using the font to type words, or to make a graphic design.

Attribution is only required under some licences, if you were to edit the font, make a derivative work, and redistribute it as another font, as your own work. It's not required for normal use of a font in a project. Some licences also require that you share the derivative font freely (Share alike).

  • Not all google fonbts have the same license as far as i understand
    – joojaa
    Jan 22, 2018 at 9:39

i have reached this link when i decided to get the answer from the source .. SIL Open Font License, 1.1 .“http://scripts.sil.org/cms/scrip... not required notice the licence it may be different in each font ..

#read the Question: 1.1.2 and make sure by your own again.. and read Question: 1.1.1 to know when you must .. Read each font license and make sure that it under SIL Open Font License ..

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