Client font licensing question

I've received an email from a potential customer asking if I could license some of my fonts to him under SIL OpenFont License for X*1.5 regular desktop price.
I told him I didn't license it under this type of license and responded with what I thought was the fair price for the uses he was proposing (substantially more than what he offered) - excluding the modification/distribution rights. We didn't reach an agreement but I'd like to share his request with you guys and hear your thoughts on this and if you think this could be worked around at all and how.

Here's the email transcript:

I would like to purchase a license for XYZ Font, in styles book, italic, bold, and bold italic only. However, I would like the license to allow:

• Use for any purpose (desktop, web, app, any conceivable use at all)
• Modification of the fonts
• Distribution of both modified and unmodified versions of the fonts

Please note that I do not actually plan to use these permissions **** Big Red Alert here **** (I only plan to use the font for desktop use, and do not at all intend to distribute or modify them), but I would like to have them. One license that would fulfill my requirements is the SIL Open Font License.

Given that you will not be losing any money from granting this license, as I do not plan to distribute the fonts, I believe a fair price would be $XXX. This is equal to the price of an ordinary license for these four styles, plus a 50% additional charge.


  • SiDaniels
    SiDaniels Posts: 277
    edited January 2014
    The OFL is "viral" so if you license the fonts under those terms the customer can pass on the fonts under those rights to anyone, and even post publicly - essentially rights to sub-license and pass on sub-license rights etc., So perhaps if you want to provide modification and less permissive redistribution rights have your attorney use the OFL as a starting point, but remove the viral aspects.
  • Just reply, "No."
  • Thierry Blancpain
    Ha that’s an absurd request.
  • I'm almost certain the same person emailed me a few months ago with a similar request. On second thought, don't even take the time to reply, "No." and just trash the email.
  • James Puckett
    I'm almost certain the same person emailed me a few months ago with a similar request.
    Sounds like someone is fishing around for something.
  • Rodrigo Saiani
    Pretty straightforward solution :) Thanks.
  • John Hudson
    John Hudson Posts: 3,055
    'Thank you for your query. I do not intend to come to your house and break your legs, but I would like you to sign this contact indemnifying me against civil or criminal legal action in the event that I change my mind. Given that I do not currently plan to break your legs, I believe you should have no reason to object to this agreement.'
  • Stuart Sandler
    I'm certain I also heard from this guy as well . . . After lots of e-mails because I was curious why somebody would want such a license, nothing came of it and he abruptly withdrew his odd request.
  • [Deleted User]
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Andreas Seidel
    I got nearly the same e-mail too - maybe this guy is testing someting.
  • Ramiro Espinoza
    Soundtrack for this post: :)
  • Rodrigo Saiani
    That's about right :)