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icon usage and copyright

Hi all

I'd like to know what are peoples opinions on icon usage and copyrights.

As a developer when I am prototyping an application I just take icons from anywhere and use them in a fit-for-purpose manner. eg If it is to represent a mail action I'll steal it from outlook - or for some goto webpage action I'll use the web-page icon from IE.

However I don't think what I am doing is suitable for general release and I will have to re-design the icons or someone wil have to crete new ones for me to use.

How do other people resolve this issue. Large companies would probably have masive budgets and graphic design teams however smaller companies do not.

By using MS icons in the same context (see above examples) in your own app, I fell you are creating a look and feel that a user would be familiar with however I do not know where I would stand on the copyright front.

could people please comment (not answer) for now as I intend to give points to the person(s) who contibute the most - as I do not feel this has a definitive answer. Thanx  
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ShaunWilde
Asked:
ShaunWilde
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1 Solution
 
DarrinECommented:
From my knowledge of MS they have the same notion as you.. this is demonstrated by the fact that most of the icons distributed with VB are similar if not the same as the ones with outlook, word and excel - these icons are distributed with a product which has the capability of providing a user defined environment and it is foreseeable they would be distributed in a product designed by the user so copyright is not a problem here.

Icons are also distributed with other commercial programming products such as Delphi, VC++ etc and the same rules apply.

The icons which you take from other peoples products specifically like outlook or other commercial programs would be, what I term, as suspect. I would not advise you to use these as you may be breaching the owners copyright.

The laws relating to copyright will substancially change depnding on what COuntry you are in and what countries you intend distributing your products in.

If you want to contact me formally regarding this matter, see www.bakerjohnson.com.au (look for Darrin Edwards under lawyers)

DarrinE
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ShaunWildeAuthor Commented:
okay - you pretty well confrimed what I was thinking - thanks

PS do you know about GIF licensing and MS's web_browser control in applications
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DarrinECommented:
Send me a private email on this and we'll see what we can dig up

dwe@primus.com.au

DarrinE
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