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I want to create an open source custom home page and I need to use logos (such as Google's) to link to their sites. Can I use them freely, or should I check individually, and if it is the latter, how do I check, and does licensing an open source project differently affect this?

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Often, these things are usually trademarked, if not copyrighted as well.

However, a lot of the larger, more major companies provide to people various guidelines that allow people to use their trademarked, but they are often covered by various restrictions. Google, as an example, has a comprehensive help center for trademark guidelines. Although these may be points, they are not definite and final. It is your responsibility to make sure that you respect Google's trademarks, and that you do not infringe on any of their rights.

Provided that you have a license or permission to use a logo/trademark within an open source project, then the logo should be fine. Open source licences often only affect source code and compiled object forms of the source code, so I don't see many clashes here.

Aside, as an alternative, you may have luck finding a few things in the Google Material Design Icons.

  • Specifically, I has trouble finding Reddit's logo policy, and when I tried emailing them (5 or so months ago) they never responded – AppIns Jul 8 '16 at 0:14
  • @AppIns There is information on this reddit page on how to make a request to use a logo. Your usage would likely fall under the Commercial Usage section, as the open source component is irrelevant (you can definitely make money with open source). Yep. However, I feel that by using logos of other companies, you open yourself to a lot of legal danger. I would highly recommend that you attempt to take a different approach - even if it is making logos or artwork yourself (as long as all the "logos" are uniform in appearance). – Zizouz212 Jul 8 '16 at 0:58

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