We are currently developing an open source project using the MIT license, and we'd like to incorporate Microsoft's Visual Studio 2017 icons, which can be found here:


However, we're not entirely sure if the associated license permits us to use these images.

Can we upload individual images with the project online that the users will be able to access? Do we have to include their license if we do? Or is it prohibited entirely?

Any advice is appreciated.


The link you gives allows access to the Visual Studio 2017 Image Library EULA. It's a bit of a mess, referring to images as Distributable Code and making references to the software throughout. Still, as I read it (and note that IANAL/IANYL) you may distribute the images alongside MIT-licensed code, but you may not distribute the images themselves under the MIT licence. Moreover, the licence terms you must distribute the images under are sufficiently onerous that they may dissuade others from accepting and using your code, if it means accepting the images alongside it; the whole process may also mean you have to require your users to undergo some kind of click-through acceptance of the image licensing terms.

I base this on s2b of the EULA, which says

The software contains images that you are permitted to distribute (“Distributable Code”) in applications you develop as described in this Section

For any Distributable Code you distribute, you must ... require distributors and external end users to agree to terms that protect the Distributable Code at least as much as this agreement

and in addition s6, which says

You may not work around any technical limitations in the software

Any piece of software that you couldn't improve would be regarded as non-free, and since you may not improve it, and you are required to get others to agree to similar terms, this content is non-free. s3 of the EULA also prevents the images from being incorporated into copyleft-licensed software, which further rules out distributing them under the MIT licence.

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