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I want to use some icons on some links in the footer of my website, such as these. They are under the MIT license. These icons are files by themselves, so I cannot just add the MIT license at the top of the files I want to use. I want the source code of the website to be as small as possible.

How exactly do I add the MIT license to these icons? I have spent a surprising amount of time googling without getting a clear answer.

  1. Is an HTML comment on the line above the icon linking to the license sufficient, or would I have to include the full copy of the license?
  2. Is a copy of the license or link to that license displayed in an about section of my website a sufficient alternative, saying it refers to these icons? I think that's what this answer is saying.
  3. Is a copy of the license in the GitHub repo that hosts my project (in the same folder that holds the icons) sufficient, provided I link to the GitHub repo at the bottom of every page of my website?
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    The answer you link seems correct. So, option 2 Feb 17, 2020 at 11:49
  • Are any of the other options correct? It seems possible that there is more than one correct way to do this. Feb 17, 2020 at 16:23
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    I don't think comments in a website or link to source convey the license information correctly / sufficiently as it doesn't give attribution directly. An 'about' page with copyright info and links to sources there is IMHO not much to ask. Yet you can probably argue with some effort that (3) fulfills the requirements. But why not be up-front and give credit where credit is due? Feb 17, 2020 at 16:36
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    Oh, yes, I agree; seems I mis-understood something. That's what I'd do on the about page: names, and license-name (with link to license). I'd not spell-out the complete license on the same page. Feb 17, 2020 at 17:03
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    (coming late to this discussion, I know). There are image file formats like jpg which allow inclusion of Metadata, for example EXIF , IPTC or XMP. You can use an appropriate file format and add any copyright and license information into the appropriate metadata fields. Sep 15, 2021 at 14:02

2 Answers 2

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You can easily include the license and attribution information inside the metadata fields of the PNG file itself.

Here is a link to a page with the technical information. Almost any app which can manipulate images will allow you to edit the metadata of an icon file in PNG format.

My preference is to have the copyright and license information inside the source code of the files, because that will persist even when the files are downloaded, shared and re-used. That's better than having it in the page footer or 'about' page.

You might want to check, maybe the files which are offered from the website you linked in your question already include all the necessary information.

There is a similar question related to SVG icons with CC-BY license.

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Fair disclosure: I'm not a lawyer.

To quote the license itself:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

This means you have to (re)distribute the license itself as part of your website, and can't just link to a 3rd party hosting the license. However, this doesn't mean it needs to be on the same page. It's perfectly fine to have a footer that links to the license on a different page (e.g. /license).

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