Glyphicons Free license is disturbing #4485

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ekerazha opened this Issue Aug 21, 2012 · 9 comments

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@ekerazha

hello, world

Before opening this ticket I searched for similar discussions and I've found:
twitter#3131
twitter#1353

Now... why is the Glyphicons Free license disturbing?
Because (from their website):

GLYPHICONS FREE are released under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0). The Glyphicons FREE can be used both commercially and for personal use, but you must always add a link to glyphicons.com in a prominent place (e.g. the footer of a website), include the CC-BY license and the reference to glyphicons.com on every page using Glyphicons.

An attribution in a prominent place may not be acceptable in some situations and in my opinion a "front-end framework for faster and easier web development" shouldn't slow down the work because developers have to replace the framework icons. Unfortunately, I've to say that some developers just remove the attribution and ignore the license.

What are the alternatives?
Well, there are two macro-categories:

  • Image-based icons
  • Font-based icons

Font-based icons would be nice but I've found issues on some web browsers (i.e. the Android browser, see: http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=25842 ). So it seems like image-based icons are the way to go.

I found this nice icon set http://iconmonstr.com
It has its own license which doesn't require attribution:

By copying or downloading this icon, you automatically agree to the following restrictions: The icon can be used freely in both personal and commercial projects with no attribution required, but always appreciated. You may NOT sub-license, resell, rent, redistribute or otherwise transfer the icon without express written permission from iconmonstr. All logos and trademarks in social icons are copyright of their respective trademark owners.

However, you should request a permission for redistribution and it could be a problem. Other suggestions are welcome, but a Glyphicons-like licensing should definitely be avoided.

Best regards.

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coogie Aug 21, 2012

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ekerazha Aug 21, 2012

FontAwesome has these issues:

  • CC BY license like Glyphicons Free (although attribution in the source code is acceptable for FontAwesome)
  • It is a font-based icon set (and as I've already said, font-based icons are problematic), although images could maybe be extracted from the FontAwesome-Vectors.pdf file

FontAwesome has these issues:

  • CC BY license like Glyphicons Free (although attribution in the source code is acceptable for FontAwesome)
  • It is a font-based icon set (and as I've already said, font-based icons are problematic), although images could maybe be extracted from the FontAwesome-Vectors.pdf file
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fozzmeistergeneral Aug 21, 2012

From the Bootstrap documentation (http://twitter.github.com/bootstrap/base-css.html#icons):

Glyphicons attribution
Glyphicons Halflings are normally not available for free, but an arrangement between Bootstrap and the Glyphicons creators have made this possible at not cost to you as developers. As a thank you, we ask you to include an optional link back to Glyphicons whenever practical.

Bootstrap isn't using the Glyphicons Free library, but is instead using the Glyphicons Halflings which are normally only included in the two paid for versions of the Glyphicons library. My understanding would therefore be that the Glyphicons Free license shouldn't apply.

From the Bootstrap documentation (http://twitter.github.com/bootstrap/base-css.html#icons):

Glyphicons attribution
Glyphicons Halflings are normally not available for free, but an arrangement between Bootstrap and the Glyphicons creators have made this possible at not cost to you as developers. As a thank you, we ask you to include an optional link back to Glyphicons whenever practical.

Bootstrap isn't using the Glyphicons Free library, but is instead using the Glyphicons Halflings which are normally only included in the two paid for versions of the Glyphicons library. My understanding would therefore be that the Glyphicons Free license shouldn't apply.

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ekerazha Aug 21, 2012

The Bootstrap website footer says:

Icons from Glyphicons Free, licensed under CC BY 3.0.

However, checking the bundled icons it seems like they actually are Glyphicons Halflings (they are 140, not 400) so you're right.

In conclusion, it seems like Bootstrap users can avoid the attribution note.

Maybe the Bootstrap website footer should be changed because it is confusing, however I think that I can close this ticket.

The Bootstrap website footer says:

Icons from Glyphicons Free, licensed under CC BY 3.0.

However, checking the bundled icons it seems like they actually are Glyphicons Halflings (they are 140, not 400) so you're right.

In conclusion, it seems like Bootstrap users can avoid the attribution note.

Maybe the Bootstrap website footer should be changed because it is confusing, however I think that I can close this ticket.

@ekerazha ekerazha closed this Aug 21, 2012

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fozzmeistergeneral Aug 21, 2012

I hadn't noticed that in Bootstrap page footer. As you say, maybe this should be changed as it does cause confusion.

Having had another look on the Glyphicons website, I also noticed the following on the license page under the Glyphicons Free heading:

Glyphicons Halflings are also a part of Bootstrap by Twitter, and are released under the same Apache 2.0 license as Bootstrap. While you are not required to include attribution on your Bootstrap-based projects, I’d certainly appreciate a visibile link back to glyphicons.com in any place you find appropriate (footer, docs, etc).

I hadn't noticed that in Bootstrap page footer. As you say, maybe this should be changed as it does cause confusion.

Having had another look on the Glyphicons website, I also noticed the following on the license page under the Glyphicons Free heading:

Glyphicons Halflings are also a part of Bootstrap by Twitter, and are released under the same Apache 2.0 license as Bootstrap. While you are not required to include attribution on your Bootstrap-based projects, I’d certainly appreciate a visibile link back to glyphicons.com in any place you find appropriate (footer, docs, etc).

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ekerazha Aug 21, 2012

I think that specification is a recent addition, when I checked the Glyphicons website (some weeks ago) it wasn't there.

I think that specification is a recent addition, when I checked the Glyphicons website (some weeks ago) it wasn't there.

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tdm00 Aug 30, 2012

I think these icons are great and have no problem dropping the $25 for the GlyphiconsALL, but I'd like to see how I could use these as a "drop-in" replacement for the CSS sprite included in Bootstrap

tdm00 commented Aug 30, 2012

I think these icons are great and have no problem dropping the $25 for the GlyphiconsALL, but I'd like to see how I could use these as a "drop-in" replacement for the CSS sprite included in Bootstrap

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rajat1saxena Sep 13, 2012

So,Can't I use Glyphicons halflings for free if I'm providing a link 'Icons by Glyphicons' on my commercial website's footer?

So,Can't I use Glyphicons halflings for free if I'm providing a link 'Icons by Glyphicons' on my commercial website's footer?

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tdm00 Sep 13, 2012

According to the Bootstrap documents about the icons it states:

"Glyphicons attribution
Glyphicons Halflings are normally not available for free, but an arrangement between Bootstrap and the Glyphicons creators have made this possible at no cost to you as developers. As a thank you, we ask you to include an optional link back to Glyphicons whenever practical."

It says that these are available for you to use as a developer. It doesn't present any restrictions on the type of website you can use it on. I would understand this to mean that you CAN use these icons on a commercial website. However, the author asks you to please consider adding a link to his website where the icons are on your website.

tdm00 commented Sep 13, 2012

According to the Bootstrap documents about the icons it states:

"Glyphicons attribution
Glyphicons Halflings are normally not available for free, but an arrangement between Bootstrap and the Glyphicons creators have made this possible at no cost to you as developers. As a thank you, we ask you to include an optional link back to Glyphicons whenever practical."

It says that these are available for you to use as a developer. It doesn't present any restrictions on the type of website you can use it on. I would understand this to mean that you CAN use these icons on a commercial website. However, the author asks you to please consider adding a link to his website where the icons are on your website.

@cvrebert cvrebert locked and limited conversation to collaborators Jul 14, 2015

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