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Category: Intellectual Property Law
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Experience:  I am a tech attorney and I represent clients with technology, internet and intellectual property matters
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Can I use social media icons in ebook cover design? I am making

Resolved Question:

Can I use social media icons in ebook cover design? I am making 12 ebooks for amazon etc out of chapters in recently published book. We are creating cover designs now and are wondering if it is legal to add facebook, twitter etc. "logos" or really just the icons associated with them that people use all over the web and that you can get at stock illustration sites.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  BizIPEsq. replied 1 year ago.

BizIPEsq. :

Hello, I will be assisting you

BizIPEsq. :

The legal issue you inquired about is called trademark fair use. These icons are trademarked and therefore are protected. However, according to trademark law a non-owner may use a trademark nominatively in order to refer to the actual trademarked product or its source, to facilitate product criticism and analysis. United States trademark law actually encourages nominative usage by competitors in the form of comparative advertising.

BizIPEsq. :

There would be three considerations to the use of the icons:

BizIPEsq. :

  1. The product or service cannot be readily identified without using the icons (e.g. trademark is descriptive of a person, place, or product attribute).

  2. You would be using only as much of the mark as would be necessary for the identification

  3. You would not be suggesting any sponsorship or endorsement by the trademark holder.

Customer:

I don't totally follow what you are saying. Should I use only stock image versions that are like the icons but not the actually exact branded icons or can I use them somehow? John

BizIPEsq. :

this is not a case of stock image or not. One can use the actual icons if you are discussing the service

BizIPEsq. :

if you are discussing FB service you can use the icons that FB put out. Note that the use is limited in nature and generally should be used in the context of the identification of the services

BizIPEsq. :

BTW, you can use the logos and the icons as long as your use is nominative. Meaning it is a minor part of your work and is meant to identify the company/service you are discussing

BizIPEsq. :

I trust this answered your question

BizIPEsq. :

FYI, the system is going to log me off in 30sec

BizIPEsq. :

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Customer:

So can I use it facebook, twitter and Google plus icons on the front cover of an ebook or is that too intensive?

BizIPEsq., Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 996
Experience: I am a tech attorney and I represent clients with technology, internet and intellectual property matters
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