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Sharing icons/buttons are a big thing these days:

(From here)

  • Are all/most of the icons you see around the web created without explicit permission?
  • If there is permission granted for the logo, where can I find the terms of use for the popular sites? (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Dribbble, Vimeo, etc.)
  • Is there any resource for vector graphic assets for the common logos? (the logo itself, preferably a one-color vector shape)
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Googling "can I use blah blahs logo" usually comes up with the documentation. Beware, there are various conditions involved that are different for each logo, I was looking at them very recently myself. For example, when displaying the Facebook logo on physical items, you must include a call-to-action and of course the name of your page. Also, you cannot create a derivative of most logos to fit your own theme, they must be the originals (unless given explicit permission). Another is spacing around the logo.. there is no single rule for all except: read their documentation. –  Dominic Aug 4 '13 at 14:04
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The purpose of these icons is to link into the target sites in some way, and as an effect help them boost popularity, which really is what these sites want. So using their icons is really free adverticing for them, and they will have no objections to that. These icons identfy these sites, and these sites only.

It is a total different case with other type of symbols, which describe a more general concept, like e-mail, users, etc. that are designed by someone, and there might be royalties attached to using a special icon image with a unique design.

Here are references to pages from some sites with conditions for use of their brands:

Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/brandpermissions/logos.php
Note that you are not allwed to use the full Facebook logo, only the "f" logo.

LinkedIn:
http://developer.linkedin.com/documents/terms-and-conditions-download-and-use-linkedin-marks-linkedin-members

Twitter:
https://dev.twitter.com/terms/api-terms

I. Twitter Content
...
2. You may use the Twitter API and Twitter Content in connection with the products or services you provide (your "Service") to search, display, analyze, retrieve, view, and submit information to or on Twitter. You may use the Twitter name or logos and other brand elements that Twitter makes available in order to identify the source of Twitter Content ("Twitter Marks") subject to these Rules.

Dribbble:
http://dribbble.com/site/terms
Note: I didn't find any place here where it stated you have right to use the Dribbble logos, so I'm not sure this is OK here.

Vimeo:
http://vimeo.com/apiterms

3. Intellectual Property
...
2. Vimeo hereby grants You a limited, non-exclusive license to use the Vimeo Marks for the purpose of publicly displaying and distributing Your Application and allowing End Users to use it.

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Do you have any reference for the statement that they have no objections to that? It makes sense, I just feel more comfortable seeing it in writing. –  NickC Sep 7 '11 at 16:13
    
I just added references to my answer. I think this should clarify use for these sites. –  awe Sep 8 '11 at 6:53
    
Thanks, just was I was looking for. I'd done some searching but didn't come up with anything. –  NickC Sep 8 '11 at 16:28
    
These things are often found behind a "Developers" link in the footer of the main site. –  awe Sep 12 '11 at 9:42
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I will answer your question seperately

Just an extra:

If you want to look for a more global solution for your website, there even are some ready to use toolbars which you can set up within 2 minutes: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/top-social-media-toolbars/

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As addition to the resources list: iconfinder.com Lets you search with non-commercial and commercial licenses. –  Joonas Sep 7 '11 at 12:54
    
Thank you for that vector logo set from graphicdesignjunction.com, that is just what I was looking for. I am aware of various "badges" provided by FB and others, however, I was hoping to find a reference of the usage requirements for their mark in derivative works. –  NickC Sep 7 '11 at 16:18
    
Also, here is the original reference for the "justvector" icons - alexpeattie.com/projects/justvector_icons The graphicdesignjunction.com article attached license restrictions that were not there originally. –  NickC Sep 7 '11 at 16:25
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