I dont know wether this is the right place to ask this kind of question, but I'll give it a try.

I discovered an Icon on the web which I want to use for a companies new logo (together with some text and color and stuff).

The License agreement of the website allows commercial use with an additional link back to their website. But I can't do such links inside a logo ..

Can I "bypass" this restriction by recreating a really similar icon like the one I found online? It would look 99% the same, but because I recreated it, it probably wont be pixel perfect the same as the original.

Or is the shape / idea of a logo already something to be protected by copyright?


To formulate my question more precisely: The Logo would look more like this:

| stock | company name |

| icon | subtitle |

Like the copyrighted icon is only part of the logo. But indeed, if the company would decide to use the icon part as a squared favicon for example, it would only be a licensed stock icon...

  • This is a legal question. We can't provide legal answers. Consult a licensed and reputable legal professional in your jurisdiction about what constitutes fair use versus derivative work. Whether something is legal often comes down to who has the better lawyers, the better legal argument, and finally, the resources to make the legal case.
    – Luciano
    Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 10:35
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is a legal question. Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 14:46

1 Answer 1


Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. If you want legal advice, then hire one.

Redrawing a graphic or making a derivative work is still covered under copyright law. So the simple answer is don't do it. It doesn't matter how you do it, you could still be sued if you infringe the copyright or fail to attribute it as required by the licence.

Instead contact the creator of the artwork and ask if you can pay for a licence to use it in the way you intend, without an attribution.

Also, it's not a good idea to use a stock icon/logo as a company logo - since it isn't unique, and as such the company whose logo you are designing, won't be able to register it as a trademark. You really should think twice about doing that.

It is OK (most of the time) to perhaps use other artwork as an inspiration for another design, but I would certainly advise against any form of copying. A logo that looks 99% the same as another would be copying in my opinion.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.