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Hello - Can I use the Word-document icon on a website? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello

    I have valid licenses for:

    Visual Studio 2010 Premium

    MSDN subscription

    Office Pack 2007

    Am I allowed as a developer to use the Word icon in a .HTML file, that will not be published online, but given to customers, in this manner:

    <a href='123676721421.docx' target='_blank' title='Document'><img src='Images/Word2007.png' class='icon'/>

     ?

     

    I've read through this

    Microsoft product icons are the thumbnail-sized images indicating that a Microsoft product has been installed on your operating system. Icons may not be used in advertising, in books and other printed matter, on clothing or other promotional items, in online and Internet locations, in software applications, in television programs, in commercials, in movies, or on video

    You may use Microsoft product icons in training manuals or documentation about a Microsoft product. The use of the icon must be specific to the function of the icon within the Microsoft software. The icon may not be used as a graphical or design element. Icons cannot be modified or altered and must appear as they would within the Microsoft software

    Microsoft makes certain icons available to developers. (Find more information about how to buy Microsoft developer products.) If you have licensed a Microsoft development tool, review the redistributable section of the EULA to learn which Microsoft properties may be redistributed by licensees.

    Can be seen here, search for "Microsoft Icons": http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/legal/intellectualproperty/Permissions/default.aspx

    I have noted the four requirements (at the top, inside the link above)... but, theyre not important.

    I think I am allowed, as long as the Icon is used as the normal function, as in starting/opening word and the document linked, as long its not advertising? But, oh, using the icon is advertising? No? What isnt...

    Edit: Strange;I've bolded out "important" word above, but they dont seem that bold to me after I submit. :)

    Wrong section to post in? Oh, well, some other developers for Word should know this one? :)










    • Edited by colaohye Friday, December 20, 2013 9:45 AM tpyos
    Friday, December 6, 2013 8:23 AM

Answers

  • After several days of trying to figure this one out, heres the result:

    No clue whether or not it is allowed.

    Problem:

    A <a href>-tag with an image (file extension icon for word documents) inside a .html file. The html file will never be published nor opened by any other than the customer and it will be simply archived at the customers end.

    What I've done:

    Two lawyers (knowledgable within copyright issues) have seen and read the http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/legal/intellectualproperty/Permissions/default.aspx#EEE. They have also read the licenses we have for Microsoft products and they came to the conclusion that: They are positive that it is allowed. Positive, but not certain.

    I've contacted Microosft License Support, where I also described the problem... After back and forth a bit, I ask: "So am I allowed to use the words file extension icon in this manner?", answer goes like, word for word: "I can not interpret unfortunately, but you have to interpret it the way you think is best and I feel that you are on the right track in your interpretation."... I am amazed and amused!

    So, there goes my effort...



    • Edited by colaohye Friday, December 20, 2013 9:43 AM
    • Marked as answer by colaohye Friday, December 20, 2013 10:25 AM
    Friday, December 20, 2013 9:37 AM

All replies

  • Hello colaohye,

    I would recommend using custom icons instead due to the following statement:

    > The icon may not be used as a graphical or design element.

    Also I have found the following similar forum threads - can I legally show Microsoft Office and Project icons in my desktop application? and Is it legal to use Microsoft's icons in Outlook addin?.

    Friday, December 6, 2013 9:27 AM
  • >>The icon may not be used as a graphical or design element.

    I thought that counted when working with:

    A. Documentions or B. Training manuals

    It seems strange, that Microsoft wants me to draw some ugly word-icon myself in MS paint and release the website with those icons, oh well... Which might give users the feeling oh "oh, I am not opening this document with this poorly drawn icon, it looks fake!"...

    Friday, December 6, 2013 10:24 AM
  • Hi colaohye

    FWIW I agree with Eugene. Even though you're a developer, Word is not a developer tool meaning its icons are not free for distribution. Using Visual Studio as an example, and as discussed in the links Eugene provides, the icons you may use in your projects are provided as such with Visual Studio. That's not the case with the Office applications, with the possible exception icons provided for use in the toolbar/Ribbon.


    Cindy Meister, VSTO/Word MVP, my blog

    Friday, December 6, 2013 3:20 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the response.

    Tiny question though:

    >>>"are not free for distribution"

    Can I purchase a permission somehow to use the word icon? Guess I cannot, but? :)

    Yes, those links clearly says no to any application, which I read even before posting here...

    But it is just so strange (and I'll refuse to believe it! :)) that Microsoft does not allow linking to their own files with their own icons in such a manner like PDF (Adobe) does (and possibly many other companies):

    "The Adobe PDF file icon is provided solely as an indicator of an active link to a Portable Document Format file with a .pdf filename extension created using an Adobe® Acrobat® product. By downloading or using the icon, you agree to adhere to the following guidelines: [not change size, color, link to a PDF file...]".

    And last question:

    Am I allowed to for instance having a blue square with a white letter "W" as an icon, to refer to the documents? I mean... The files to opened are word, but the icon shows "different" (yet the same, kind of)... So Microsoft sues me for plagiarism...? And to make a statement, they sue me for a few billions?




    • Edited by colaohye Monday, December 9, 2013 9:56 AM
    Monday, December 9, 2013 9:36 AM
  • After several days of trying to figure this one out, heres the result:

    No clue whether or not it is allowed.

    Problem:

    A <a href>-tag with an image (file extension icon for word documents) inside a .html file. The html file will never be published nor opened by any other than the customer and it will be simply archived at the customers end.

    What I've done:

    Two lawyers (knowledgable within copyright issues) have seen and read the http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/legal/intellectualproperty/Permissions/default.aspx#EEE. They have also read the licenses we have for Microsoft products and they came to the conclusion that: They are positive that it is allowed. Positive, but not certain.

    I've contacted Microosft License Support, where I also described the problem... After back and forth a bit, I ask: "So am I allowed to use the words file extension icon in this manner?", answer goes like, word for word: "I can not interpret unfortunately, but you have to interpret it the way you think is best and I feel that you are on the right track in your interpretation."... I am amazed and amused!

    So, there goes my effort...



    • Edited by colaohye Friday, December 20, 2013 9:43 AM
    • Marked as answer by colaohye Friday, December 20, 2013 10:25 AM
    Friday, December 20, 2013 9:37 AM