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Logo image licensing

Explorer ,
Apr 12, 2017 Apr 12, 2017

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It's standard policy that you can't use a stock image for your logo or trademark. Understood.

But it's bugged me for a long time that there are loads of images on Adobe stock that are clearly marked as a logo. I can't see what purpose they would serve for anything else. In fact if you search for "logo" you get nearly 1.5 MILLION results.

So my question is ...what are the rules governing a stock graphic that is clearly intended to be used in a logo? Why would Adobe accept them if they are restricted from being used for their intended purpose?

I'm currently researching ideas for a water-based logo. There are lots of great splash and droplet vectors that are labelled as logos. Can I use them or not?  It's baffling.

Thanks.

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correct answers 3 Correct answers

Adobe Employee , Apr 12, 2017 Apr 12, 2017
Hi SooBrett, Please refer the legal terms of use for Adobe stock images:http://www.adobe.com/content/dam/acom/en/legal/servicetou/Adobe_Stock_Terms-en_US-20161015_2200.pdf Hope this helps you understand where and how you can use the images.Feel free to update the thread for any query.

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Adobe Employee , Apr 12, 2017 Apr 12, 2017
You need to have complete ownership of the image you use for your company logo since logos are intended to be registered and protected to prevent other companies or organizations from using the same image. Because Adobe Stock only grants a right to use images and does not transfer the ownership, these images cannot be used in or as a logo.On Stock website, we have images and not logos that can be used. Refer: Common Questions, Adobe Stock You may also Contact Customer Care for help.

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Adobe Employee , Mar 13, 2018 Mar 13, 2018
Hi Maxine,The Adobe Stock assets cannot be used as logos.Regards,Sheena

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 12, 2017 Apr 12, 2017

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Hi SooBrett,

Please refer the legal terms of use for Adobe stock images:

http://www.adobe.com/content/dam/acom/en/legal/servicetou/Adobe_Stock_Terms-en_US-20161015_2200.pdf

Hope this helps you understand where and how you can use the images.

Feel free to update the thread for any query.

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Explorer ,
Apr 12, 2017 Apr 12, 2017

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Hi Kanikas

Yes, I already saw under the restrictions that you cannot "Incorporate the work into a trademark or service mark". 

That means logo, right? 

I'll try rephrasing my questions:

1: Why are you offering 1.5 million logo graphics if nobody can legally use them?

2: Are there different rules if an image is actually tagged as a logo?

It's the anomaly that I'm questioning!

Thanks.

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 12, 2017 Apr 12, 2017

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You need to have complete ownership of the image you use for your company logo since logos are intended to be registered and protected to prevent other companies or organizations from using the same image. Because Adobe Stock only grants a right to use images and does not transfer the ownership, these images cannot be used in or as a logo.On Stock website, we have images and not logos that can be used.

Refer: Common Questions, Adobe Stock

You may also Contact Customer Care for help.

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Explorer ,
Apr 12, 2017 Apr 12, 2017

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Thanks again, but this still doesn't answer my questions, which are perfectly reasonable.

You say "On Stock website, we have images and not logos that can be used."

Not logos?  This is a screenshot of the first page of a search for "logos":

Screen Shot 2017-04-12 at 15.03.28 • Droplr  It's pretty obvious that those are all logos or logo elements. I can't think what else I would use them for.

1: Why are you offering 1.5 MILLION logo graphics if nobody can legally use them?

2: What do you think people do use the logo images for, if they can't use them in their logos?

3: Does the restriction apply if you only want to use an element of an image in your logo?

It's totally baffling. I can see others have asked the question but nobody has given a satisfactory explanation.

Thanks.

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 12, 2017 Apr 12, 2017

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Hi Sue,

I understand your concern and agree with your questions.

But, I would like to make you understand that we are not offering any Logos to our customers, we are just offering them images that they can work on. Adobe Stock nowhere lists that the images can be used for creating logos.

Also, when you search the term logo, the results populate up but that is only because the contributor has put the keyword as "logo" while submitting their image.

But I while go ahead and take up your concern with the Stock team.

Regards,

Sheena

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Explorer ,
May 04, 2017 May 04, 2017

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Hi Sheena

Thanks for you answer and I'm sorry for my long silence, I've been hectic.

I think I may need to clarify what I'm asking. I don't want to purchase a ready-made logo. Of course not, that goes against everything I stand for. I'm referring to elements to modify and use as part of a logo design. Suppose say, I purchased a vector of a water drop and then changed the colour and modified the shape to fit my concept ...would that be permitted?

I have over 200 image download credits on Adobe Stock. I can't stop the subscription because I'd lose them all ...and I can't download hundreds of images when I can't predict what I'll need in the future!!  So I keep paying the sub and hoping that I'll find images to fit my requirements.

What I need at the moment is to save some time by using some graphical elements in a design, rather than create from scratch ...but they will barely be recognisable by the time I'm finished.

Take this image I've picked out at random: blue water droplets - image | Adobe Stock

That is CLEARLY intended to be used as the basis for a logo design, wouldn't you agree?

Perhaps Adobe should clarify this point about logo designs to the people submitting images and remove the "logo" keyword from use? It gives me the impression that nobody is monitoring the quality and appropriateness of images here. And don't get me started on overuse of keywords. Many designers assign dozens of unrelated keywords to their work, making it much harder to narrow down searches to what one is looking for. I'm getting ludicrously unrelated results in my searches.

Or you could adopt the approach taken by CreativeMarket.com ...they make it clear that you can't register a trademark with one of their stock items as it is, but they don't preclude using an item as part of a logo design and explain it very nicely. One is left in no doubt what you can and can't do with their stock.

There are thousands of logo images on Adobe Stock that fall into a very grey area and no decent explanation anywhere of what is and is not acceptable use of them. Do people less scrupulous than me download and use them anyway? If not, what is their purpose? I'm curious.

Best regards

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New Here ,
Jul 20, 2021 Jul 20, 2021

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Oh my goodness, I am on the same page as you! This thread made me feel less insane reading the Adobe licensing agreements and wondering why I could not understand them!!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 22, 2021 Jul 22, 2021

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You can't use Adobe stock for logos, even if the description says logo and the file has an “insert your company name here”.

 

It is unfortunate that Adobe moderators accept assets like that.

ABAMBO | Hard- and Software Engineer | Photographer

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New Here ,
May 19, 2017 May 19, 2017

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I agree with the question contributor's question. A logo first is the image, whether picture or vector, or something else. when that image is used for trademark or logo purpose, it will become a logo. Since you are selling image and market it as logo, people believe it can be used for the their logo or a part of logo design. Many "logo" image here clearly makes the total design as logo format, for example, Image + company name + tagline.

Well, the point is, since the image can't be used for the purchase purpose, I think adobe has to refund for all the money back to the people who are purchasing them for logo design...because the image format on the site is a misrepresentation, whether they are from any sellers on the site or not.

I just purchased 1 126882889 and I need refund. I thought it was a logo because of license agreement says I could use it, then I found enterprise link, but that link does not go anywhere until I saw this thread...

Wasting time here...

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New Here ,
Nov 03, 2017 Nov 03, 2017

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People have logo templates on Adobe Stock. Images that look like a logo, are named a logo, and have text such as, "Insert your brand name here" on them.

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Participant ,
Feb 21, 2018 Feb 21, 2018

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So can the images that are clearly logos be used and modified to create logos or not?

And if not what are they actually for?

Why if they are not allowed to be used in logo creations, are you allowing them to be added to your database?

What was the result of your concern raising exercise with the Adobe team?

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Adobe Employee ,
Feb 22, 2018 Feb 22, 2018

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Hi Marilyn,

I understand your feedback but the search results are matched and populated by the keywords as provided by the contributor when submitting the image to Adobe Stock. In such cases, the keywords used are logos which generally pop up when you search the word logo.

I will be passing on the feedback to the product team for improvements.

Regards,

Sheena

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New Here ,
Mar 13, 2018 Mar 13, 2018

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Okay Sheena.  I have read the entire thread including your replies ... and I am still lost.   That in itself is a problem.  I don't see a definitive answer from Adobe. 

I have just this minute signed-up for the PS 30-day trial.  I run a micro-business and, although successfully trading for five months, am developing my logo, hence the trial.  I am seriously looking for an image, preferably an illustration, that represents my business in education, to use on my stationery etc..

Can I or can I not use the images offered up in this trial?  I'm in the middle of a busy day but this is important. I'm not in design and clearly have to gen up on licences but I loosely understand copyright.  Please simplify your response so that I can add value to my efforts today.

Appreciated.

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Adobe Employee ,
Mar 13, 2018 Mar 13, 2018

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Hi Maxine,

The Adobe Stock assets cannot be used as logos.

Regards,

Sheena

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New Here ,
Mar 15, 2018 Mar 15, 2018

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Hello,

Thank you, Sheena, for helping to clarify this issue!

Between the Adobe Terms and the answers you provide in this thread, I think it is clear that - regardless of the image's keywords, label, or contents - no image in the Adobe Stock library may be used as a company logo.

I believe the confusion lies in whether or not consumers are allowed to legally use these licensed images as a launching point when developing their own, unique logos. You briefly addressed this on April 12, 2017 with the following:

"But, I would like to make you understand that we are not offering any Logos to our customers, we are just offering them images that they can work on. Adobe Stock nowhere lists that the images can be used for creating logos."

However, those two sentences seem to contradict each other. "Offering them images they can work on" seems to imply that consumers may use logos as a framework for designing their own logos. However, "...nowhere lists that the images can be used for creating logos" sounds like the opposite.

So I think the ambiguity lies in whether or not an image can be licensed and modified to create a unique logo.

I am not an attorney, but in looking up some of the laws surrounding derivative works, there seems to be a distinction between the use of a previous work and the ability to copyright a new work. https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ14.pdf

Is it possible that the Adobe Stock Terms and Conditions apply to one's legal right to copyright their own (new) logo that is based upon an Adobe asset? Or is it simply that one may not use or modify any part of any Adobe Stock image - regardless of keywords, label, contents, or implied use - as part of any company logo?

Hopefully this will resolve the confusion, and we can all move forward - legally and with clear conscious - with our company logos.

I believe I can speak for most of us here when I say that the reason we keep asking is that we absolutely do not want to violate any artist's copyright. However, the enormous library of beautifully designed images that seem to exist for the sole purpose of providing at least a "canvas" for a company logo is too valuable to ignore, if in fact we are permitted to use and modify an image to design our own unique company logos.

If you wouldn't mind indulging us with one more answer, not about whether or not we can use an Adobe image as our own logo (no, we cannot), but rather about our right - or lack thereof - to modify an Adobe Stock logo image to create our own (different) logo, I would truly appreciate the clarification.

Best Wishes,

Patricia

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Participant ,
Mar 24, 2018 Mar 24, 2018

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I admire your patience. 

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New Here ,
Mar 28, 2018 Mar 28, 2018

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Hi Sheena,

So what I get from this thread is you can't download a vector logo and just swap in a new name.

But you can modify a logo. You have to modify the vector in some way?

Here is a video from Adobe where the presenter goes into Adobe Stock and grabs some vectors and uses them. He does manipulate them.

So what he is doing is ok? Changing , colors, etc??

He could hand off this logo to a client legally?

How to Create a Logo | Adobe Creative Cloud - YouTube

Thank you,

Heidi

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New Here ,
Apr 27, 2018 Apr 27, 2018

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Thanks for brining this to our attention Heidi. Adobe, can you confirm that this practice is legal and can be done?

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Community Beginner ,
May 16, 2018 May 16, 2018

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This is a pretty important question. I am anxious for the reply, too.

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New Here ,
Jun 20, 2018 Jun 20, 2018

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Waiting on response for this as well

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New Here ,
Jun 18, 2019 Jun 18, 2019

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I agree Heidi, pretty well sells the adobe stock, as well as others, steals them, recolors, or scales to fit, and calls it good.  It is apparently ok to use the adobe stock imagery for logos.

For those that haven't seen the video.  How to Create a Logo | Adobe Creative Cloud - YouTube

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Participant ,
May 20, 2018 May 20, 2018

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So why do you have them listed as logo images on the site? Surely this is misleading? Maybe you should remove the keyword 'Logo' from upload tagging and site content? Also clarify use in each licence type rather than use being hidden away in the small print? Why would anyone buy these images clearly tagged as logos?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 06, 2018 Aug 06, 2018

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There are 2 things here:

1.

Logos like the Adobe logo or the IBM logo or the Apple logo are distinct graphic marks (logos) that can only be used in the way the mark owner allows to use. Company logos fall into this category, because you do not want having a second company in your street, region or in the world using the same or even similar logo than you use, profiting from your brand to sell their stuff.

2.

Graphics that are called "logos", that look like logos and that are sold on stock picture market places like Adobe stock. There is no way that you can buy a "logo" for 10€/USD/... take that logo and protect that as a trademark for your exclusive use, because you do not own the exclusive right to use it. If you buy it, you can't use it as your company or product logo, even if it is called "logo" and even if there is a "put your company name here".

This does however not mean that that "logo" may not be used for other uses. It's up to you to decide if the design is good enough to live with the limitations....

ABAMBO | Hard- and Software Engineer | Photographer

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New Here ,
Feb 03, 2021 Feb 03, 2021

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Abambo,

 

I do not understand what you mean by "other uses" and "live with the limitations". Please could you explain?

 

Additionally, if I use a graphical element seen on Adobe's stock site as an inspiration for my logo is that a copyright infringement? I suspect not since we are surrounded daily by graphical symbols that inform our design sensibility whether consciously or subconsciously. However, I would appreciate a clarification.

 

It is something that needs to be cleared up with your Adobe stock artists, so that they do not submit worked tagged "logo" or similar. Also that they do not create work that is labeled and structured as a logo template as this is highly misleading, even unethical given your explanation.

 

Thank you, Sophia

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