Take the 2-minute tour ×
Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Suppose I am including a feature in my image-viewing software, which opens an image in Photoshop ('Send to Photoshop'), using Photoshop's OLE automation framework.

Am I allowed to use the icon of Photoshop.exe as the image of this 'Send to' button?

share|improve this question
    
Besides legal issues, that would mean that you have to provide a new version of your software whenever Photoshop icon changes. –  mouviciel May 22 '12 at 7:43
    
@mouviciel I think the basic design of their logo has been consistent since the beginning of the 'Creative Suite' era. –  Rotem May 22 '12 at 7:57
    
@Rotem That's not true. The icons for CS and CS2 were very different from CS3, 4, 5 and 6. –  Kris Harper May 23 '12 at 11:06
    
@root45 You got me, I forgot about the blue feather phase. –  Rotem May 23 '12 at 11:08
add comment

4 Answers

up vote 13 down vote accepted

No, as per Use of Adobe icons and web logos:

You may not use Adobe product icons except under a written license from Adobe.You may qualify for use of an Adobe product icon(s) under a program offered through an Adobe Partner program. If you are not eligible for any of these programs, you may be eligible to use one of Adobe's web logos or a box shot of an Adobe product instead.

You should however contact Adobe directly and ask permission to use Photoshop's icon. It's a long shot, but it's not unthinkable that they'd want their icon to be in an image viewing software since it's one of their core areas of expertise and you'd be advertising them for free. Long shot, but worth a try, all you need to do is send them an email.

share|improve this answer
4  
The fact that they claim something doesn't make it true... –  Peter Taylor May 22 '12 at 8:29
7  
@PeterTaylor - Adobe can impose whatever restrictions they like on their copyrighted material. That is their right in any country which is a signatory to the World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty. –  Mark Booth May 22 '12 at 12:35
4  
@MarkBooth - Your statement is not correct. In countries like the US that recognize fair use there are a number of things you can do with a copyrighted work without saying boo to the author. Not relevant to the present situation, but your blanket statement is incorrect. –  Michael Kohne May 23 '12 at 13:34
    
@MichaelKohne - If you could cite an example which was relevant to this question then I would be happy to remove my comment. As it is, in the context of this question it is Peter Taylor who has yet to prove his point. See the chat on Ben Burns' answer. –  Mark Booth May 23 '12 at 16:15
add comment

Icons are protected works under international copyright law. As with all protected works, you need permission in writing before using them. Typically larger companies like Adobe have blanket licenses for this sort of thing.

From their website:

You may not use Adobe product icons except under a written license from Adobe.You may qualify for use of an Adobe product icon(s) under a program offered through an Adobe Partner program. If you are not eligible for any of these programs, you may be eligible to use one of Adobe's web logos or a box shot of an Adobe product instead.

Emphasis mine.

I'd take a look at the site and see where you fit in. If it's really worth it to you, I'd pursue participation in the Adobe Partner program.

Note that some uses of copyright works in some countries may be covered by exclusions allowed under Article 10 of WIPOCT, but what exclusions are available, and whether they apply in your jurisdiction is way beyond the scope of a programmers stack exchange question, you would have to consult a copyright lawyer.

share|improve this answer
    
let us continue this discussion in chat –  Peter Taylor May 22 '12 at 14:12
add comment

No. The photoshop icon is artwork that is protected and you must get a written permission from adobe.

That said, I saw lot of applications using protected artworks, especially Excel & Word icons, without problems, but you really don't want to be exposed like this.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks. Is the icon the only thing 'wrong' with what I described? If i just write 'Ps' on the image in a way that does not resemble the icon, would that make it ok? –  Rotem May 22 '12 at 7:03
    
No problem with that –  user2567 May 22 '12 at 7:03
add comment

If you use the photoshop icon from the photoshop exe (if installed on the clients computer), wouldn't the client already have a license to view that icon? Explorer shows the icon, as do a lot of other filetools.

share|improve this answer
    
No, not really, you can extract any icon from any exe and then use it in your application, without needing the source application to be installed. –  Yannis Rizos May 22 '12 at 7:49
    
@Yannis Would it make a difference if the application extracts the ico at runtime and uses that as an image? What if you are developing an explorer-type application? Would you have to get written permission for every possible application in existence? –  Rotem May 22 '12 at 7:53
    
Viewing the icon like explorer does, technically involves extracting the icon from the exe at runtime. If your application has the same functionality as explorer, basically viewing the icon I would see no problem. Just don't ship the icon as part of your software package. –  Pieter B May 22 '12 at 7:55
    
Well if your application looks for Photoshop every time and extracts the icon from it if found, then, I guess... weird edge case ;) –  Yannis Rizos May 22 '12 at 8:05
1  
@Yannis Also, if the user does not have Photoshop installed, there is no point in showing this button to the user, so it might also be useful in a way to check for Photoshop at startup regardless. –  Rotem May 22 '12 at 8:13
show 2 more comments

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

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