Are cryptocurrency logos protected by copyright?
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Are cryptocurrency logos protected by copyright?

By Adrian Zmudzinski - 18 Nov 2018

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Are cryptocurrency logos protected by co

The rights of use for cryptocurrency logos are generally very permissive.

However, before using a particular version of the logo, it is always better to ask about it.

In this article, we will examine the rights of use of the logos of the major cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin

The Bitcoin logo itself is free to use for both commercial and non-commercial use.

That said, modified versions may be protected by copyright.

In fact, the official logo was released under the public domain license, the most permissive of the Creative Commons licenses.

A particularly interesting anecdote about Bitcoin is that it has been registered in the UK as a trademark, but is currently “abandoned”.

At the time the trademark was still effective, it was reported that an Etsy user selling T-shirts with the Bitcoin logo had received a letter warning of a possible legal action against him.

It has come to our client’s attention that you are offering for sale a variety of clothing bearing the Bitcoin trademark on Etsy.co.uk. [Our Client] has not authorised your use of the Bitcoin trademark on and in relation to clothing. Such use, therefore, amounts to trademark infringement pursuant to s10(1) of the Trade Marks Act 1994.”

Ethereum

The situation regarding the Ethereum logo is less clear.

The following message appears on the official page which, in theory, should clarify the rights to use the Ethereum logo:

We are revising those guidelines in order to have a more open approach towards the use of the Ethereum logo that is more community-friendly and supports the greater Ethereum and crypto innovation ecosystem.

The Ethereum Foundation may be releasing a special seal for use by approved people or entities for foundation specific advocacy, fundraising, and mission-related efforts; more details will be announced.

Therefore, detailed information regarding the rights to use the Ethereum logo is not currently available.

Litecoin

The Litecoin logo was released with the MIT license along with its source code on GitHub. This means that the original can be used for commercial and non-commercial purposes and with or without alterations. The license is briefly described in the following way:

A short and simple permissive license with conditions only requiring preservation of copyright and license notices. Licensed works, modifications, and larger works may be distributed under different terms and without source code.

This also means that modified versions of this logo may be copyrighted and their use may be illegal.

Monero

As clarified by the official website, the Monero logo is covered by the Creative Commons license, namely CC BY-SA 4.0.

The copyright section explains the license in the following way:

This means that you can copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, and remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.

However, when doing so you must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests The Monero Project endorses you or your use.

Adrian Zmudzinski
Adrian Zmudzinski

Adrian is passionate about technology and Information Technology (IT). Adrian specialized in the analysis of tokens, the blockchain technology, and cryptocurrencies. His interest in Bitcoin dates back to 2009 and it rapidly transformed into a more general interest of the still arising cryptocurrency industry. His analyses are concerned mostly by the technological potential underlying the analyzed token.

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