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Are apps allowed to use social media logos?
Started by JoePringles Jun 29 2018 06:21 PM

20 replies to this topic
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#1

JoePringles

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So after reading Rob’s post, it made me think about something.

If you guys are familiar to the developer Ketchapp, most of their games have this feature:

If you like one of their apps Facebook/YouTube/Twitter/whatever page, you get a game skin themed to that social media website page you just liked.

So for example, if you like the Ketchapp Facebook Page, you get a Facebook logo themed game skin.
A specific Ketchapp app that has this is “Skyball”.

If you read most of the social media brand guidelines, they specifically tell you not to use their logos on your trademarked products.

A useful link/ summary of all these guidlines is this:
http://www.hivestrategies.com/2011/05/honoring-copyright-part-2-legal-ways-to-use-common-social-media-platform-logos/

I know...if you read most of my posts recently, I talk about game skins a lot but this bugs me.

Are these guys breaking the rule or are they allowed to do this?

I know you guys aren’t lawyers, (you don’t know how many times I got that this week),
BUT FROM A PERSONAL OPINION, do you think these developers are allowed to do this?

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#2

roaminggamer

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I'm not clear why this bothers you.  It doesn't bother me and I'm sure these companies are fine and legal.

 

If FB or Twitter were bothered I'm sure they'd contact Ubisoft (owns Ketchapp).

 

Instead they are probably more than pleased to have their social media platforms associated with a hugely successful mobile company.



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#3

roaminggamer

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Also, a very brief reading of your linked document and  perusal of some Ketchapp games shows they are using the icons correctly.

 

I'm not clear what the issue is.



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#4

roaminggamer

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Can you explicitly and in detail describe what you think a game skin is.  I don't you and I have the same interpretation of this term.

 

If you have screenshots or links to images that explain what you mean that would be awesome.


Edited by roaminggamer, 29 June 2018 - 09:06 PM.


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#5

Develephant

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Hi,

 

This should really be posted in the off-topic section. It's not specific to Corona.

 

https://forums.coronalabs.com/forum/523-off-topic/

 

-dev



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#6

JoePringles

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Alright so to answer all your questions:

1) Why are you bothered?
I am bothered about this because I want to add this feature but can’t because the guidlines says I can’t use their logo on your trademarked products. But I see other developers do this even though they are not supposed to do this.

2) What is a game skin?
A feature where you can change the appearance of your character in the game.

Example is minecraft
minecraft_skins_v1_by_ministig1-d4iwvgi.

3) How is Ketchapp is using game skins with social media?
Screenshots:

Attached File  A924F9F4-7510-47CA-ABF9-8DD7EBCBDF9E.jpeg   129.53KB   0 downloads
Attached File  5E6070C8-2BAB-42A0-9D3C-B8230D087EB4.jpeg   78.63KB   0 downloads

Get it?
My question is, shouldn’t this be against guidelines?

4) Shouldn’t this be Off-Topic?
It is related to programming and app development.

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#7

nick_sherman

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Are those minecraft skins included in the main game or are they user-created content?

Ketchapp probably shouldn't be using logos like that (especially if there's a cost in terms of time/money), but they're big enough to get away with it.

Having said that, there probably is an element of fair use / blind eye turning to this sort of thing.

For instance a logo quiz that includes 1,000 logos might be able to include a picture of Mario as one of its puzzles, and never hear from Nintendo. However, try and release an entire game themed around Mario and you'll hear from their lawyers very quickly.

It's up to you to make a call on what you think consitutes fair use in your games. Perhaps put in a way to disable the feature using a remote config file, should you find yourself receiving a takedown notice.

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#8

agramonte

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1. I am very sure that using those logos like Ketchapp is using is in violation of fair use for all those companies logos. It should be easy to find by going to each company marketing page or sending the company an e-mail. 

2. The skin you showed for Minecraft last time I checked was not a native skin, but for the sake of argument, let us say that it is.

 

On a good month, I make a couple thousand dollars. So I am not big like Microsoft or Ketchapp or even as big as some people here are. When it comes to compliance my experience and Ketchapp experience will be completely different. 

 

Facebook will send a note to Ketchapp, Google or Apple mentioning that these games are in violation because they are using their trademarks inappropriately. Ketchapp and Microsoft would probably be contacted by their respective Google or Apple representative of the violation. Ketchapp and Microsoft would be given time to change the app, sue (with the bunch of lawyers they have) or receive an exception from Facebook.

 

I, on the other hand, will wake up in the morning with all the apps that are in violation removed from the store and maybe my account canceled. I also would not have an easy way to talk to a human at Apple or Google and I definitely do not have lawyers. To me, that risk is not worth it. Especially when you can make skins of sports balls, flags, flowers and other images that are not trademarks.



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#9

roaminggamer

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I am bothered about this because I want to add this feature but can’t because the guidlines says I can’t use their logo on your trademarked products. But I see other developers do this even though they are not supposed to do this.

 

Ah I see.  You'll just have to get used to being bothered about it then.

 

The big companies always get away with stuff you can't.

 

If you do it and get a cease-and-desist letter, saying "Ketchapp did it, why can't I?" won't help you.



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#10

JoePringles

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I think I won't use their logos for this purpose.

 

I will probably just give a reward of 5000 coins for example.

 

Minecraft is just an example of how they use game skins. I don't think they breach any copyright.

 

Ketchapp maybe has an agreement with Facebook but I doubt it.

 

 

On a good month, I make a couple thousand dollars. 

 

What is your secret boss?!



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#11

agramonte

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Secret! Ha! I feel like I am always fumbling from one mistake to another. What little success I have achieved is because I am focused on one particular under served population.



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#12

Rob Miracle

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@BelugaWhale, you are asking the right questions.  It's always best to follow the rules.  Unfortunately, many developers don't. Perhaps they never bothered to see if there were usage guidelines or worse yet, they did see and chose to ignore them anyway and are running the risk that they don't get caught.

 

But at the end of the day, it's never wrong to do the right thing.

 

Finally, let me address the "Off Topic" issue. Nothing in this thread is "Corona specific". It's about something very generic to all app development. We have a specific forum for talking about non-Corona topics and that's the "Off Topic" forum. That is the best place for these types of discussions. I'll move it to the right forum.

 

Rob



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#13

janetwatson0341

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Hi JoePringles,

I am looking for the answer to this question because I am a web developer - webnado and i have no idea about social media logos. I wanted to learn social media logos & banners. please help me :(

Thanks

 

I'm hoping a positive reply


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#14

Rob Miracle

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Hi @janetwatson0341 and welcome to Corona Lab's Community forums.

 

Our forums are for discussing using and building apps with Corona, our cross-platform app development platform. I was tempted to block this because the post is very spam like. This isn't the best forum for a web developer to learn about social media icon usage through the information already posted should answer you. 

 

You're welcome to continue to post here as long as your asking questions about Corona. However, adding links to your web developer business really isn't allowed here. Please refrain from doing so in the future.

 

Rob



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#15

Rob Miracle

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@carlarichi3344, again, these forums are for discussing building apps using Corona (https://coronalabs.com). It is not for discussion on generic web topics like social media banners and search engine optimization unless it's about helping with SEO with your Corona-made app. Even then, there are way more useful forums to discuss SEO even for Corona-made apps.

 

Rob



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#16

drmattries

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@carlarichi3344, again, these forums are for discussing building apps using Corona (https://coronalabs.com). It is not for discussion on generic web topics like social media banners and search engine optimization unless it's about helping with SEO with your Corona-made app. Even then, there are way more useful forums to discuss SEO even for Corona-made apps.

 

Rob

How coronalabs can help me in improving the SEO for my brand Dafz? is there something croronalabs have the solution?



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#17

Rob Miracle

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Corona Labs does not offer SEO services. This is a forum for Corona developers to discuss using Corona to build apps.

 

Rob



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#18

richard11

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Rob, it looks to me like these are dummy accounts setting themselves up and auto posting. Probably a bot that's crawling for forum posts with keywords like "social media" in the title, and then just referencing the OP username or site address in an otherwise pre-written, generic post that contains a backlink. It's an SEO strategy that unfortunately does work quite well - links from high ranking pages that are related to the term you're targeting help improve Google ranks for the linked to pages better than organic methods do. Note how both posts contain links. These aren't confused people posting in the wrong place and if the posts are kept, it'll be forever helping the sites that they're linking to.

I'd advise removing the links, whether you keep the posts or not. No gain for them then. And probably lock this thread if the original topic is done with. It's probably going to be targeted more if left open just because of its title.

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#19

Rob Miracle

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That is very likely the case, but I read each and everyone of the posts and have to make a decision if I think it's a spammer and block them forever, feel it could be a real person asking a bad, off topic question, or give them the benefit of the doubt that they are real, asking a legit question just in the wrong place and allow it and explain why it's the wrong place.

 

The first two options give them no feedback, so I have to be pretty sure its a spammer before I block them. I don't like deleting posts, but I cant really communicate with them until I approve that first post, so I'm in someways trapped with questionable posts. I could email them directly, but I don't really want to let them have my work email if I can avoid it.

 

So I can be a jerk, or be a nice guy and give them a chance. I just blocked a guy who had posted 3 or so non-helpful, but non-spam like posts, then in the 4th one he linked to a site selling something.

 

If I make a mistake and let someone in who takes advantage of my kindness, they will be gone as soon as I find them or get a report on them. Overall our forums are pretty spam free and I want to keep it that way, but there are times I'm going to give someone the benefit of the doubt.

 

I've started google searching some first time posters if I think the question has been asked before, but I also can't spend my whole day researching every new person who shows up.

 

Rob



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#20

richard11

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That makes sense. Definitely better to let some of the junk through rather than reject something legitimate.

I'd still kill the actual links though, especially if the forum software doesn't add rel="nofollow" attributes to them. In addition to those links working to help the target site gain search engine rankings, I've also seen cases where external links to cruddy sites has caused Google to penalise the site hosting them.

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#21

Michael Flad

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I too think that at least the link should be removed ... you only have to google the domain to know it's in absolutely no way related to Corona, Lua, Development, Apps, Games or anything like that and there's not even a tiny chance this was posted by accident.

 

But it's true, the forums are pretty clean and free of noise - so good job so far.




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