Open Source Icon Woes

Posted in Programming Support by Joseph Gordon on March 1, 2010

Yay! I’ve finally taken all the necessary steps to start my own open source software. I’ve setup a “Space” for my project I call JUtils with a company called Assembla.

So far I’ve been nothing but impressed. If I had known it would be this easy then I would’ve done it a long time ago. Ok, so that’s not really true. The thing that’s held me back from releasing this for so long is really licensing. I’ve use the software libraries XStream and JGoodies in the project. Both of which have straightforward licensing. My problem has been icons.

I have little experience creating them and so did what any good programmer would do when their stuck and needing some Intellectual Property (IP). I googled for it :). This garnered a great many icons. Some of which I really liked. So I started using them and continued coding. Then came the point at which I’m ready to upload. So I go the locations I’ve unpacked the icon libraries and there’s no license information to be found. A little file that is included with most sourcecode that I’ve ever download is rarely (in my experience) distributed with icon sets.

So I scrap what I have and start over. I’ve found several that I really like:

Name License Type
CrystalClear LGPL
Flavour Extended Public Domain
Farm-Fresh Web Icons CC Attribution 3.0
Must Have Icon Set Public Domain
OpenIconLibrary CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

I was able to pick and choose out of these, the 27 icons I needed. I gathered all the licenses and displayed them, with the appropriate urls, in an About dialog in the software. I have no idea if this fulfills the licenses well enough or not. I also don’t know what sort of license I’m allowed to use for my applications or code. Any help here would be appreciated.

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