I am developing an iPhone app that uses emoji from difference sources including

  • Facebook
  • Facebook Messenger
  • docomo (the original set of emoji)
  • Gmail (not the ones that come stock in android OS)
  • KDDI
  • Samsung
  • SoftBank
  • Windows

Some emoji sets are covered under the Creative Commons Attribution, so in my app I will handle that accordingly. But for the vendors listed above, I am not sure how the emoji's are licensed or how to avoid landing myself in a law suit.

Is there some general statement I can put in the app that will keep everyone happy? Or should I address each emoji set individually? Can anyone tell me the licenses that cover EACH of said emoji sets?

Users will be able to copy the emoji images. The app is free, but includes ads.

I already read these articles:



And yes, I HAVE to use those specific emoji.


The images of emojis are copyrighted. So you will need a license that allows copying the images. The fact that there are ads, so you are making money, would make any copyright infringement more serious.

And since this is an iPhone application, if you want to get this app on the App Store, you will also have to convince Apple's reviewer that your app isn't infringing anyone's copyright, and if any copyright holder complains, your app will be gone.

  • Thank you. I understand it's all copyrighted, I'm trying to figure out how to go about getting the licenses OR if I can attribute the license in the case of open source stuff. If you happen to know how to find these licenses that would be the most helpful. Thanks again! – Chris Monteleone Feb 1 '17 at 23:19
  • If you want a license, ask the copyright owner. – Nij Sep 29 '17 at 4:31

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