From my current limited research, I have come under the impression that some companies do not like it when their logo is modified. For example, in the Twitter Trademark Guidelines (which can be retrieved here) state in rule 1:

You may not alter the Twitter trademarks in any manner, including, but not limited to, changing the proportion, color or shape of the Twitter trademarks, or adding or removing any elements from the Twitter trademarks.

Which brings me to my question: is it legal for sites like Flaticon to distribute social media icon packs that seem to break this rule? Especially since this website has a "no attribution required" subscription perk. Like do they make money off this? If so how are big media companies not all over it?

  • Either they have an arrangement that involves paying money for permission, or, probably more likely, they're not legal. – Nij Nov 17 '19 at 6:25
  • Yet another possiblility might be that they did not visit the twitter website to "agree" to the term of service. They may have seen the logo from somewhere else (e.g., ads). – xuhdev Nov 17 '19 at 10:06
  • @xuhdev These aren't ToS, they are how they would like you to use their trademarks. If you don't agree to their terms, you don't get to use it, unless under "fair use". – richardb Nov 17 '19 at 11:59
  • @richardb That's exactly my point. Thay may have used it in a way without infringing copyright or trademark; but if one has agreed the ToS, even if the use does not infringe copyright or trademark, it may still be a breach of contract. – xuhdev Nov 17 '19 at 20:54
  • The original question ("How do these sites stay up?") is not actually about the law; as DaleM says lots of people break the law. I've edited it so that it explicitly asks what the law says. – Paul Johnson Nov 19 '19 at 15:27

It doesn't look like FlatIcon is altering the Twitter trademark, so it is not in violation of the rule you quote. Neither are they using the trademark by pretending to be Twitter. They are merely quoting it. As such this is not a trade mark violation, any more than my use of the word "Twitter" here.

Trademark infringement would only occur if someone used a trade mark in a confusing way, such as using it to mean a generic set of social media sites (c/f Aspirin) or in a way that suggested a different business was actually Twitter.

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