Steemit, Inc. brand and logo are intellectual property that are protected by law. DO NOT USE THEM.

in #steemit5 years ago (edited)

It's official, with the "light green" logo you see on the steemit website, if you use it without permission, you could be sued.

In the past, you could incorporate the STEEM logo like this without any worry you were violating a copyright:


However if I did the same thing with the new light green steemit logo, I could be sued or face other legal ramifications.

(I will not show that light green logo here, even if it could be considered "fair use". It is simply easier not to do that)

As per the recent announcement on steemitblog today:

The Steemit brand and logo are protected by intellectual property laws, including copyright and other proprietary rights of the United States and foreign countries.

One may not make unauthorized commercial use of, reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute copies, perform, or publicly display the Steemit logo or brand, except as permitted by the doctrine of fair use or as authorized in writing by us.

It is important all users realize this immediately.

  • DO NOT ever copy/paste or reproduce the steemit "light green" logo or use any variations of their brand without prior written permission

  • If you follow the doctrine of fair use, and are "absolutely sure" you are not violating their intellectual property rights (I recommend consulting a lawyer)... then you can use it.

I have no ill will towards Steemit, Inc. If they want to sell their own merchandise with a Steemit logo on it, then they should feel free to do so without having anyone else compete with them.

However, you can do whatever you wish with these STEEM logos:

As the steem gets more popular, and attracts more money, of course we'll see things happen like this over time.

Until now it has been a free-for-all it seems.. Things are about to get a little more serious (and legal) as time goes on.

Be prepared, be wise, and stay legally safe. :)


Does this mean any existing banners that say STEEMIT we can now be sued for if we continue to use them with the old symbol if the name STEEMIT is in them?

If so, I have some art to rework.

Steemit is a registered brand. I would remove the "it" if you can, and just reference STEEM as the blockchain on that artwork.

While they did not protect their brand prior to the new logo, I suspect they will start actively pursue it once it becomes profitable for them to do so..

People can use whatever they want. "IF" they learn a different perspective of reality and law. Especially Common Law. Common Law does not recognize intellectual property.

"The general rule of law is, that the noblest of human productions—knowledge, truths ascertained, conceptions, and ideas—become, after voluntary communication to others, as free as the air to common use."

"The law of intellectual property is commonly understood as providing an incentive to authors and inventors to produce works for the benefit of the public by regulating the public's use of such works in order to ensure that authors and inventors are compensated for their efforts"

Common Law does not recognize intellectual property. your opinion, or expertise, do you know of which courts would recognize steemit's logo, brand, and other intellectual property if they weren't common law courts?

It's peoples individual responsibility to understand the deception that goes on in court to fully protect themselves. I'm not providing legal advice. I'm just presenting a perspective of reality that is not commonly known.

in that same article I just shared with you...

"Congress derives its power to regulate patents and copyrights from the "intellectual property clause" of the Constitution."

Well when one studies the constitution, real history not school taught, law / legalese, U.S., The Republic of America and more they sometimes end up where I did...

What I shared in my article discussing what Tom Hanks said about history..

The evidence of all this means that the constitution's enduring strength is that it complements the Declaration of Independence. What the Declaration did, was provide the philosophical basis for a government that exercises legitimate power by "the consent of the governed". So society has accepted it by choice, force, and or both. Thinking the assumption and claim of authority by the State is valid. Ultimately showing whatever perception the people in society accept is reality for the rest.

U.S. is a corporation not a country. It actually doesn't have jurisdiction outside of District of Columbia.

In court they charge peoples corporate name and account. Not the natural person. I will be trying to show sources and explain in my next article more in depth of how and why this exists. It's a continuation of what I been sharing. Pretty much all anyone will need to know of where to start looking, finding, understanding if interested.

Took me years to understand and put things into perspective. Start to conceptualize properly. Just trying to make it as easy I can for people interested now. I know it's a lot of work with all the misdirection's out there.

Cool, same thing I said. Didn't read until now! I'll be following you & nice to meet you!


The Steemit brand and logo are protected by intellectual property laws, including copyright and other proprietary rights of the United States and foreign countries.

The US is not a country. It's a company. Trump didn't vow on the united states of america but on the US corporation, district of Collumbia.

I thought you might want to know. This is an important distinction, one that even Alex Jones doesn't talk about. And I wonder why. I know this because I actually studied the law and tested this fractional reserve banking. We are free but we are all fooled by this legal system. It's rather amazing really. Look up the peace time flag for example, admirality law... etc.

I think the main reason for this is the scammer problem. People lure members from the Steemit community to a different website that looks and feels like Steemit, to get their passwords.

With the legalities in place, Steemit can finally do something about this.

I reckon they can have their logo, for their productive purposes. Should I reference their product, I shall identify it appropriately.

Further, insofar as Steemit is used in materials that identify this platform, for example, "I am a Steemit user.", or, "Come join Steemit!", no violation of their brand has occurred, as I am not attempting to usurp their productive utilization of their brand and property.

Insofar as I have advertised Steemit, I could as easily sue them for the value of my advertising work, as they could sue me for it.

Just as I can say 'Wheaties', 'Cap'n Crunch', or 'Grape Nuts' in reference to those products, I can say 'Steemit'. The point of the legal protection is to keep me from competing with them by using their brand and logo.

I won't.


You have a very good understanding of the issue. I like the way you explained it. :)

I don't like the green color. There's a reason no one uses green.

Well I guess the logo before was far more better and professional.

Well, i see all this as a serious move in the right direction.

Thanks for highlighting this important point, it's highly likely that many will assume automatic permissible incorporation of the new steemit logo into their own works, be it t-shirts or designs or whatever, without considering risk of a cease and desist injunction, or worse.

Resteeming to increase exposure of this detail.

Yes, I agree (many will assume incorrectly).

Now consider, if you had a high STEEM wallet balance, say $50,000 and you incorrectly used the steemit logo and a lawsuit was filed. They'd know how much money the defendant had prior to the court case. :)

This will be one to watch for. I would like to assume that they're not wired for aggressive litigation and would rather seek amicable settlement limited to breaches of proprietary rights where damage to reputation or income was concerned.

But I prefer not to assume much.

Interestingly, while my browser tab still shows the old logo favicon the new logo favicon clearly can be accessed:

Must be a cache thing, even though I've restarted my browser several times in the last 24h.

It makes sense for there to be separate logos for Steem and Steemit. They have been talking about it for quite some time. So the Steem logo remains public domain and we can use it, create emojis, etc. The Steemit logo is copyrighted. Makes sense.

...and I agree. Makes sense. My purpose was just to stop people from using the steemit logo the same way everyone seemed to use it when Dan Larimer was still a significant person there.

Now that the logo has changed, we have a clear understanding that the new logo belongs to Steemt Inc, and NOT the users of steemit.

So play and use the steem logo as much as you like.. its for us to use and promote the steem blockchain. :)

One small addendum to your post, @intelliguy (CC: @offgridlife).

It is allowed to make use of the steemit logo under the fair use policy. So basically, when writing about news.

Plagiarism specialist, Jonathan Bailey, has written more about the topic here. Most important to remember are the four conditions which need to be met to fall under fair usage:

  • the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  • the nature of the copyrighted work;
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Check out his further elaboration on the topic, as well as the differences between copyright and plargiarism, in this article.

As a reporter, I love fair use. It's awesome.

It is, and as a reporter, you must understand the differences. Many new users just starting out in as a blogger, running contests, making neat t-shirts, and just having fun may not.

Yes, I cover intellectual property law, so I understand it pretty well. While I understand your desire to be "better safe than sorry," isn't it better to educate people on proper fair use rather than calling for a blanket ban?

Your interpretation is that I called for a "blanket ban".

  • That is a misquote, I never used the words "blanket ban"
  • I did say "It is just easier not to use it", which is indeed true

isn't it better to educate people on proper fair use?

If you'd like to educate people on proper fair use, that's your option. Feel free to write an article, and link to it in this reply thread if you like.

I, on the other hand, am not qualified to teach others on proper fair use, and if someone takes my advice and gets sued, I could be liable for giving incorrect advice since I am not a lawyer.

In this case, I'd rather err on the side of caution. I'm less likely to be sued for telling people "it's easier to avoid fair use", than it is, to pretend I am qualified to give advice on fair use.

Dude, relax. I didn't quote nor "misquote" you. Enjoy your evening.

I could be liable for giving incorrect advice since I am not a lawyer.

Wait wait wait, it should be the opposite logically. You cannot be sued because you are in fact not a lawyer. This would be logical. If the legal system is saying otherwise then that's very interesting! Because I always wondered how we are tied into a contract with the State?

There's a thing called CAPITIS DIMINUTIO or name in all caps. That's why you are INTELLIGUY0 on your creditcard. It's a fake strawman without any rights. But if they call you and say "are you INTELLIGUY0" and you say "yes" the courts have tricked you into representing this legal fiction! I'm not sure if this is strawman is your incorporated birth certificate, where they made essentially a security out of you, but it's a non-binding contract since you or your parents are not aware, or is your natural person. Details details!

Yes, I did link to "fair use" in the article, and I did make reference to the fair use usage.

Surely people will need to do research.

In my personal opinion, it's easier "just not to use it, if possible".

Oops, apologies. I have overlooked that, probably still short in caffeine this morning. Or I saw a werid cached version because there was also only one comment on the article so far. :/

In my personal opinion, it's easier "just not to use it, if possible".

I disagree with that tho, if it news-based reporting (often good condition for the fair use doctrine to apply) it is usually rather simple to know whether you can use something or not.

As long as it's only an element of the content created. This article, for example, could very well have done with the new logo and that without creating any legal pitfalls. :)


I deliberately chose not to... and I won't. Their logo is their business, and I'm really not interested in using it "AT ALL" ... even for fair use purposes (which I am at the moment).

The mere fact I mentioned Steemit (and will continue to do so) is a violation of their brand, unless of course, I'm using it for Fair Use purposes.

...but to include the logo is even worse. I have other things I'd like to talk about.

See, under the old STEEM logo, it was just too easy (and fun) to use it in as many variations as I liked, without having to worry about Fair Use..

Under the NEW steemit logo, it's no longer easy (and fun) anymore, unless I double check all components of my article meet fair use criteria. (and I mean the whole thing).

If I NEVER EVER DOWNLOAD A COPY OF THE STEEMIT LOGO to my computer, I never have to worry about whether or not I accidentally used it for non-fair use reasons by re-uploading it as an image.

As I said, it's just easier to avoid using it, period.

I understand that stance, license issues are often a fickle thing.

Btw, it is important to know that with each page visit your device (more specially its browser) downloads all files required. In this case that includes the image files, which are most often even cached in your browser.

Btw, Steem Inc. hasn't updated the license for Condenser, the open source software which is the Steemit interface, yet. :D

Yet. We'll see that soon if it carries the logo. I haven't checked it.

I deleted it from my Blog post and will not use it again... if I make 40 cents from people upvoting then I am making a commercial gain. The same with any Steemit post.

This is exactly the wrong outcome. We have provisions for such uses, the Fair Use doctrine.

If this entry results in people deleting the logo, while they used it legally, this article has become FUD.

We shouldn't live, and react, because we fear. As @joshpeterson said, education is better than inactivity [paraphrased]. Any article writing about the redesign, with the logo integrated, will be covered under Fair Use. Even if your article makes money of it. Even if you write a design analysis of the logo only and tear it to shreds. In the latter case, having a similar content archive may help, but it isn't required.

What commercial use isn't allowed? Write a Steem news site and use the new Steemit logo in your own logo. That is now explicitly outlawed.

Yes - I over reacted. My mistake.

You're right. This is probably a good sign, and an indication that Steemit is ready to go mainstream.

I had my worries, but your point is valid, and helps me understand.

This is probably just a requirement of their VC.

To date we've never had VC! (except a small angel investment prior to launch of Steem)

The purpose of the copyright restrictions is to enable Steemit to protect users from malicious websites (think phishing attacks) that attempt to employ the Steemit logo or trademark. We now need to find the wording and balance to allow the community to comfortably use the logo simultaneously. Stay tuned


Thanks for clarification. All legals will sure help if there is any to be had in the future.

Hello, this is @septemberbre2ze and I’m leader of Korean Steemit Club, @kr-collegeclub.
I want to get permission of my logo, which is little transformed version of your logo.
The logo I made is these two things,
real logo.jpg
And I swear I didn’t duplicated or traced your logo. Because I made this with inspiration of your logo and Illustrator program’s pathfinder’s tool. I mean, I didn’t use image trace tool. And I swear I won't use it as malicious use.
I hope you allow us to use these logo on the post for our club members.
Thanku for your reading :)

Oooh, so we're getting VC money now.

I was always curious about this and figured if it wasn't already prohibited, it would be shortly.

You were right!

So steem_t is no longer usable as a website. Thank you for sharing and clarifying this. Resteeming.

I can see it now ..... Like the word G-d we will all be saying Steem-t

That's not what I said or suggested.

Of course you can use steemit as a website.

You just can't copy their logo and re-package it freely like you could with the old STEEM (blue) logo.

Technically, using a screenshot with the logo visible, the color scheme or the look and feel of the original site falls into the breach category. The site is fully usable when people are blogging about anything except itself.

Who is talking about screenshots?

You said:

So steem_t is no longer usable as a website

That means (to me), so I can no longer go to and use that website anymore.

What I meant that it is no longer usable in the manner that we were using the website in, which is to create communities for it, post blogs about any topic, post screenshots of the site with the logo visible if we find a glitch, etc. Perhaps I wasn't clear. We as users have to be diligent we don't inadvertently act in our own detriment (aka cause legal action against us).

On the positive side, to me this means that all content should aim to be as original as possible and not focus on highlighting the site itself in a positive or negative light.

Just blur it out. So far they seem to be focusing on their logo, and not the website or it's likeness. (although that may be coming next).

Maybe that is why this place got "re-skinned" with their brand colors too. I dunno.

Maybe. We'll see how it plays out.

Nice. Thank you for the info... Didn't even know about a new logo.... it's been a busy past couple weeks lol

so, its not right to use the new logo for every need..? like a steemit banner profile or a t-shirt..?

Just so I'm sure, what if for example, I wanted to make use the Steem logos (the ones not protected by intellectual property laws) to make Christmas ornaments, t-shirts etc. and sell them to others in exchange for Steem Dollars, would that be okay?

As long as they say "STEEM" and not "STEEMIT" you will be okay.

Thanks for the heads up

The Artist Formerly Known as Prince must be looking down from heaven at all of us Steemians shaking his head. While the former logo is free to share, the new logo is untouchable.

The only law I follow is the law of god.

Thank for your info

That’s one way to kill it

Good to know this and will reshare this for others! Thank You!

I wonder if GOLOS could sue STINC for using their logo ... twice. =)

I feel like steemit just got dirty...
What next ? the name steemit not allowed to be used without prior written permission?
Do I have to be careful I do not violate copy right when I am trying to help grow and promote the site,for fear of being sued!
After all this is a for profit site,anyone who uses the site makes money(unless my friend is right and crypto is not by the nature of design.
I hope the vibe i get from this is wrong. I think this could be bad if they start to sue people just to keep them from using an image.
It is more complicated than I understand ,as well as the common user.
guess it may be best to not use any steem it images or logos, and maybe better strat doing like I do w/ f---book. st--mit or
thanks for the heads up!

The name itself is fine to use, when talking about it.

You can talk about how you like Steemit or don't like Steemit. That does not detract from their intellectual property right to promote their brand their way.

However, let's say you wrote a blog post, and said "Hey everyone. A new Steemit Contest" that point, you'd be using their brand name in a way that they did not intend or authorize and in my opinion, then that is when it could be a problem.

Similarily, if you were to use their name in the same color, and font, and print it on t-shirts... or even posters... that would be wrong, because no one has the right to market or use their brand for promotional purposes but the person who actually owns the brand.

So feel free to use Steemit in your text and dialog... just not as a way to market, or promote things.

Thank you for the information.

How do we share the New logo if we cannot share the new logo ? How do we share anything if we are not allowed to Share ?

The new steemit logo may only be used by the corporation Steemit, Inc unless they give you prior written permission.

So if you want a logo to use to talk about STEEM the blockchain, you can still use the old one.

Like I said before I don't think this really holds @intelliguy because I don't think @offgridlife agreed on a TOS? Or did we? Is it a binding contract?

Thanks - I DELETED the screen shot and replaced with this.

The ghostbusters logo you posted is copyright 1984 belonging to Columbia Pictures Industries Inc. It's not much better. Find a free logo at

... thanks for the Link.

This is not what they're concerned about. They're trying to establish a brand independent of the currencies and the blockchain itself. If you post the logo in your Steemit post, no one's going to come after you for trademark or copyright infringement. It's only if you set up a Steem blockchain service that is outside of while using the new logo, they'll have you in court faster than you can say Bitcoin. I'm not a lawyer, I'm just some guy. But I understand what IP owners are after. Basically they don't want you to impersonate them. Don't do that and you're probably good to go.


Thank you @intelliguy for this useful information. As I already have some Steem fan-art, I will make sure not to be using the teal Steemit logo at all to stay on the safe side. No doubt that the user base up until this point will to a certain extent still have the original image encompass both in their understanding of the platform.

I'm gonna wait it out, and see what happens!

STEEM logos are fine... Use them in your new art.

Just stay away from using the new light green logo

(Unless you get written permission)

Alright! It's always good to get some clarification.

I wonder what it would take to receive written permission...

I guess thats the end of free promotions for steemit then

I had a few hundred business type cards made with the old steemit logo on that i would give out or pin on the customer boards in the supermarkets and other places.. I guess that's the end of that then

What you could do, is contact Steemit, Inc and show them the card, and ask for their written permission to use those cards for that purpose.

Going forward though, absolutely it seems like they'd like you ask first, before you just do it. It appears they want to protect the way their brand is used and advertised.

Steemit is now Hurricane Steemit haha being from New Orleans it scared me when I first saw it. What a dirty Halloween trick!

I just noticed something about Nightmode that could be tweaked if it hasn't already been reported as a bug: When I go to my Replies, the Highlighted replies, don't show up, because the box is white. I CAN read them if I use my cursor to highlight them as though I were going to copy the text. Otherwise, it's white on white. Perhaps a pale-ish grey or something to highlight comments will do the trick.

All this law!law!!law!!! Of a thing i tire o. Know wonder in one of my college book says:

"The law is an ass" it's good for that idea,but let them carry every steemians out there along to avoid them falling as a prey in the hands of the law.

It's an arse covering exercise isn't it? I mean, I've used the Facebook logo in my Steem posts and made several hundred dollars from it. However FB, a company bigger than Steemit by an order of magnitude did not sue me.


Refreshing, vibrant new stuff

Ask permission for translate to my language Indonesian

YES. But you must link to this original article and mention it is re-posted from @intelliguy

Thank you for asking.

Hi - shameless plug, sorry @intelliguy, would you like to translate articles and talks we do? We can reward you with upvotes!

What the mean of "shameless plug"? Articles about what?

@nutela ment that he was shamelessly plugging his comment on this post. We are building a team of translators to translate different content into diferent languages if your interested let me know :)

Of course I'm interesting. How to join? Take me to the team :-)

Allright! Welcome aboard!

Preferred the original, but whatever floats the boat, if not available to use, just don't use it.

Laws within laws today, easier to just leave well alone till more information is available.

Thanks for the update @intelliguy

I don't understand how it's any different to me putting the facebook or twitter logo on my personal website. As long as i'm not defaming or using the logo for nefarious purposes, i don't really understand why the Steemit guys would have a problem with it. Maybe im just a liberal brit who doesnt see why they would spend their time going around suing everyone who puts their logo in a post or as a link on their own site.

You're looking at it too simply. They're not worried about you using it like a twitter logo or facebook logo for putting a link to this website.

But if you started printing t-shirts without authorization, you could be sued. If you started printing your own business cards and posters, you could run into a problem.

They are making it very clear to everyone without saying it in so many words... "Stop using our logo without permission" unless of course, it is for "fair use" purposes. Many people don't fully know what fair use means, so they will need to investigate that topic.

gotcha, so all this will really affect is the "Travel With Me" lot not being able to wear Steemit T-shirts ;)

To be safe you should remove any reference to the word STEEM--(i)--t .... we can only say Steem-t or Steem)t or such word.

No, "fair use" dictates we can talk about brands. (See wikipedia on "fair use")

For instance, we can talk about how big Walmart stores are, without interfering on their intellectual property right to that brand.

However if I were to start making t-shirts with Walmart on it, then yes, I could be sued.

I'm talking about steemit all the time. No problem. I just don't need to use their logo to do that.. and in my opinion it's better not to re-broadcast their logo when I do talk about them.

To be safe i will just use the following word Steem(it) - so I can sleep easy.

But on Steem(it) if you are posting an article about Steem(it) and make money from that article. then that is commercial gain.

Yes, it is a commercial gain.

So is the New York Times newspaper. (they sell the paper)

...but fair use has a long definition of how you can use it (even if if there is a commercial gain.) See, once you enter legal land, there are very "technical" differences between 100% correct, and not 100% correct. I don't like going into legal land, so I'd rather divert my attention into talking about STEEM, the blockchain most of the time.

What about the post you write in the Steemit itself, by giving the due credit?

Depends on what the post is about, and how any logos or brands are used. Do some reading and research on "fair use", there is a lot to learn. Many universities teaching journalists spend a lot of time on that issue, because it is important to understand.

That's true, thanks for letting us know :)

Woo glad I found this information!! I knew that there was a logo that was public domain and one that was trademarked or copyrighted and I am glad you placed this information out there in a clear concise manner for the community's benefit. I definitely am not trying to get sued! Trying to make a custom T-shirt with the logo on the back and am very happy to know i can use the original logos. Thank you for making this so clear @intelliguy, this information was incredibly useful to me.

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