In a game me and others are making, all of our images have been drawn by us.
However, a handful of those images contain potentially problematic copyright concerns. It is to do with the use of Apple's emoji.
And before we continue, I'd like to say that we would prefer to use Apple's typeface for emoji, for numerous reasons, predominately the fact that we have already drawn some of our images with them.
I have made quick searches on Google and have established this:
1. Apple own the particular emoji typeface we are using in our images.
2. A blog post (yes, not Apple or any official legal statement like that) says,
David Lizerbram wrote:You can use those emoji to say or communicate whatever you want. What you can’t necessarily do, however, is reproduce those emoji on a product. For that, you’d need a license.
Let’s say you really love a the emoji of the poop with the eyeballs. ... Maybe you want to stick that image on a t-shirt and sell it. Well, in order to do that you’d nee a license. If you like Apple’s version of this image, you can start by contacting Apple’s legal department.
And other searches have come up with similar answers.
3. I keep on coming across situations concerning commercial products. I'm not entirely sure if the fact that our game is free makes a difference. Being open-source, under the 3-Clause BSD License, certainly might. Because of how Apple's emoji have intermingled with our work, I still think we would require a license to clear up dubiousness, regardless of how our game is licensed.
4. This has lead me to the Apple's Legal Department site. However, under which category should I make my inquiry has always become one of those confusing things when, if done wrong, could jeopardise your ultimately simple goal, such as finding out if I can use Apple's emoji or not :).
If they grant permission, then horray!
If they DON'T grant permission, then... f***... (And no, those other typefaces aren't "good enough" xD)
If they don't RESPOND because Apple aren't concerned with a few emoji in a free game anyway, then we'll never know and be crossing our fingers behind our backs when we release it, just hoping we don't run into any issues.
Ultimately, I was wondering if anybody can share experience in the field of Apple's stance on using emoji? It saves me having to give my phone number and them calling our house without my parents knowing :)