Asset Licensing

The GNOME Engagement Team routinely uses image and video assets in its work. It is important that these are used legally, in order to protect the GNOME project from legal problems. It is also desirable to use freely licensed assets, so that our engagement efforts mirror GNOME's wider commitment to Free Software.

This page attempts to provide guidelines for licensing of assets. This includes guidelines for:

  • Asset producers, such as artists, photographers, or video producers.
  • Asset publishers, such as authors of news posts, annual reports, or social media posts.
  • Asset archivers, for when images or videos are saved for later user.

Note that this page isn't an attempt to provide a general resource on intellectual property, and doesn't attempt to provide guidelines on copyrighted or trademarked material.

Assets used by the GNOME project are preferred to be licensed using either of the following licenses, in the most recent version possible:

You can find out more about these licenses on the Creative Commons website.

If you are creating artwork directly for the GNOME project, or simply creating assets that might be useful for us (such as taking photos of GNOME events), it is recommended that you make sure that they are licensed using one of these two licenses.


When publishing, either in print form or online, always ensure that you are legally entitled to use any assets that are included in the publication.

  1. When using the GNOME logo, refer to the trademark usage guidelines.

  2. In most other cases, the GNOME Foundation does not hold the copyright for assets. In these cases, the asset must be licensed in order for you to be able to legally copy or publish it. In the GNOME project we recommend that assets are licensed using Creative Commons, where possible with the recommended licenses listed above.

Providing Attribution

In order to legally comply with Creative Commons licenses, attribution must be given to the copyright owner. To do this, it is recommended to follow the Creative Commons best practices for attribution.

Storing Assets

Storing of assets for later use is a good practice that provides a stock of historical material that can be useful in future Engagement Team activities. The assets section in is recommended for this purpose.

When storing assets that are Creative Commons licensed, it is necessary to record the:

  • Title of the work, if one is provided by the licensor (this isn't needed for CC 4.0)
  • Author name
  • Author contact, either as a link or email address
  • Source URL, if the work was published online
  • License, including a link to the full license text

This information should be kept in a text file labelled metadata.txt, in the same directory as the assets. The title should be recorded in the file name of the asset. See this template metadata file.

In some cases, assets aren't published online using Creative Commons. In these cases, it is necessary to record that the author has provided the assets using a Creative Commons license. The recommended way to get the author to keep a record of an email recording that the license has been granted. The following email templates can be used for this purpose:

Embedding License Information in Images

Copyright and license information can be embedded in image files, and is particularly relevant for photos (using Exif data). This can be a useful way to keep track of this information for both image creators and archivists.

On Linux, Exif data can be modified using ExifTool. For example:

./exiftool -ImageDescription="Original photo can be found at URL" \
-Copyright="Copyright ARTIST, 2016. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. \
To view a copy of this license, visit or send a \
letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA." \
-XMP-cc:License="" ImageToModify.jpg

See Also

Engagement/AssetLicensing (last edited 2016-08-19 16:24:50 by AllanDay)