Suppose you have a free software package that includes an OpenID login form. Such forms are supposed to include a little OpenID logo . But as hard as you look, you can't find a license for the OpenID logo. Though there seem to be indications that it might get one in 2009, it seems like it will not be free enough to be included in a free software package.

Due to this problem, all the ikiwiki sites out there have not used the OpenID logo, or indeed any logo, in their login form for the 2+ years that ikiwiki has proudly supported OpenID. That was so suboptimal that I spent some donations to commision an unofficial OpenID logo openidlogin-bg.gif. It's freely licensed for use in whatever.

Putting the little OpenID logo in the login form is a nice touch, it helps spread awareness about OpenID and users learn to look for it. The fact that free software packages can't include it weakens that. Having an alternative logo that evokes the "real" logo and the concept of a login is better than no logo at all. But it is also needlessly confusing.

I encourage the new OpenID board to reconsider plans for logo licensing, and bear in mind that many free software packages can have native OpenID support, and should be able to include a copy of the logo, without worrying about it conflicting with their license, or not being free enough to be included in a free software distribution.

Logos and logos

It might also be possible for the OpenID Foundation to retain control over a "master" logo, yet create their own derivative that is licensed under a suitably-free license, designed for use in login fields and whatnot.

After all, some of their rules are already pre-violated:

*There's no (TM) in the little logo

*The little logo might not be clickable in all situations (e.g., inside a login field)

Comment by
comment 2
I agree, that would be perfactly acceptable for I guess 99% of the free software projects out there's needs.
Comment by joey []
OpenID logo @

On this site, the logo seems to be under public domain

Comment by germangutierrez []
comment 4
I doubt that site has a way to select "no license has been given for this logo".
Comment by joey []
comment 5

Hi Joey,
I just came across this post and wanted to let you know that first of all I'm sorry that we haven't addressed this problem sooner and second that we are working on it. Obviously, the goal is to make sure people can use the OpenID logo in things like OpenID sign in forms or other places to help describe OpenID and many members of the community already do this! We also understand that there are situations like yours where people are uncomfortable doing so without an official policy or license in place. It's currently on my to-do list to help develop a policy (along the lines of the XMPP one) for OpenID.


Comment by
comment 6
We are implementing OpenID and we have found this same issue. Thanks for the public domain image, we'll gladly use it. You would think a universal Login button would be priority #1 for the OpenID developers...
Comment by n8burba []