Branding kit?

So, while I'm not really at a stage where I have to find solutions for that, or have any knowledge of how it's usually done, it feels like the current terms for using YNAB brand... things... are too restrictive.

I'm not a lawyer or anything, and I'm quite sure you won't sue me if I don't try to eat your pie, but if I read it right, I see the following situation:

I'm writing an SMS import app (for me it's really the only way to import data from bank, my bank doesn't provide anything better). Let's imagine that despite me being a beginner I'll succeed and will even produce something that I won't be ashamed to put to Android market. So I need a name for the app and an icon.

Since it's just a helper app, I don't want some "Quantum budgeting" super branding, I want the app to be easily associated and found while searching for YNAB. So I choose "YNAB SMS Import" as a name, and the icon I imagine is just your symbol with something symbolizing SMS plastered on top.

With current terms, it seems I can't - images may only be used in unmodified form due to API Terms of Service, and "YNAB" is a trademark which I don't really know if I can use without "written permission" just from the line in API Terms.

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Also, I believe everyone would benefit if you release a kit with images to use in our apps, so we don't have to scavenge them from site and internet.

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    • Ben
    • Toolkit for YNAB Designer & Developer
    • furiousfalcon
    • 8 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    YNAB will need to comment directly on this, but we had some of these conversations with YNAB in regards to the Toolkit browser extension. The goal was to have a name that related the extension back to YNAB, but didn't make it appear like it was officially sponsored/built by YNAB. We were asked not to use YNAB specific colors/branding.

    Rather than "YNAB SMS Import", you may be better off with "SMS Import for YNAB" which provides a bit more separation?

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    • Ben Sounds a bit potayto, potahto, but if I'll ever get to publishing I'll keep that in mind, thanks :) At the moment it's more about illustrating the thought process

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  • Dmitriy Kartashev Thanks for bringing this up!  We've had some internal discussions on this and we want to provide some more practical guidance in this area.  We're working on this currently. 

    We standby what the API Terms of Use state.  Of note, in the Attribution section, we state "Your application should be distinct and obviously not a part of YNAB itself" is of relevance here.  I do see how it would be helpful to have some examples of what is acceptable and what is not.

    Thanks for your input as well Ben .  Your comment about naming is a great example of how the YNAB name can be incorporated into an application name without the name purporting to be official.  So, "SMS Import for YNAB" or "SMS Import (works with YNAB)" or "Unofficial YNAB SMS Import" would be examples of acceptable use for names.  "YNAB SMS Importer" would not be acceptable.

    Also, as you pointed out, the Terms say "Our displays, images, and other copyrighted content may be used in unmodified form".  It would not be acceptable to take our logo and modify it to rebrand it for your app.  Showing our unmodified logo next to a "connect to YNAB" button or a list of features, for example, would be acceptable.  The Toolkit for YNAB is a good example here, as they use their own logo.

    I hope this helps.  As I mentioned, we're working on providing some more practical guidance in this area!

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    • Brady  I'd say you should provide a special logo for rebranding - one that would reminiesce the official one, but be free to modify, so it specifically shows unaffilated product, while still showing the connection.

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    • Dmitriy Kartashev I think that's a great idea. Something like a "Made for YNAB" logo so you know it uses the YNAB system/API but is not from YNAB itself. It could come with requirements that a brief explanation is required somewhere close to the icon or on tap/click it takes you to the "Made for YNAB" disclaimer page. 

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    • Dmitriy Kartashev We've  created a logo  and linked to it from our Terms.  It can be found here: https://api.youneedabudget.com/papi/works_with_ynab.svg

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  • Silver Packet Dmitriy Kartashev Thanks for your suggestion! I passed it along and it turns out we're already working on something along those lines ... updates to come :) 

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  • FYI - A "Works with YNAB" logo is available here: https://api.youneedabudget.com/papi/works_with_ynab.svg and is linked from our Terms of Service.

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