Saturday, February 25, 2017

licensing -

licensing -

Getting Permission to Use the reddit Trademark

  • Getting Permission to Use the reddit Trademark
  • Personal Use License (gift for yourself or someone else)
  • API client licensing (mobile, web, and desktop applications)
  • Commercial Goods License (you or someone else is selling an item)

The first thing to note is that reddit is an open-source site. Anyone can take reddit's code, anyone can spider reddit's content. We're very open and proud of that fact. We are a business, too. One that both wants to make money and to make the world a better place — which we hope aren't at odds. We have a long history of licensing the reddit alien to redditor-owned businesses and have found the experience can be enriching and rewarding if done right for all parties.

As reddit has grown, we've gotten more inquiries and more interest in creating products that contain the reddit trademark. We have an obligation on two fronts:

  • for anything that bears the reddit brand to be something that enhances the reddit experience — whether that is a knitted blanket or a T-shirt available in our store or web application.
  • for these uses to be documented (the way the law is written in the United States and most other countries, you have to defend your trademark continuously or you lose it.)

There are three licensing arrangements we typically use, and we process each according to a different set of assumptions. The different processes are outlined below, but it is important to note that we don't grant every request we receive — especially commercial ones.

Personal Use License (gift for yourself or someone else)

The personal use license is typically used when someone wants to make an item like a quilt to display in their home or give as a gift to another redditor. They're making one or two at most and no money is changing hands. We're very flexible about these types of requests and love seeing how creative and fun people are.

If you want to use the alien one time for a special gift for someone (or yourself):

  • Email us at with what you want to make and a picture if possible
  • Include your name and address, we typically ask you to sign a "formal-ish" letter confirming that we've given you permission to make something for yourself.

We just want to make sure you're not doing something completely offensive and have a record of the use. :)

API client licensing (mobile, web, and desktop applications)

We require registration for use of our our API. Please see our API terms for more details.

Commercial Goods License (you or someone else is selling an item)

This license is where a business or an individual wants to create a product bearing the reddit trademark to sell (at a "profit" or at cost). This process has been evolving and can definitely be improved. Right now we look for a number of things in business partners and determine if we think that they have a good potential at providing a product that redditors will enjoy. As part of our consideration, we look for the following in the product and company:

  • Does your company have a history of providing quality products and customer service?
  • Do you have a product plan and outline? Can you keep pace with varying levels of demand? If a bevy of orders come in, do you have the ability to scale with that? Our big concern here is that you can handle fluctuations and won't leave customers hanging.
  • What are the costs and risks associated with this? Do you have a price estimate? Do you have to sell a minimum amount of units? If more are sold, does the price go down?
  • Do we like the product? Can we see it up close and personal? Does a mockup look good? Is there demand for it?
  • Would you do it better than anyone else?

If you would like to start a conversation about creating reddit goods, here is what helps get the conversation going:

  • A description of what you want to do
  • A description of your business and expertise
  • A general product plan and parameters
  • Why you can do it better than anyone else

If we go through this process and decide to grant a commercial goods license, we will work out an agreement in writing. Our standard terms are 25% of gross revenue. We do not grant every request that we investigate.

To apply, or if you still have questions after carefully reading all of the above, send an email to

Here are the logo alien assets as well as some general tips on how to portray the alien and reddit brand. Please start where possible with the assets on this page.

We carefully review all licensing inquiries, so we ask your patience as we respond.


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