I’m currently Co-Lead on a Badging System for a website that my organization is developing. The website specializes in providing free tutorials and instruction on how to use many different types of software and applications that have to do with Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Computer Science. To help motivate learners to progress and to give them a digital representation of the lessons and modules that they complete, we are implementing a Badge system, so that they can show off the skills they have gained to employers, etc.
One of the topics that we are teaching is how to use GitHub, and we want to award a badge specifically for a knowledge of GitHub and experience using it. As part of the badge, we wanted to include the GitHub logo so that those who see the badge instantly understand that the badge represents experience in GitHub. For the badge to look aesthetically pleasing and to match the style of the other badges, we wanted to change the color of the GitHub Logo from it’s normal black color to a dark blue (due to the fact that all of the badges are dark blue and have dark blue symbols on them).
I’ve gone to GitHub Logos and Usage · GitHub, and it doesn’t specify that the GitHub logo can be used to show that someone has been trained in GitHub. In addition, it says “[Don’t] Create a modified version of the Octocat or GitHub logo” and “[Don’t] Change the colors, dimensions or add your own text/images”. I understand the purpose of these rules, as malicious parties could use them to confuse others by altering the logo and passing it off as their own. We would never use the GitHub Logo in a manner contrary to the standards that have been provided, as we want to help and protect the GitHub brand and it’s trademark in every way, and that is why we would get written permission before ever using it in this way.
However, due to the nature of the learning website we are developing, I don’t believe that we fall under the spirit of the law here. Our website is not for profit and won’t ever generate any money. The badges we are developing will specify that the recipient has a “GitHub Knowledge”, and the metadata of the badge will include a disclaimer that we are not affiliated or supported by GitHub in any way, and will attest that we do not own the GitHub Logo (if it is used on the badge). The hope is that by using the Official GitHub Logo, we can excite learners to be motivated to learn about GitHub, and proudly show their experience in the GitHub service to others. Even though the badge will include our logo as well, every single badge we make will have our logo, while the GitHub logo will only ever be on one badge. This, combined with the fact that each badge specifies what knowledge or experience it represents (in this case, “GitHub Knowledge”), should make it clear that the use of the GitHub logo on the badges does not imply any affiliation or sponsorship of our service with GitHub.
For these reasons, we would like to ask for written permission to use the GitHub Logo on one of our badges, altered slightly to be dark blue. Since there is no contact email provided on GitHub or the GitHub Support Community that takes this kind of request, I have posted it here. Seeing as how we gain no monetary compensation from our users, and that the desired use of the logo is to motivate those to recognize your brand and service more clearly, we believe that it is in your best interest to allow us to use your Logo in this way. I hope that a staff member can help me with this issue, or point me in the right direction for these queries if this isn’t the right place.