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I'm new to the craft of logo/ID design, so I apologize in advance if these questions are facile or reveal profound ignorance. (Although, I would rather be thought of as stupid and get educated than blithely go about with niggling questions).
Just seeing if anyone can lead me to information or give me non-legal advice (i.e. general good rule of thumb common sense cya advice) about permissible uses of free fonts and freeware images in designs.
Use of freeware images in commercial are less clear to me. If, say, I download a freeware image and run it through Photoshop so that the original image is unrecognizable and inspires, say, a logo design, would someone consider this stealing if the image terms said it could not be used in a logo? Would the use of an element of the freeware image be considered a use of the image in its entirety?
What if I drew my own font or image based on the freeware font or image and then used that as the basis for my logo? Would that be inspiration or stealing? What do people consider the line between stealing another person's creative property and getting inspired by another person's work?