First negative Home Assistant experience :(

Just had my first negative home assistant experience, and unsure what to do…

TLDR: Someone is stealing the HA content I create for free, and selling it as their own.

A couple of months back, I was looking for a way to get Hue icons into home assistant and having failed to find any plugins that could do it, I decided to create my own resource. Figuring it’d be a useful thing for the community, I documented it, acknowledged the shoulders that had carried me, and shared it on a thread here and further.

The result has been very rewarding. The HA community has been really instrumental in getting it from a single user project into HACS official, and I’ve always tried to acknowledge and credit those who’ve helped me along the way.

Its been a lot of fun to learn. Beyond the relatively simple ‘grab and tweak the icons from the hue developer pack’, I also created a few original custom icons to reflect Hue devices that I owned, and opened up an issue template to take icon requests from those who needed them.

So far, so good. The interaction has been great. The interest has been rewarding. It feels good to give something back, and whilst I’ve come across other libraries that include subsets of the hue icons (based on earlier versions of the developer kit) my time has never felt wasted. I’ve been learning lots as I go, and what was originally a simple library of around 60 ‘official’ hue icons has expanded through community requests to over twice that size. I’m an art major, so getting the creative juices flowing is reward itself :slight_smile:

So… here we are a couple of months down the road. I’ve probably put well over 24 hours dev work into it (there are roughly 70 custom hue icons requested, each takes at least 20 minutes to research and draw) and knowing I’ve solved a problem for someone like me is a good feeling. Reward enough, I thought.

Then yesterday, someone pointed me at another more generic brand repo. A repo that’s copied my work and is passing it off as their own. They seem to follow my releases by a day or so, and incorporate the original custom icons that I design and author as their own resources. They don’t give any credit to me for the work, nor link back to my library by way of thanks. And they’re accepting paypal donations for ‘the work’ that I’m doing.

Obviously, anything you put on the web is fair game, really. I’ve ‘borrowed’ the original Hue icons, after all, so its not as if I’m on the moral high ground. I don’t do this for profit or recognition, and the work is its own reward. So why does it bug me so? I just wanted the icons to be used, and arguably having them in another repo helps that end, so why am I annoyed? This was my gift to the community. If they want to use it in any way, it should be good.

Its been bugging me a lot. To the point that my partner asked why I was distracted. Why does it feel bad? Am I just being precious about something unreasonable? I do think its dishonest to take icon requests (they’ve copied my issue template word for word) and then take payment for satisfaction of those requests, when its me that’s creating the icons. The overlap isn’t massive, but there are definitely icons that I’ve had requests for after they’ve been raised elsewhere, and which have then found their way back to other libraries as closed issues.

I wasn’t going to make money from this. Why do I care if someone else does?

Its all just a bit crappy really, and I’m feeling discouraged from creating any more custom icons now that I know they’re just being taken and sold elsewhere. If I could forget it all, I would.

Any advice?


This is more a “Negative Open Source Experience” than a negative “Home Assistant” experience.

Click bait! :laughing:

But seriously, that’s the peril of open source. It’s free for all to use and abuse.

Ask for attribution of your work but don’t be surprised if they don’t comply.

If you are no longer enjoying it, take a substantial break. Recharge your batteries and do something nice with your partner.

No only will you feel better but the abusers of your repo will start copping flack for not adding requests in a timely manner.

Win - win.


That’s a fair observation. Yeah. You’re probably right. I got a lot out of creating it. Probably better to walk away a while. As you say, perils of open source, and better to have done it than not, even if a small share of the beneficiaries have been less than honest.

It’s a good call.

1 Like

It’s not all win-win of course. There are still the genuine and appreciative users of your hard work who will have to respect your hiatus.

I know mate… that’s why I wish I could just forget it. Otherwise every time an icon request comes in I’m wondering if someone raised it there first. :frowning:

Shouldn’t matter, really. Will think on your words. (And waste time planning impotent revenge fantasies) :smile:

Thanks for the advice.

1 Like

I don’t know if it’s possible or not but maybe make a few posts in the github feature requests on their repo stating that they’ve stolen your work and getting paid for it.

it may only alleviate some annoyance but it also might open others eyes to what is happening.

And while you’re at it post their repo here so we all know who the culprits are so we know to avoid them too.

If it’s fair game for them to steal your work then it’s also fair game to point it out publicly in as many places as possible.

Again, fair point.

I added another set of icons tonight, satisfying what looks like a genuine request. I’ll ease off now, but didn’t want to punish someone who might be genuine.

I’ve added a comment to clarify the non-commercial basis of the original works on the rogue repo here: Custom Icon request · Issue #29 · elax46/custom-brand-icons · GitHub, and explained to those who’ve brought icon requests to me that I’ll be stepping away for a while. Hopefully that stops people paying for them in the interim at least.

Time to get some air.