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Bug#587668: Open Logo License and DFSG ARE Compatible...

I have seen this bug report when I was reading

I believe that there was not a bug in the package at all and the artwork was not needed to be modified. Here is my view of the issue:

The statement from the open logo license:

  "This logo or a modified version may be used by anyone to refer to the
  Debian project, but does not indicate endorsement by the project."

does not have anything against the Debian policy.

First of all, it says "Referring to the project with a modified logo is allowed." It does not say This logo or a modified version may "ONLY" be used to refer to the Debian project. So, current statement is not limiting but stating a freedom. DFSG mentions GPL, MIT and Artistic Licenses as FREE all of which contains similar statements like this. An example which is much more limiting than open logo license, from Artistic License:

"The name of the Copyright Holder may not be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permission."

On the other hand, in my opinion, this statement in open logo license should be updated to include a limitation of usage of the logo to refer to the Debian Project. I mean, it should say what the bug reporter understands: "This logo may "ONLY" be used to refer to the Debian project." So the logo is protected. And it also should include another limitation as prohibiting referral of the Debian Project with a modified logo so Debian's image can be protected.

This would be good I believe: "This logo may only be used to refer to the Debian Project and any modified version may not be used to refer to the Debian Project without prior written permission."

Let's say this update is done or we understand the current statement as containing this limitation. The license would again be perfectly compliant with the DFSG. The license allows modifications and derived works and allows them to be distributed "under the same terms as the license of the original" which contains referral to the Debian project. In other words, I can distribute the logo under the original license and also refer to the project with it. Even with my too much stricted version of the statement, I will still be "free" to "modify" and "use" it in a theme used in Debian Releases because the project itself distributes it after acceptance as a contest winner which can be considered as the written permission. Then everybody will be free to redistribute it with it's current modified situation since it is allowed with written permission.

Using a logo means using it to refer to the thing which it represents. Using a logo does not mean taking it and making it the logo of another thing. Using Debian Logo without referring to the project is not a freedom guaranteed under DFSG, and for my personal opinion should not be considered a freedom at all.

Other statements from the DFSG does not have any contradiction with the license statements current situation nor the stricted version I offered. The license does not restrict the use of the logo in a specific field, you are free to use it anywhere, it is a logo. You can use it on your hosting website referring to Debian. Limiting your use of it to resemble Debian and not allowing, for example, using it to refer to Freebsd, which is not the situation by the current license anyway, does not mean to "restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor."

The last statement mentioned in the bug report, the license does not "attach the rights on the logo with its' being part of the Debian System." You can use it on a T-Shirt or a Coffee Mug or the door of your apartment, any of which are not a part of the Debian System.

In his second message reporter mentions "the fact that the debian text written beside the swirl was done from scratch" This fact has nothing to do with the logo license nor DFSG. It makes the logo original or modified which are not seperated. Even if you draw it from scratch, it is Debian Logo. Even if you use different fonts, it can be claimed to be the Debian Logo at the court if it is not "too" different. However, the license, unfortunately for me, allows all of the uses stated here as examples.

Lastly, I feel that there is something not right at removing your own logo from your own release! If we can not use our own logo on our own releases, what is freedom, really? I am working on a theme to send for the contest for Wheezy and I want to "FEEL FREE" to use Debian Logo on Debian Releases. Can I FEEL FREE? Please let me know if this issue is solved for everyone or not.


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