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