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Re: The Spirit of Free Software, or The Reality

Mike Hommey writes ("Re: The Spirit of Free Software, or The Reality"):
> On Wed, Jul 15, 2015 at 01:06:28AM +0200, Jakub Wilk wrote:
> > GET http://www.ebay.com/favicon.ico
> > GET http://en.wikipedia.org/favicon.ico
> > GET http://www.yahoo.com/favicon.ico
> > GET http://www.google.com/favicon.ico
> > GET http://www.amazon.com/favicon.ico
> > GET http://www.yahoo.com/favicon.ico
> > GET http://www.yahoo.com/favicon.ico
> > GET https://en.wikipedia.org/favicon.ico
> > GET https://en.wikipedia.org/favicon.ico
> > GET https://www.yahoo.com/favicon.ico
> > GET https://en.wikipedia.org/favicon.ico
> FWIW, those are a consequence of removing supposedly non-free icons from
> the source package. But maybe you'd prefer no icons at all for the list
> of search engines.

Yes.  Frankly I think it is astonishing that we have done this
deliberately.  Do we really think we are enhancing our users' freedom
by doing this ?

Compared to distributing the icon in the package, the user does not
gain the ability to legally modify the icon.  We are not avoiding
exposing us or our users to any legal risks.

Supposely this decision is made by us for ethical reasons (ie, to
uphold our values) but the actual effect is simply to diminish our
users' privacy,.

I would prefer the following things in this order:

1. Where distribution is permitted by an upstream, we make an
   exception for non-free icons in this context.  We already make
   exceptions for the text of licences and I don't see this being a
   problem in principle.

   No reasonable downstream would want to take the trademarked icons
   of a proprietary company, which happens to be bundled into our
   package for privacy and convenience, and produce derivative icons.
   Nor would anyone reasonable expect to be able to do that.

2. No non-DFSG-free icons for search engines.  If no modifiable icon
   is available, no icon.

> BTW, that's something that would need to be resolved once and for all by
> an SPI lawyer, because a) Mozilla's lawyers consider those icons kocher
> as MPL-licensed icons and b) that's a problem broader than just
> iceweasel, as it concerns any package with references to external
> services (and a recurring question on debian-legal).

There isn't a legal problem, surely.  I can't imagine that ebay or
whoever mind us copying their icon in this way.  There is surely a
formal legal copyright licence from ebay which makes the icon
redistributable for this kind of purpose.  As for trademarks, we are
using the icon to refer to the organisation in question, so we do not
even need permission (although there is almost certainly a formal
permission document).

AFAICT no-one has suggested that redistributing unmodified copies of
these icons along with the corresponding search engine thingies in
Iceweasl is contrary to any laws, or contrary to the wishes of the
copyright or trademark owners.

The problem is simply that the icons are non-DFSG-free.


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