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Re: Free Debian logos? [was: Re: GUADEC report]

Lewis Jardine wrote:
> Josh Triplett wrote:
>> A Free logo would be usable unmodified as the
>> logo for another project or website.  That would probably cause
>> confusion with Debian, but it is a legitimate use for a Free logo.
>> - Josh Triplett
> Trademarks are fundamentally different from copyrights. Things which are
> too small for copyright protection (dictionary words ('windows', 'shell'
> for example), geometric symbols, etc.) are still trademarkable. As I
> understand it, you don't need to be the author of a trademark, merely
> the one trading under it, to have trademark rights.
> In addition, the very act of using a symbol, word, etc. as a trademark
> gives it legal protection. The license :
> Nathanael Nerode wrote:
>>> Trademark license:
>>> "You may use this logo or a modified version of it to refer to
> Debian.  You
>>> may not use this logo, or any confusingly similar logo, to refer to
>>> anything else in a way which might cause confusion with Debian."
>>> Final clarification:
>>> "(If you have a modified version of this logo which is not confusingly
>>> similar to the original, you may use it for any purpose.)"
> Is simply stating the protection trademarks have under the law anyway.
> The Debian logo (and the word 'Debian') is already licensed under such a
> trademark license, simply because Debian has been trading under it.

I am aware that trademarks are quite different from copyrights.
However, the legal mechanism used to restrict freedoms is not important;
the only matter to consider is whether the work grants all the necessary
freedoms.  I do not believe that Debian would accept a copyright license
that said "you may only use this logo to refer to our company, unless
you modify it to be sufficiently different", so I don't think Debian
should accept such a trademark license either.  I do understand that
this makes using the logos as an identifying mark difficult.

Many distributions have a "distroname-artwork" package that is
completely non-free, and even non-redistributable.  I do not believe
Debian should exempt its artwork from the DFSG, especially if we wish to
promote the "all _works_ should be Free, not just programs" stance
(which I entirely agree with).

Here is my suggested logo trademark license, which I think would be
DFSG-free (if coupled with a DFSG-free copyright license):

* You may use this logo to refer to the Debian Project or to official
unmodified Debian products.
* You may use this logo to refer to modified Debian products, if the
modified product is clearly and unambiguously identified as unofficial
and not endorsed by Debian.
* You may use this logo for any other purpose, if you clearly and
unambiguously identify the origin of the logo as being the Debian logo,
and you do not imply any endorsement of or affiliation with Debian.
* You may use modified versions of the logo under any of these
circumstances, if you clearly and unambiguously identify the origin of
the logo as being the Debian logo, and satisfy the requirements for
using the unmodified logo above.

(Perhaps "conspicuously" should also be added in addition to "clearly
and unambiguously".)

- Josh Triplett

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