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Re: Bug#265352: grub: Debian splash images for Grub

Brian Thomas Sniffen wrote:
> The work is not a trademark.  The work bears a trademark.  Much as
> with the patent issue, keeping your intuition about copyright licenses
> and carrying them into the trademark domain will lead you to confusing
> and incorrect conclusions.

I acknowledge that all of those classes of law are quite different in
many ways.  Nevertheless, the DFSG does not differentiate among methods
of restricting Freedom.

> For example, if you draw a spiral-and-bottle like the Debian logo
> right now on a Windows CD, that infringes Debian's trademark -- even
> if you've never seen a Debian logo before.  The chain of modification
> and derivation which applies to copyright cases isn't used here, and
> reserved rights don't stop with that chain -- they leap across into
> other works.

That's true.  However, that is not particularly relevant to whether the
licenses on works in the Debian distribution, which should be able to
include at least the Open Use logo, satisfy the DFSG.  Whether works
created independently of Debian that happen to fall under rights
controlled by Debian are permitted to be Free is a different matter, and
not one covered by any current Debian policy.

For the purposes of passing the DFSG, the logos would only need to
permit the various rights required by the DFSG for the logo itself and
all derived works (and not, in the process of granting such permissions,
restrict rights to independent works, which would fail DFSG9).  If,
independently of the license on the logo itself, we place a restrictive
license on independent works that fall under the Debian trademark, that
is not a matter covered by the DFSG.  However, if we use the Debian
trademark to restrict the rights of users over the actual Debian logos
in the distribution and/or any derivative works of that logo, _then_ we
would fail the DFSG, just as if we had placed a restrictive copyright
license on it.

> So the fact that the holder of the swirl-and-bottle and Open Use swirl
> logo trademarks happens to also hold the copyright for them isn't
> particularly important.  The works can and should be (and have been?)
> put under a free license.  That is, their copyrights should be freely
> licensed.

Those two statements are _not_ synonymous.  "free copyright license"
does not equate to "DFSG-free work"; the latter implies that under
whatever laws and licenses may apply to the work, users can exercise all
the freedoms required by the DFSG.

> The trademark rights are entirely separate, and there's no reason for
> Debian to license them in any way other than "Free for use if there's
> no confusion with Debian, either because they refer to Debian or
> because they're in a domain where Debian does no business."

If you believe that to be the case, then I assume you would argue that
we should not include any of the Debian logos within the Debian main
distribution.  That would be unfortunate.  Or are you arguing that such
a restriction would be DFSG-free?  It seems to blatantly fail DFSG6.

- Josh Triplett

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