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

Josh Triplett <josh.trip@verizon.net> writes:

> DFSG-free.  On the other hand, requirements such as *acknowledge the
> origin of the logo*, *do not misrepresent the origins of the logo*, and
> *do not falsely claim endorsement by or affiliation with Debian* are
> perfectly reasonable.

So the FSF could require that I not use Emacs to falsely claim
endorsement by or affiliation with them as part of their *license*,
and that would be DFSG-Free?  Hm.  That doesn't seem right.

It seems like you're suggesting we package this logo such that it
isn't usable as a logo by anybody else.  Also, I'm not clear to whom
those requirements apply -- those who modify and distribute the work,
or anyone in the privacy of their home, or mirrors who distribute it
unmodified?  If the last, then *we*'d have to ship compliant images,
to avoid making mirrors' lives hell.  And adding "Debian Logo" and
"not affiliated with Debian" on the bottom of every image sounds like
it would make it not useful as a Debian logo either -- but maybe you
can propose some wording such that it would work.  I'd be interested
to see that.

> This argument is much like the case of Free licenses for standards
> documents.  Some people argue that in order to keep the standard
> standardized, the license on those documents should prohibit various
> types of modification, such as non-conforming implementations, or simply
> all modified versions.  However, this is both non-free and unnecessary.
>  A DFSG-free solution that also achieves the same goal is a license
> which includes terms much like those of zlib:
>> 1. The origin of this software must not be misrepresented; you must not
>> claim that you wrote the original software. If you use this software
>> in a product, an acknowledgment in the product documentation would be
>> appreciated but is not required.
>> 2. Altered source versions must be plainly marked as such, and must
>> not be misrepresented as being the original software.
> Such terms ensure that anyone clearly understands they are getting a
> modified, non-standard version of the standard.

Indeed.  That works great for standards -- but doesn't work for the
logo images.  Do you have something for them?

> Similarly, the logo/"logo image" is used to identify Debian as Debian;
> it could be argued (and is currently being argued by many) that we need
> a license which prohibits those uses we find "undesirable", such as use
> by competing (or even friendly) distributions.  Again, this is
> non-free.

I haven't heard anyone propose that -- only that Debian not license
its trademarks for any purpose but representation or identification of
Debian.  So Knoppix could use the swirl Open Use logo, but only to
represent the idea of Debian -- say, with the words "Debian derived"
or as a logo for a link to Debian's site.  They could not use it as a
logo for Knoppix.

>  A DFSG-free solution that achieves the same goal is a license which
> includes terms that require distributors to not misrepresent the origins
> of the logo image,

I don't believe that's enough to preserve the trademark.  Since we
don't get a do-over if this is done wrong, I think it's more important
than usual to have something better than a layman's opinion.  I'm not
a trademark expert, but it's very clear that nobody else here is either.

> document modifications, preserve the accompanying
> license notices (which will reference the Debian Project), and even (if
> we are willing to be GPL-incompatible) explicitly acknowlege the origins
> of the logo.  There are many other similar requirements Debian could
> make to serve the same goals while still remaining DFSG-free.
> I see no reason why, if a license like that which has been proposed,
> which would prohibit unmodified or insufficiently modified use by others
> (unless that use refers to Debian), is accepted as DFSG-free, that a
> license which said "You may not use this software as a basis for other
> software that competes with ours, or to run a website which competes
> with ours." would not be DFSG-free as well.  The only difference here is
> that we sympathise with the prohibitions of "undesirable" uses.

No, there's a pretty clear difference there: one is dishonest in the
meaning of the use, the other is an undesired purpose of the use.
That's not clear enough to use as a firm rule, but it's very obvious
to me that those are nothing like each other.

Your proposed license, in any case, says that recipients may not use
this software (the logo image) as a basis for other software (logo
images) that competes with ours.


Brian Sniffen                                       bts@alum.mit.edu

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