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

Brian Thomas Sniffen wrote:
> 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.

Interesting point.  I was thinking of requirements such as the third
clause in a three-clause BSD license.  Anything more general than that
may well be non-free.

> It seems like you're suggesting we package this logo such that it
> isn't usable as a logo by anybody else.

No, actually, that's exactly what I'm trying to avoid. :)

The logo _should_ be usable as a logo by anybody else, as long as they
fulfill certain requirements.

> Also, I'm not clear to whom
> those requirements apply -- those who modify and distribute the work,

Anyone who distributes the work, modified or unmodified.  I don't think
we can't regulate "use" and be Free; fortunately, most uses of the logo
are distributions, such as putting it on a website, or stamping it on a
CD and distributing the CD, or similar.

> 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.

First of all, you aren't required to make the note _in_ the image. :)
Second, I think the notices on the website are already more than
sufficient for that use of the logo

I'm not saying we can't place additional requirements that only apply if
you aren't referring to Debian, only that we can't prohibit such use.

An example of one way to use the logo that should be permitted (though
not the only possibility): use the logo as your logo, but put a note on
your page (perhaps near where you have all the copyright notices) saying
"The logo is the Debian logo, (TM) Software in the Public Interest,
Inc.", or a link "Logo legal information" pointing to a page with the
same information.  The site must also never say things like "Endorsed by
the Debian project", but that's a function of our trademark on the word
"Debian", not on the logo license.  Does that not sound more-or-less
reasonable?  Obviously, the license can't say "put a note on your
website", since it must be more general; that's the basic idea, though.
 Given the proliferation of "Linux is a tradmark of Linus Torvalds"
notices, I suspect it would not be that difficult to require something
similar for the logo.

>>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?

Not verbatim ready-to-use license text, no.  I have plenty of ideas on
what needs to be said.  As you said below, legal advice would be nice;
in the absence of that, it would be nice to at least have some ideas
from others, but that would require someone who agreed that the current
situation was non-free and unacceptable. :)

>>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
> I haven't heard anyone propose that -- only that Debian not license
> its trademarks for any purpose but representation or identification of
> Debian.

Perhaps you are referring to "use by competing (or even friendly)
distributions" and saying I forgot to tack on "for a purpose other than
'referring to Debian'"; that's true. :)

What you seem to be saying, however, is that Debian considers uses
"undesirable" that are not "representation or identification of Debian",
and you (and others) are suggesting Debian should prohibit those in the
license.  That's exactly what I'm talking about, and that is non-free.

> 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.

That's non-free.  Any other image in Debian could (I certainly hope) be
taken and used unmodified as a logo; why not the Debian logo image?
"Because it's the Debian logo." is not a reason to be non-free.

>> 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.

Granted. :)

It might certainly be necessary to get legal advice before changing the
license; nevertheless, until that license is changed, the logo should
not be in main or contrib, as it is not DFSG-free; alternatively, an
exception would need to be made until the license is changed.  I
certainly hope you agree that the suggested restrictions are non-free.

>>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.

Please refrain from using "dishonest" in that context; unmodified or
modified use of any Free image as a logo is perfectly reasonable.  Any
special restriction that you can only justify by saying "it's the Debian
logo" is a non-free restriction; it's an image, and it should be usable
just like any other Free image.

> 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.

That's exactly the kind of restriction I'm trying to avoid; if I have
somehow not made that clear, my apologies. :)

- Josh Triplett

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