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

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

> *This issue*, meaning leading someone to believe that something
> non-Debian is Debian.  That doesn't mean they should be limited to using
> the logo only to refer to Debian, only that when referring to something
> else, they can't say that that something else is Debian, whether or not
> they use the logo.  Is that not a clear difference?

No, it's very unclear.  The logo means Debian.  Any use of it either
refers to Debian, or refers to something that is not Debian, or is
meaningless.  If they use it to refer to anything else, they're
infringing the trademark.

Perhaps it would make this conversation easier to explain that
trademark law is much more about consumer protection than about the
intellectual capital of an organization.  But it's hard for the
general public to sue, so the trademark-registering organization gets
to sue.

> In fact, I think "leading someone to believe that something non-Debian
> is Debian" is the only thing we really want to prohibit.  What if we
> just said (not proposing a license, just a general idea): "You may use,
> copy, modify, and distribute this logo for any purpose.  However, if you
> use the logo in a manner which does not refer to Debian, it must be
> clear that that which it does refer to is not Debian, nor is it endorsed
> by or affiliated with Debian.".  Does that not capture the basic idea of
> what we want to cover?  ("it must be clear" is intentionally vague, so
> as not to proscribe a method for making it clear; it may be clear
> without any explicit notice, or it may require some form of explicit
> notice.  Also, obviously the exact wording needs polishing to be more
> clear about what types of things are "Debian", such as including
> official Debian products, standards, etc, as well as making the same
> statement for the trademark on the word "Debian".)

Hm.  That one requires thought.  That might actually be OK.  I'll
think about edge cases a lot.


Brian Sniffen                                       bts@alum.mit.edu

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