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

Brian Thomas Sniffen wrote:
> 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.

I understand that much perfectly.  What I'm suggesting that it is OK to
use it to refer to something that isn't Debian, as long as you don't
falsely claim that thing _is_ Debian, as stated below.

> 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.

Interesting way of putting it.

I'm not entirely sure I agree with it in that way, but I do think that
trademarks are the most equitable, reasonable, and justifiable branch of

>>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.

Wonderful.  I'll let this thread lie dormant for a while, then, since I
don't want to continue arguing this point while you are still
considering it.

I'll need to ponder the edge cases as well, since that was mostly a
general idea with tons of handwaving. :)

- Josh Triplett

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