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Re: Drawings similar to well known products. Copyright problems?

[I'll not Cc: you Aurelian, as I assume you'll get this from the BTS
anyway. Others: If you stop Cc:'ing the bug, you'll probably need to
Cc: the maintainer.]

On Tue, 11 Jan 2005, Aurelien Jarno wrote:
> I recently package and uploaded openclipart [1], an open clipart
> library. The package has just been accepted by the ftpmasters and is
> now in Debian.
> I just received a bug report (#289764) from William Ballard about
> problematic copyrighted pictures, that looks like similar to some
> well known company products.

First and foremost, there's a serious conflation of copyrights and
trademarks here.

Almost none of these images appear to actually be affected by whomever
William claims to own the copyright, unless they are actually
derivative works of something that is copyrighted.[1]

However, it's quite possible that they are representations of
trademarks, and as such protected wherever such a company has
trademarks. [I don't deign to know who actually controlls these
trademarks, or even if they are really trademarked.]

Yet, even if that's the case, I don't see that there's a point to
removing these works until we get cease and desist letters from the
people who own the trademark. If that happens, the maintainer(s) of
this package will have to act quickly to remove the works in question,
even if they are in stable... but I'll be really surprised if they
ever actually care.

Just for the record, I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice.

Don Armstrong

1: I think the phone image is about the closest one to being a
derivative work of a copyrighted work... but if I'll believe it if the
artist says that it just drawn based on an idea of what a cell phone
looks like.
Three little words. (In decending order of importance.)
 -- hugh macleod http://www.gapingvoid.com/graphics/batch35.php

http://www.donarmstrong.com              http://rzlab.ucr.edu

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