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Re: I'll let the Freemasons know Debian is distributing their trademark

William Ballard <nospam_40811@alltel.net> writes:

> Why not include the McDonald's logo or a picture of a McDonald's 
> hamburger?  I'd like to include that on my website.
> How are these different?

They're not.  Look!  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1312774.stm

There's one now.  It's perfectly fine to use logos or names of
companies.  They don't get to take the word out of the English
language, or the image out of our visual library, by using it in
trade.  They merely get to enforce certain rules on behalf of the
public -- which are there to prevent confusion, not to stamp out any
mention of them.

A clip art library like this is a perfect example of where it's just
fine to use images of common objects: it's message-free.  Nobody will
think that General Motors has endorsed this package or this OS because
there's a picture of a Humvee in there.  Rather, somebody who wants to
use a picture of a Humvee in some other document will pick up this
image and use it.

He might violate their trademarks -- say by proclaiming that he is
selling Humvees when actually selling Pintos.  But that's got nothing
to do with Debian, and he'd be doing so whether or not this clip art
were nearby.


Brian Sniffen                                       bts@alum.mit.edu

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