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Re: Debian logos and trademarks

On Thu, 08 Feb 2007, Anthony Towns wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 07, 2007 at 11:57:13PM -0800, Don Armstrong wrote:
> > On Thu, 08 Feb 2007, Anthony Towns wrote:
> > > The DFSG refers to copyright licensing, it doesn't cover patents or
> > > trademarks.
> > It actually doesn't refer to any of them specifically. It does talk
> > about licensing, but it doesn't clarify whether it's refering to
> > copyright licensing or trademark licensing.
> It talks about modification and distribution, which are copyright
> issues.

These are issues which involve copyright, but they also involve
patents and trademarks as well. [We've historically ignored the latter
two, but only insofar as we are unware of their blocking the rights
that the DFSG guarantees to our users.]

> > In any event, this entire line of argument isn't particularly
> > important, so long as no one puts the official logo into main or
> > contrib.
> That's a completely new line of argument to the best of my
> knowledge, and not one which Debian should support, in my opinion.

It's a problem that we've known existed for quite some time and have
largely ignored. Adding to it by putting in logos with trademarks
which are unecessary and probably need to be removed when people make
deriviate works of Debian is not particularly useful.

> Having a free copyright license, and a reasonably permissive
> trademark license is sufficient for a name or logo to be in main, cf
> the terms Gnome, apache, java, or Debian for example.

For non-functional names, an argument can be made that this follows
from DFSG §4. For logos, there's no such clear argument. In the case
of the logos that we do include, it's most likely akin to our patent
policy; so long as no one has complained, we continue using them.

> Please note that historically we've protected both logos (the swirl
> and the bottle) using a non-free copyright license, and as
> unregistered trademarks.

Of course, and this was countenanced by me at least because we were in
the process of resolving this issue.

Don Armstrong

Junkies were all knitted together in a loose global macrame, the
intercontinental freemasonry of narcotics.
 -- Bruce Sterling, _Holy Fire_ p257

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

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