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Licence of the Debian Open Use Logo with “Debian” text


I wonder if there is not a problem with the Debian Open Use Logo with
“Debian” from <http://www.fr.debian.org/logos/index.en.html>.

Although the Debian Open Use Logo without “Debian” is released under a
license that seems clearly free, the Logo with “Debian” is released
under a very unclear tiny “license”:
> Copyright (c) 1999 Software in the Public Interest
> This logo or a modified version may be used by anyone to refer to the
> Debian project, but does not indicate endorsement by the project.

To me, that means that it can only be used to refer to Debian. The “does
not indicate…” part rather looks like a precision of an evidence that is
not linked specifically to the license (that is, of course, nobody
except people authorized by the project to do so can indicate
endorsement by the project, Logo or not Logo).

As it does not indicate whether the Logo can be used for other things,
or modified, or redistributed, and so on, I wonder if this “license” can
be considered as free. In addition, I heard that the “Debian” text has
been designed with a non-free font, so distributing it may constitute an
violation of the licence, though I think this is rather the problem of
the original designer that licenced his logo artwork to SPI.

If it cannot, this may be a serious issue, as this Logo with “Debian”,
or derivated work, is used in many packages. For instance, gdm and
gdm-themes are released under GPLv2 but provide images that contain it.


Tanguy Ortolo

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