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Re: Bug#628952: minidlna: Possible unknown copyright status of hardcoded image blobs in source code


Francesco Poli wrote:
> On Thu, 02 Jun 2011 15:59:11 +0200 Carl Fürstenberg wrote:
> > the source code file icons.c includes binary blobs detailing the NetGear
> > logo and the Tux logo.
> Hi!
> I am a debian-legal subscriber, and I would like to comment on this bug
> report.

Thanks a lot for your input, it's very much appreciated.

> First of all, thanks for spotting this issue and for reporting it.
> > 
> > While the source code is licensed under GPL2, the file in question only
> > states following:
> > 
> >  * Penguin images are the creation of Larry Ewing (lewing@isc.tamu.edu) using The GIMP.
> More information about the famous Tux the Penguin image here:
> http://www.isc.tamu.edu/~lewing/linux/
> (I'm assuming we are talking about this image, right?)
> Unfortunately the "license" is very incomplete and unclear:
> | Feel free to do whatever you see fit with the images, you are
> | encouraged to integrate them into other designs that fit your need.
> [...]
> | Permission to use and/or modify this image is granted provided
> | you acknowledge me lewing@isc.tamu.edu and The GIMP if someone asks.

I agree that's rather vague, especially regarding commercial use,
although commons.wikimedia.org [1] seems to consider it free enough.

[1] http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tux.png

> I tried (back in 2005) to get in touch with Larry Ewing and persuade
> him that a clearer license should be granted, but I have never received
> any reply to my messages...
> You may try to contact him now: it's possible that you turn out to be
> luckier than me!
> According to
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Ewing
> his current home page is:
> http://lewing.org/
> Maybe the e-mail address shown there is more up-to-date or
> appropriate...

Well I could try, but I'm not very optimistic about it (I guess it's not
the first time the issue was brought up to Larry Ewing's attention, and
apparently no one was successful so far). I'm thinking the best solution
for now is to replace the logo altogether. In Debian we could use the
Debian logo, but I don't know what free image to suggest as a
replacement upstream. Any suggestions?

> >  * NETGEAR images Copyright (c) 2008- NETGEAR, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
> > 
> > It doesn't explicit state which licenses these binary blobs are under
> > (there are four of each, two png and two jpeg). Only the tux image is
> > used in the binary package.
> If this is confirmed, then I think the best thing to do is dropping the
> NETGEAR images from the source package, and trying to get a
> GPL-compatible license for the Tux images (I suggest a simple
> permissive non-copyleft license: the Expat one,
> http://www.jclark.com/xml/copying.txt ). 

I had a look at these, and I'm pretty sure they're not eligible for
copyright protection (a white 'N' on a blue background is not nearly
creative enough). So I don't think there's a problem there; the license
header should just be corrected to state that there's no copyright on
this particular logo. What do you think?


Benoît Knecht

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