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Re: Why LGPLv3/CC-by-sa-v3.0 for the logo?

On Wed, 12 Sep 2012 09:17:53 +0200 Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:

> On Sun, Sep 09, 2012 at 09:31:41PM +0200, Francesco Poli wrote:
> > I am following up to your August bits from the DPL, since I still have
> > to understand why it was suggested to dual license the Open Use Logo
> > "with Debian" under LGPLv3+ / CC-by-sa-v3.0.
> > 
> > I have already asked in
> > https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2012/08/msg00017.html
> > but I have received no answer for this question.
> As I've pointed out in my reply to that, I've collected your comments
> though and asked more info about that.

There are two issues with your previous reply:

 * it was not clear that your request for more info also included
questions about the particular copyright licenses to be chosen

 * the reply itself was only sent to debian-project (something that you
have just done again...), despite my explicit request to be Cced on

> In particular, I've asked the
> possibility about relicensing under more liberal licenses (such as
> Expat) and I've been advised not to do that. I don't have a detailed
> argumentary to share, as the discussion has been informal, but the main
> argument is that a license that basically allows you to do whatever you
> want is a bad mix with marks (be them registered or not). This explains
> the general choice of "copyleft".

I still do not understand why a copyleft mechanism in the *copyright*
license should be needed in order to "protect" a *trademark*.

But let's assume, for the sake of argument, that a copyleft *copyright*
license is indeed the right choice to make.
Even assuming this, I am deeply disappointed by the GPLv2-incompatible
license choice.

> > Anyway, as long as a copyleft is needed, I think that a LGPLv3+ /
> > CC-by-sa-v3.0 dual license would be a poor choice, since it's
> > GPLv3-compatible, but GPLv2-incompatible.
> Regarding the version of the license (which I've been advised to
> choose), instead of reasoning about abstract issue, I've reviewed some
> of the usual documentation material and also asked [1] the teams that
> IMHO would be potentially impacted the most by the change. I've asked
> explicitly if they had issues with the license choice, including the
> version. Having got no reasons to choose otherwise I've ended up
> deciding, under my sole responsibility of course, for the aforementioned
> licenses.

For reasons I won't elaborate on here (they would drive us far away
from the topic under discussion), I consider the GNU GPL v3 as a
license with a broken copyleft mechanism (at least for some aspects).

Hence, whenever I want to dodge these weaknesses, I license my works
under the GNU GPL v2 only.
I am not the only one, possibly for similar reasons.

Having an Open Use Logo "with Debian" dual-licensed under the GNU LGPL
v3 and the CC-by-sa-v3.0 would make it incompatible with works licensed
under the GNU GPL v2 only.
This would be a very poor licensing choice for the Debian Project, in
my humble opinion.

I repeat: I strongly recommend to *at least* choose the GNU LGPL v2.1
"or later"!

> [1] https://lists.debian.org/debian-www/2012/08/msg00115.html

Reading this cited thread, I understand that the plan is also ("for
simplicity and uniformity") to re-license the Open Use Logo "without
Debian" under LGPLv3/CC-by-sa-v3.0, thus regressing from the current
situation where it is available under the much more permissive Expat

This means that, in the future, someone who does not know better and
does not search for past versions of the logo page (for instance on the
Wayback Machine of archive.org) will get the Open Use Logo "without
Debian" under a much more restrictive license than today.

I am really disappointed by this decision and I hope you will

P.S.: I am Ccing debian-project and also debian-legal (since some
interested people there may have missed the news)

 New GnuPG key, see the transition document!
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
 GnuPG key fpr == CA01 1147 9CD2 EFDF FB82  3925 3E1C 27E1 1F69 BFFE

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