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Re: Python logo and DFSG - an issue?

Daniel Stender <debian@danielstender.com> writes:

> I've asked about its copyright on Mentors before and the consensus was
> that by the trademark policy [2] it's considered to be freely
> distributable, but *might* violate the DFSG.
> I'm seeking now for an "official" statement before this is going to be
> put in the new queue.

That isn't going to come from a discussion here; “official” statements
can only come from the officials responsible for the Debian archive: the
FTP masters.

To the best of my knowledge, the FTP masters don't generally make
pronouncements on individual releases before they're uploaded to Debian.
So the way to get an “official” pronouncement is to make a new package
and upload it to the NEW queue.

However, this forum is an *unofficial* resource to discuss legal issues
of prospective Debian packages, and hopefully discover problems before
hitting the NEW queue, for the benefit of package maintainers and the
FTP masters. So let's see whether we can help.

> [2] https://www.python.org/psf/trademarks/

Trademark law generally restricts all “use” of a trademark work, with
some exceptions. That general restriction violates DFSG §1, §2, §3, §6,
and maybe others.

So unless Debian and its recipients have explicit license to do the
actions specified in the DFSG, we can generally assume no permission.

I am not aware of whether the Debian project does anything but ignore
these violations in the general case of trademark works in Debian.

What does the PSF's trademark policy grant?

The “Uses that Never Require Approval” section grants permission to all
recipients. The permission only allows “to name the trademarked entity
in a way that is minimal and does not imply a sponsorship relationship
with the trademark holder.”

The “Uses that Always Require Approval” explicitly restricts “Any
commercial use of the PSF trademarks in product or company names”, and
“Any use of a derived (modified) logo for any commercial purpose”. These
each violate §6 at minimum.

So by my reading, the PSF's trademark policy fails to grant the
necessary permissions for PSF-trademark works to be free under the DFSG.

This is not much of a surprise; trademark restrictions tend to conflict
with the requirements of the DFSG. The trademark policy for Debian's own
trademarks <URL:https://www.debian.org/trademark> toes a rather narrow
line, and grants quite broad permissions compared to most.

 \         “A child of five could understand this. Fetch me a child of |
  `\                                              five.” —Groucho Marx |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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