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Re: trademark policy draft

Francesco Poli <invernomuto@paranoici.org> writes:

> [...]
>> \item You cannot alter the DEBIAN trademarks in any way.
> [...]
>> \item Any scaling must retain the original proportions of the logo.
>> \item Logo should only use ``official'' logo colors.
> [...]
> These restrictions are currently violated by countless uses of Debian
> logos (above all) and of the Debian textual trademark (sometimes).
> Several such uses are done by the Debian Project itself, most notably
> in desktop themes shipped as official Debian themes (for instance the
> very nice default wheezy theme, named Joy [2]).
> [2] http://wiki.debian.org/DebianArt/Themes/Joy
> I think that these restrictions should be dropped entirely, since they
> seem to be incompatible with the basic Free Software principles.

There are some things that one needs to do simply to maintain a
trademark.  I'm pretty sure that the bits you are objecting to are
included in that set (although IANAL).

If we don't do those things, we might as well not have a trademark, so
if you're arguing for us to avoid doing those minimum things we might as
well just discard the trademark now.

The alternative would seem to be a lot of wasted time here, followed by
a lot of wasted effort for the lawyers who are kind enough to give us
their time, arriving at the eventual discovery that as a result of our
own incompetence we don't have a defensible trademark anyway.

Note that I'm not arguing that we _should_ have a trademark -- I'm with
Lars in that I think it's somewhat distasteful for Debian to be dirtying
our hands with this, but if that's the only way we can stop some bastard
From distributing "Official Debian CDs" that turn out to be packed with
back-doors and trojans, then we need to do the legal bits properly, and
that involves following the legal advice we receive, rather than
spouting unfounded drivel about what we might like the law to be.

As it happens, we seem to have managed to survive without lawyers
enforcing trademarks thus far, so perhaps it really is not the only way.

That said, those granted the right to play with the trademark can
presumably do so.  We just need to grant that permission in the cases
you seem concerned about.

Cheers, Phil.
|)|  Philip Hands [+44 (0)20 8530 9560]    http://www.hands.com/
|-|  HANDS.COM Ltd.                    http://www.uk.debian.org/
|(|  10 Onslow Gardens, South Woodford, London  E18 1NE  ENGLAND

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