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trademark policy draft - redux

[ please refer to
  and subsequent thread for context ]

On Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 06:07:17PM +0200, Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
> I'm happy to attach a first complete draft of such a policy, and I'm
> looking for comment on it.

Dear all, after having postponed this for way too long, here is the
second, hopefully final, iteration of the trademark policy draft. I've
discussed with SPI lawyers at SFLC all the comments collected during the
past discussion, namely:

1) [minor] make it clear in the first section that those are permissions
   for using the trademark(s) without having to ask permission
   explicitly (rationale: diminish the burden of answering bogus

2) [editorial] "DEBIAN" -> "Debian"

3) [editorial] "SPI, INC" -> "Software in the Public Interest, Inc."

4) [minor] in section "Permission to Use", make it clear (again) that
   one should not mail us for permissions already granted in the policy

5) demote the obligation that, when using the trademarks for commercial
   purposes, one should advertise how much of the price will be donated
   to the Debian Project. It is now a recommendation only

6) drop "you cannot alter the […] trademarks in any way" (rationale: the
   main goal is avoiding customer confusion, and that is already stated

7) drop obligation to retain official logo color

8) drop obligation to retain logo proportion when scaling

They have all been implemented except the last one, number (8). Given
the logo is not a registered trademark, we have been advised to be a bit
stricter for that one, hence the requirement remains.  Nonetheless, this
requirement looks compatible with the inbound trademark policy for the
archive we have been discussed previously.

The complete new draft is attached to this mail.

Stefano Zacchiroli  . . . . . . .  zack@upsilon.cc . . . . o . . . o . o
Maître de conférences . . . . . http://upsilon.cc/zack . . . o . . . o o
Debian Project Leader . . . . . . @zack on identi.ca . . o o o . . . o .
« the first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club »
\section{DRAFT Debian Trademark Policy DRAFT}

Software in the Public Interest, Inc. owns a number of trademarks in both word
and logo form including brands, slogans, styles. This policy encompasses all
marks, in word and logo form, collectively referred to as ``Debian
trademarks''. You can see a non-exhaustive list of Debian trademarks, including
both registered and unregistered (but otherwise legally recognized) trademarks
at: \texttt{http://www.debian.org/trademark} .

The objective of this trademark policy is :

1) To encourage widespread use and adoption of the Debian trademarks,

2) To clarify proper usage of Debian trademarks by third parties,

3) To prevent misuse of Debian trademarks that can confuse or mislead users
with respect to Debian or its affiliates.

Please note that it is not the goal of this policy to limit commercial activity
around Debian. We encourage businesses to work on Debian while being compliant
with this policy.

Following are the guidelines for the proper use of Debian trademarks by
publishers and other third parties. Any use of or reference to Debian
trademarks that is inconsistent with these guidelines, or other unauthorized
use of or reference to Debian trademarks, or use of marks that are confusingly
similar to Debian trademarks, is prohibited and may violate Debian trademark

Any use of Debian trademarks in a misleading and false manner or in a manner
that disparages Debian, such as untruthful advertising, is always prohibited.

\subsection{When Can You Use the Debian Trademarks Without Asking Permission}


\item You can use Debian trademarks to make true factual statements about
  Debian or communicate compatibility with your product truthfully.

\item Your intended use qualifies as "nominative fair use" of the Debian
  trademarks, i.e., merely identifying that you are talking about Debian in a
  text, without suggesting sponsorship or endorsement.

\item You can use Debian trademarks to describe or advertise your services or
  products relating to Debian in a way that is not misleading.

\item You can use Debian trademarks to describe Debian in articles, titles or
  blog posts.

\item You can make t-shirts, desktop wallpapers, caps, or other merchandise
  with Debian trademarks for \emph{non-commercial usage}.

  You can also make merchandise with Debian trademarks for \emph{commercial
    usage}. In case of \emph{commercial usage}, we recommend that you
  truthfully advertise to customers which part of the selling price, if any,
  will be donated to the Debian project. See
  \texttt{http://www.debian.org/donations} for more information on how to
  donate to the Debian project.


\subsection{When You Can NEVER Use the Debian Trademarks Without Asking


\item You cannot use Debian trademarks in any way that suggests an affiliation
  with or endorsement by the Debian project or community, if the same is not

\item You cannot use Debian trademarks in a company or organization name or as
  the name of a product or service.

\item You cannot use a name that is confusingly similar to Debian trademarks.

\item You cannot use Debian trademarks in a domain name, with or without
  commercial intent.


\subsection{How to Use the Debian Trademarks}


\item Use the Debian trademarks in a manner that makes it clear that your
  project is related to the Debian project, but that it is not part of Debian,
  produced by the Debian project, or endorsed by the Debian project.

\item Acknowledge Software in the Public Interest, Inc.'s ownership of the
  Debian trademark prominently.


  [TRADEMARK] is a ('registered', if applicable) trademark owned by Software in
  the Public Interest, Inc.

\item Include a disclaimer of sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement by
  Debian on your website and on all related printed materials.


  X PROJECT is not affiliated with Debian. Debian is a registered trademark
  owned by Software in the Public Interest, INC.

\item Distinguish the Debian trademarks from the surrounding words by
  italicizing, bolding or underlining it.

\item Use the Debian trademarks in their exact form, neither abbreviated or
  hyphenated, nor combined with any other word or words.

\item Do not create acronyms using the Debian trademarks.


\subsection{Permission To Use}

When in doubt about the use of Debian trademarks, please send an email to


If you wish to have explicit permission for any of the uses above, or for any
other use that is not specifically referred to in this policy, please send an
email to \texttt{trademark@debian.org}

\subsection{Newer Versions of this Policy}

This policy may be revised from time to time and updated versions shall be
available at \texttt{http://www.debian.org/trademark}

\subsection{Guidelines for Using Logos}


\item Any scaling must retain the original proportions of the logo.

\item Do not use the Debian logos as part of your company logo or product logo
  or branding itself. It can be used as part of a page describing your products
  or services.

\item You need not ask us for permission to use logos on your own website
  solely as a hyperlink to the Debian project website.


For any queries with respect to these guidelines, please send an email to

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