proposal to make free the logo of Fedora

Jeff Spaleta jspaleta at
Sat Sep 18 01:06:27 UTC 2010

On Fri, Sep 17, 2010 at 3:06 PM, inode0 <inode0 at> wrote:
> Could it too be abused in unpleasant ways? Yes. Could our distribution
> be abused in unpleasant ways? Yes. With freedom comes risk.

A bit glib...and way way out of touch with what we actually do as a
distribution. A large part of the distribution is licensed under terms
which mitigate certain risks of abuse. We aren't BSD. We don't just
chuck an entire distribution over the wall nearly limitation free and
hope people don't abuse it.  There are very important bits of the
distribution that come with very strong legal protections in their
copyright licensing terms which can be used to combat misuse if the
copyright owners of that work choose to use them.

Now copyright is not trademark, so we can't just slap the GPL on our
logo and call it a day...but the desire and need to protect against
trademark misuse is there none-the-less.  You may not believe in
trademark or brand identity as  a valuable thing to protect. That's
fine. Some people don't think copyright is a valuable thing either and
don't ascribe to the ideals that copyleft, which attempt to use legal
protections inherent in copyright to protect freedoms to access to
code.  Such people will most likely just slap BSD on their code and
drop it over the wall.  I'm pretty sure we aren't, by and large, that
sort of people. I'm pretty sure we are a copyleft tribe who are
willing to use legal tools to provide protections...not a "I sure hope
people don't abuse are stuff" tribe.

The way forward for us is not to strip out _all_ trademark protections
but to figure out a trademark policy that does a better job at
balancing protections with use than the one we have now.  A trademark
policy that offers no protection, is most likely a non-starter.


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