[Fedora-legal-list] Use of trademarked operating system icons (eg. Windows logo) in Fedora programs

Tom Callaway tcallawa at redhat.com
Wed Apr 20 20:23:04 UTC 2011

On 04/20/2011 11:29 AM, Richard W.M. Jones wrote:
> Our thinking has moved on a little bit though: What we propose to do
> now is to grab existing icons from the guests themselves.  For example
> if it was a Fedora guest we'd grab
> /usr/share/icons/hicolor/16x16/apps/fedora-logo-icon.png out of the
> guest (or better still, /etc/favicon.png[1]).  Almost all guests
> contain their own icons as part of the base install, if you know where
> to look.
> We no longer need to distribute any icons.  Users install the guests
> from other sources.
> However the app will still *use* the icons (again, in a purely
> informative, non-pejorative way), and display them in a way that will
> still look very similar to the screenshots I showed in the previous
> email.
> What do you think about this plan?

I spoke to Red Hat Legal on this approach, and here are the relevant points:

1. Distribution of the icons containing the logo files is not connected
to whether the use is infringement or not (which makes sense, we don't
get a free pass on using a trademarked logo improperly just because we
didn't distribute it). This doesn't mean that we can distribute icons
containing trademarks either, just that the two items aren't connected.

2. With that said, the fact that the icon is _always_ coming from the
VM, thus minimizing the chance of a VM being labeled with the wrong
trademarked logo, is a good thing, and in fact, necessary.

3. Red Hat Legal explains that the rule of thumb is this:
 - If the wordmark (e.g. "Fedora") is sufficient to describe the item,
then the logo use is not necessary, and thus, not permitted.

4. This means that the scenarios you mocked up in vmm-with-logo.png and
vmm-with-logo-2.png are not acceptable, because the wordmark is already
in use as a descriptor, and is a valid choice given the UI.

5. However, in vmm-icons-in-vmlist.png, using the wordmark in that UI as
a descriptor would not be ideal, and Red Hat Legal agrees that use of
the trademarked logos in that specific use case is acceptable (because
of point #2).

6. If you want to use the trademarked logos (including the Fedora logo)
in any other fashion, you still need to get Red Hat Legal to sign off on it.

7. I can find no evidence that Tux is a trademark, as mentioned earlier,
so its use should be unencumbered (except for the license terms on the art).



Fedora Project

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