Inappropriate use of the Debian logo?
The debian-legal is a great source of knowledge about legal issues related to FLOSS. A couple of days ago one of the contributors sent a mail informing that a computer shop has taken the Debian logo and used it for his business.
The Debian Open User Logo without the word “Debian” (they call it DOUL-nd) is released under the terms of a license similar to MIT, as specified on http://www.debian.org/logos/
If the people from http://www.legendpc.co.nz/ copied the logo from Debian it could be a copyright infringement problem because there is no mention to the license. The violation is about the following statement:
“The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.”
If they do that, they would be in compliance with the license of the DOUL-nd
On the other hand, what if they just obtained it from scratch? According to a message in the debian-legal mailing list the swirl is just one of the defaults. Some contributors were discussing if that would be relevant for a trademark violation, in those cases what matters is whether the image is confusingly similar to an existing trademark. The point here is the swirl is not trademark, what Debian has under trademark is the Debian name and as a consequence the logo that contains the “Debian” label.
This morning Stefano Zacchiroli (the Debian leader) has forwarded the issue to the SPI lawyer, it seems that the idea is to send a letter to the domain owner requesting to come into compliance with the licensing term of the Debian swirl.