Posts Tagged ‘mswl-legal’
During the last weeks I’ve been reading a little bit about the definition of “Free Cultural Works” created by freedomdefined.org. This cloudy afternoon while I was writting a report for the Master on Libre Software about the use of trademarks on libre software I found a couple of posts that commented that the Android Robot logo is free as in free software and I don’t agree.
According to the branding guidelines the logo above “Can be used, reproduced, and modified freely in marketing communications. When using the Android Robot or any modification of it, proper attribution is required under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution license.” Ok, it is licensed under a CC license that fits the freedoms detailed in freedomdefined.org but as far as I understand those are only applicable in marketing communications as it is stated in the first sentece.
In any case trademarks and free cultural works seem to be incompatible concepts due to the fact that all the entities want/need to preserve a unique mark that identifies them to the consumer. Would it be better if the Android logo is a free cultural work? To be honest, I have no idea.
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.
I used to be one of these persons that daily spend a lot of time browsing photos on flickr and tried to learn tricks from the best photographers. Soon I started to upload photos licensed under CC by-nc and to be honest I didn’t think this photos would be less free than the software I use (libre/free software). It was around a year later I joined flickr when talking with a friend about contributing with photos to libre software projects he told me the license I was using was not compatible with projects like wikipedia, why? because it enters in conflict with one of the freedoms included in the free licences definition about redistribution. If you included a photo with the non-commercial clause in its license in wikipedia it wouldn’t be possible to sell DVD copies of it and it couldn’t contain advertisements. Basically if you want to create a free cultural work using Creative Commons you have to license your photo under the CC Attribution license of the Attribution-Sharealike license. First one is similar to the MIT or BSD used in software, the second one is copyleft.
So, this cloudy night I wondered how many free cultural works are hosted in flickr and I obtained some approximated numbers:
- According to blog.flickr.net there are more than 5 billion photos in flickr
- According to the search engine less than 167 millions are using a CC license
So far we can say that 3,3 out of 100 photos are using Creative Commons licenses. Let’s dive it a bit more:
- 167 millions using CC
- 38 millions of photos licensed under cc-by or cc-by-sa
So .. around 1 out of 100 photos stored in flickr is a free cultural work and 2 out of 100 use a CC license that is not considered free. I wonder how many people does not know yet how important that free contribution would be.