Gentoo Archives: gentoo-nfp

From: Ulrich Mueller <ulm@g.o>
To: gentoo-nfp@l.g.o
Cc: licenses@g.o
Subject: [gentoo-nfp] Reconsider the license of the "g" logo (item for Trustees meeting)
Date: Mon, 07 Nov 2016 14:20:22
tl;dr Consider relicensing the blue "g" logo [1] and the red "gentoo"
logo [2] under CC-BY-SA-2.5 (or 3.0).

Currently, different versions of the "g" logo are distributed under
different licenses. The vector version [3] is distributed under
CC-BY-SA-2.5, but the Blender version [1] under CC-Sampling-Plus-1.0.
I would like to ask Trustees to reconsider their decision (taken in
the 2010-08-15 meeting) on the license of the Blender version, for the
following reasons.

[Most of the following is taken from my comments in [4]. Repeating and
complementing it here for convenience.]

1. Creative Commons have retired their Sampling-Plus licenses on
2011-09-12, see [5] and [6] for details.

2. CC-Sampling-Plus-1.0 is incompatible with most free licenses,
including all versions of CC-BY and CC-BY-SA. Consider the following
example: A Gentoo developer gives a talk at a conference, and licenses
it under CC-BY-SA-3.0. The original image of the "g" logo is used on
the title page, and a lightened version is used as page background.
Now, since CC-Sampling-Plus-1.0 is incompatible with CC-BY-SA-3.0, the
slides cannot be distributed at all. I doubt that this is the result
which is desired in this scenario.

3. Two different legal tools are mixed here, namely copyright and
trademark protection. Note that there are large corporations whose
logo doesn't meet the threshold of originality [7,8] or where
copyright has expired [9]. These logos are in the public domain,
as far as copyright is concerned, but there is trademark protection
nevertheless. Apparently, these corporations don't think that the
missing copyright protection of their logo would dilute their brand.

4. I doubt that having different licenses (namely CC-Sampling-Plus-1.0
and CC-BY-SA-2.5) for versions of the logo that have only slightly
different visual appearance could help protecting the Gentoo brand.
Someone who is using the vector version in violation of the Name and
Logo Usage Guidelines could argue that these don't apply to the vector
version, because the Gentoo Foundation itself makes a distinction
between the two versions.
Therefore, I'd rather see all versions of the "g" logo treated the
same (and licensed under CC-BY-SA-2.5), with a clarification added to
the Guidelines that these are only differently rendered versions of
the same (trademarked) logo. In fact, from the drawing submitted to
the USPTO [10] it is impossible to distinguish to which of the two
versions of the logo the trademark would apply.

5. Finally, I find CC-Sampling-Plus a curious choice of a license
for our logo. It encourages distribution of derivative works that are
"highly transformative of the original". IMHO, this is the last thing
one would want for a trademarked logo. Indeed it directly contradicts
the Name and Logo Usage Guidelines which explicitly forbid variations
"that change the aspect ratio or otherwise distort the shape" [11].

In conclusion, please consider relicensing the Blender version of the
blue "g" logo [1] under CC-BY-SA-2.5, identical to the vector version.
(Alternatively, version 3.0 of the same license could be used, which
would agree with the license used for most of our documentation.
Double licensing under || ( CC-BY-SA-2.5 CC-Sampling-Plus-1.0 ) would
be possible, too.)

Most of the above arguments also apply to the red "gentoo" logo [2]
which contains the "g" as its first letter.


[4] comments #23 and #29