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Thread: Is trademarking logos consistent with open sourcing software?

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    Is trademarking logos consistent with open sourcing software?

    So we all use Free software. Most of us use it because we agree with the ideology (on top of it also satisfying our needs from our computers).

    Yesterday there was a thread here about how some company was "infriging copyright" due to them "using the Ubuntu and Debian logos", or at least somewhat "copying the logos".

    Why are the logos even copyrighted and trademarked?

    Isn't it hypocritical, when someone who supports a big free software project, copyrights a logo which is designed to represent that project?

    If the software is free, the logo should be free as well, don't you think?

    It's like saying "We support freedom and are against copyright, but only as long as it doesn't affect us".

    Do you think this is a hypocritical behaviour?

    I certainly do.

    EDIT:

    Link to the thread in question.
    Last edited by Eisenwinter; January 7th, 2010 at 06:57 PM.

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    NoaHall is offline Iced Blended Vanilla Crème Ubuntu
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    Re: Hypocricy in free software

    Quote Originally Posted by Eisenwinter View Post
    So we all use Free software. Most of us use it because we agree with the ideology (on top of it also satisfying our needs from our computers).

    Yesterday there was a thread here about how some company was "infriging copyright" due to them "using the Ubuntu and Debian logos", or at least somewhat "copying the logos".

    Why are the logos even copyrighted and trademarked?

    Isn't it hypocritical, when someone who supports a big free software project, copyrights a logo which is designed to represent that project?

    If the software is free, the logo should be free as well, don't you think?

    It's like saying "We support freedom and are against copyright, but only as long as it doesn't affect us".

    Do you think this is a hypocritical behaviour?

    I certainly do.
    No, because Open Source user != Stallman's follower
    We can believe in Open source, and copyright, side by side.
    We might believe programs should be openly developed, doesn't mean we believe songs, logos, etc should be free or free to distribute.

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    Re: Hypocricy in free software

    Quote Originally Posted by Eisenwinter View Post
    So we all use Free software. Most of us use it because we agree with the ideology (on top of it also satisfying our needs from our computers).

    Yesterday there was a thread here about how some company was "infriging copyright" due to them "using the Ubuntu and Debian logos", or at least somewhat "copying the logos".

    Why are the logos even copyrighted and trademarked?

    Isn't it hypocritical, when someone who supports a big free software project, copyrights a logo which is designed to represent that project?

    If the software is free, the logo should be free as well, don't you think?

    It's like saying "We support freedom and are against copyright, but only as long as it doesn't affect us".

    Do you think this is a hypocritical behaviour?

    I certainly do.
    No, the logo largely defines ubuntu and anything carrying the logo or something similar has the potential to do damage to ubuntu's reputation.

    Copyrighting the logo safeguards the users by making them know the ubuntu logo is ubuntu

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    Re: Hypocricy in free software

    Quote Originally Posted by NoaHall View Post
    No, because Open Source user != Stallman's follower
    We can believe in Open source, and copyright, side by side.
    We might believe programs should be openly developed, doesn't mean we believe songs, logos, etc should be free or free to distribute.
    But those two things contradict each other.

    I'm not speaking about whether the user is a hypocrite, I'm asking whether the people who produce free software (such as the canonical guys) are hypocrites for making their software free, but not the logo which symbolises their software.

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    Re: Hypocricy in free software

    Quote Originally Posted by Eisenwinter View Post
    But those two things contradict each other.

    I'm not speaking about whether the user is a hypocrite, I'm asking whether the people who produce free software (such as the canonical guys) are hypocrites for making their software free, but not the logo which symbolises their software.
    It's called a trademark for a reason. It's the mark of one's trade. Such protection exists to prevent fraud, nothing else.
    Quote Originally Posted by Legendary_Bibo View Post
    I tried, and by tried I mean I did a half a**ed google search, and by half a**ed google search I mean I typed "eread pdg"

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    NoaHall is offline Iced Blended Vanilla Crème Ubuntu
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    Re: Hypocricy in free software

    Quote Originally Posted by Eisenwinter View Post
    But those two things contradict each other.

    I'm not speaking about whether the user is a hypocrite, I'm asking whether the people who produce free software (such as the canonical guys) are hypocrites for making their software free, but not the logo which symbolises their software.
    No they don't. We might believe in non-copyrighted software, doesn't mean we HAVE to believe in non-copyrighted anything else. Just because may of us do, doesn't mean we have to. You can't take what applies for software and apply it to the rest of the world.

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    Re: Hypocricy in free software

    I think you are making an incorrect assumption. You can not paint everyone here with the same brush. There is a lot of people who use Ubuntu (maybe even a majority?) who do not care about the free software ideology.
    Proud GNU/Linux zealot and lover of penguins
    "Value your freedom or you will lose it, teaches history." --Richard Stallman

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    Re: Hypocricy in free software

    what you are forgetting, is that turnabout is fair play, even if it is hypocritical.

    besides the physiology of the human brain makes us all hypocrites anyway, so it's not that big a deal.
    Things are rarely just crazy enough to work, but they're frequently just crazy enough to fail hilariously.

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    Re: Hypocricy in free software

    I don't believe you guys have not realized this, but FOSS is not, never was, and never will be, "against copyright".

    The GPL *relies* on copyright to be able to actually enforce anything. From the Copyleft section of the GPL article on Wikipedia:

    This requirement is known as copyleft. It earns its legal power from the use of copyright on software programs. Because a GPL work is copyrighted, a licensee has no right to redistribute it, not even in modified form (barring fair use), except under the terms of the license. One is only required to adhere to the terms of the GPL if one wishes to exercise rights normally restricted by copyright law, such as redistribution. Conversely, if one distributes copies of the work without abiding by the terms of the GPL (for instance, by keeping the source code secret), he or she can be sued by the original author under copyright law.
    Copyright is good.

    Software patents, now...
    This is the first age that's paid much attention to the future, which is a little ironic since we may not have one.
    -- Arthur C. Clarke

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    Re: Hypocricy in free software

    Quote Originally Posted by NoaHall View Post
    No, because Open Source user != Stallman's follower
    We can believe in Open source, and copyright, side by side.
    We might believe programs should be openly developed, doesn't mean we believe songs, logos, etc should be free or free to distribute.
    Another point: If you are pro-GPL and agree with forcing people to release derived works under similar terms then you must embrace copyright as that's the only leverage you have to enforce such behavior. The strength of the GPL rests on the strength of copyright.

    EDIT: Mornedhel beat me to it, apparently.

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