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Debian Allows Trademark Use For Commercial Activities

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the my-trademark-is-your-trademark dept.

Debian 57

sfcrazy writes "According to the new trademark policy, Debian logos and marks may now be used freely for both non-commercial and commercial purposes. Stefano Zacchiroli, current Debian Project Leader and one of the main promoters of the new trademark policy, said 'Software freedoms and trademarks are a difficult match. We all want to see well-known project names used to promote free software, but we cannot risk they will be abused to trick users into downloading proprietary spyware. With the help of SPI and SFLC, we have struck a good balance in our new trademark policy. Among other positive things, it allows all sorts of commercial use; we only recommend clearly informing customers about how much of the sale price will be donated to Debian.'"

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57 comments

Leaving this site for good (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43063141)

As a retired traveling salesman who is currently living out his "golden years" in beautiful Myrtle Beach, SC, I have plenty of spare time. In recent years, too much of this spare time has been spent on Slashdot. I have spent hour upon hour arguing with many of you, and I have done so because your opinions are, quite frankly, wrong. And it has become clear that all of this arguing has been in vain, because you are beyond hope.

Just out of curiosity, do those of you who post wrong opinions know that you're wrong, and you keep posting them just to get under the skin of those of us who are right? Or do you honestly believe some of this nonsense? Either way, I'm done trying to shine the light of reason. Frankly, I have had it. I have had it up to here with all of this tenacious, bull-headed piggishness. To my many friends, I bid you a fond farewell. To my copious enemies, I inform you that you won't have Chuck Wilson to kick around any more. I've absorbed all of the abuse that I can take. Rest assured that as soon as I hit "Submit", I will head for greener pastures. I'll not be back.

Re:Leaving this site for good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43063335)

you said this yesterday, fuck off already

Re:Leaving this site for good (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43063429)

I'll tell you what is "wrong". It is "wrong" for you to use your traveling salesman job as a cover to lurk around the YMCA searching for young boys. Stop buying those boys gifts, stop buying them dinners, and STOP GOBBLING THEIR GOOBERS! You''re a pedophile cocksucker, and you've got to stop. Go, turn yourself in. Plead guilty to anything they offer, and you can finish your days in a prison full of mature men, whose goobers you can gobble. It's the RIGHT thing to do!

good move (1)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | about a year ago | (#43063143)

Way to go Debian :)
This is definitely a move in the right direction. Unlike the death threats from Intel if you use that sticker that comes in the boxed proc. Have you read that thing?

Re:good move (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#43063439)

Who reads the shit that comes with the hardware? You unwrap it, plug it in, and run it! Have you ever read the owner's manual that came with your car? Me neither!

Re:good move (2, Interesting)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | about a year ago | (#43063713)

Yes! I did read the owners manual to my car. That is why I know it has 156HP and a 13.7gal fuel tank. There is a lot more I know about it, but that's irrelevant. Pretty much useless knowledge until I decide to sell it...if I ever do. It's a really nice car and I like it a lot.

It's sad that I am one of the few who still reads things these days. You should try it, you'll learn a lot about things.

Re:good move (1)

Burdell (228580) | about a year ago | (#43063779)

Yes, I read the owner's manual for my car. Then I ordered the shop manual and reviewed it as well. There's a lot of good info in there.

Re:good move (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#43064889)

The shop manual is indeed good reading. I have two for my motorcycle, and one each for the cars. I've never learned much of anything useful from an owner's manual though.

Re:good move (1)

innocent_white_lamb (151825) | about a year ago | (#43065041)

I just bought a new truck last week and I've been reading the manual ever since. It does a ton of stuff that I wouldn't know how to use if I didn't read the manual. Automatic headlights and windshield wipers, and voice commands to do everything from turning the air conditioner on to changing the station on the radio or making a phone call. I just noticed tonight that it says to keep the remote key far away from the rear of the truck when washing it because splashing water could cause the automatic power liftgate to open if it sees a key nearby.

I've never had a vehicle that has all of these features before, so yes, I have indeed been reading the manual and learning how to use them.

Re:good move (1)

gnapster (1401889) | about a year ago | (#43067273)

I just noticed tonight that it says to keep the remote key far away from the rear of the truck when washing it because splashing water could cause the automatic power liftgate to open if it sees a key nearby.

Wut?

"Oh, no! My shipment of prize fighting eels! I told you to walk around the front of the car! ...Stop screaming, you baby. It's not like they're poisonous."

Re:good move (1)

innocent_white_lamb (151825) | about a year ago | (#43069701)

You kick your foot under the back bumper to make the liftgate open. A convenient feature if you have a bunch of stuff in your hands at the time, but if you're spraying water under the vehicle, the sensor might open the liftgate.

It makes sense, but I didn't think of that until I saw it in the manual.

Re:good move (1)

gnapster (1401889) | about a year ago | (#43070177)

Indeed. The last thing I want is to be fishing for my keys when my arms are full of prize-fighting eels.

Does it actually change anything ? (4, Interesting)

alexhs (877055) | about a year ago | (#43063303)

Does it actually change anything ?

The widely recognized ("official") logo was already the open [debian.org] one, while nobody uses the "restricted" logo.

The new trademark policy [debian.org] states: You cannot use Debian trademarks in any way that suggests an affiliation with or endorsement by the Debian project or community, if the same is not true.
But the official logo doesn't imply endorsement, that's what the restricted logo does. Or isn't the logo part of Debian's trademark ?

Or is it newspeak for an actual restriction of rights ?

Re:Does it actually change anything ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43063775)

I don't follow Debian, but I can recall their logo from my memory. This is the first time I have ever seen the 'restricted' logo.

Re:Does it actually change anything ? (2)

Nimey (114278) | about a year ago | (#43063935)

I'm a longtime Debian user and I can't remember ever seeing the restricted logo either. One wonders why they bother having it.

Re:Does it actually change anything ? (1)

Schmorgluck (1293264) | about a year ago | (#43064177)

I have seen it now and then, for example on the cover of a special issue of GNU/Linux Magazine France that provided an official install CD of Debian, about ten years ago.

Re:Does it actually change anything ? (1)

Schmorgluck (1293264) | about a year ago | (#43064243)

I think you're mixing up trademarks and logos. The logos are among of the Debian trademarks but aren't the whole of them. The word "Debian" is a trademark too, for example.

As such, the part of the policy you quoted means a tech company can state "We provide support for the Debian platform to our clients" (and use the open logo) as part of its commercial offerings because it doesn't imply it's affiliated to or endorsed by the community.

Re:Does it actually change anything ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43064595)

Referring to products you sell/support never needed a permission from trademark holder, as long as you don't misrepresent yourself as affiliate etc. - that's still forbidden for Debian TMs too. Who the hell would think that you can have something for sale, but have to call it "that Linux distro with spiral logo" (oh, wait, Linux is a trademark too, IIRC) or, say, "mobile devices from a company named after a fruit"?

The only relevant part in that policy is permission for free use in merchandise, everything else in there is just Common Sense(tm).

Re:Does it actually change anything ? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#43069525)

I too am wondering about the significance of this. It's obvious that if someone re-distributes Debian software, then under the Debian FSG, they'd have to re-distribute the source code w/ it. Aside from that, what control does Debian have? Do they demand that the company in question not deal in any proprietary software? If so, they would be far overreaching.

Also, while Debian's distros are good, how much of a brand value does Debian itself have? For instance, does anyone prefer Iceweasel to Firefox? Also, does Debian try to force anybody (like FSF does) to not restrict re-distribution? Incidentally, the FSF does not endorse Debian, since the latter dares to offer proprietary software on their servers, even while clearly labelling them and 'warning' users that they are proprietary, since FSF would prefer that they not be offered at all.

However, on other fronts, Debian has shown itself to be more pragmatic than FSF, in that it's joined OSI and is actively promoting Open Source as well. They are also doing ports on Hurd and kFreeBSD. One thing they should consider doing - something like their old kNetBSD, where they make not GNU but BSD or other Unix userland utilities like Busybox under the Debian FSG and flagship, and offer them along w/ their various kernels - be it Linux or kFreeBSD. Things like a Debian version of LLVM/Clang, Busybox, ksh and so on. So that people who want non-GPL alternatives to what Debian offers, but w/ the same Debian brand and quality behind it, can get it from Debian itself.

I sell Debian. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43063327)

Zero percent of the profits go towards the project. Is that acceptable? Yes, and I don't even have to tell you that.
"You can also make merchandise with Debian trademarks for commercial usage. In case of commercial usage, we recommend that you truthfully advertise to customers which part of the selling price, if any, will be donated to the Debian project. See our donations page for more information on how to donate to the Debian project."

Also, I'm going to go and register a domain name with debian in it. And then I'm going to have a page with something about cats or cars. Screw: "You cannot use Debian trademarks in a domain name, with or without commercial intent." I'm going to sell cats or cars and Debian can't do jack.

http://www.debian.org/trademark#policy [debian.org]

Also that blog post was not needed at all. The link to the press release, and to the page linked just above, would have been enough.

Re:I sell Debian. (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#43065635)

you may be allowed to sell debian... but you won't, because nobody is stupid enough to buy from you

Re:I sell Debian. (1)

nukenerd (172703) | about a year ago | (#43065889)

Also, I'm going to go and register a domain name with debian in it. And then I'm going to have a page with something about cats or cars. Screw: "You cannot use Debian trademarks in a domain name, with or without commercial intent." I'm going to sell cats or cars and Debian can't do jack.

Sorry, but I seem to have missed your point. You think someone looking for Debian is going to buy your cat by mistake? Or what?

Shame about the Artwork (-1, Troll)

nukenerd (172703) | about a year ago | (#43063333)

It is a shame though what a crappy trademark Debian has - they offer an unimaginative and badly drawn white spiral on a dull grey-blue background. (Didn't that spiral used to be a sickly magenta BTW?). The "Joy" theme - "Attractive by being efficient" they call it.

Really unattractive IMHO, compared with those of Centos, Raspbery Pi, SUSE, FreeBSD or Tux himself.

Re:Shame about the Artwork (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43063885)

I was in Malaysia once, and a Malaysian Chinese guy explained to me why so many Chinese restaurants there have very basic interiors with very little decoration. Decoration is seen as a sign the restaurant holder focuses on other things than food. Lack of decoration is seen as an indication of quality, the focus is on the food, where it should be. I see the pattern in my own town too, a few Chinese restaurants that mainly attract Chinese guests have the same kind of spartan interior, with fluorescent light, tiles, formica tables, and they have excellent food.

I respond to software in pretty much the same way. I want it to be stable, functional, and I don't want it to distract me from what I'm doing. Wobbly windows, transparent title bars and other forms of bling bling are distracting to me, and they make me feel the focus isn't on making a robust, functional tool but on decorating the tool. Debian, by having a not so nice logo and a simple but functional website, shows that their focus is not on shiny looks. To me that's refreshing, they get to the point instead of distracting me with things that aren't functional. And it fits their purpose: they make a stable OS, not a shiny one.

I can imagine that this actually helps them to keep focused on quality. The people who mistake shiny looks for quality will go somewhere else. If their users don't demand they shift their focus from stability to bling bling they can continue to focus on stability. Other distributions, several based on Debian, can provide the shiny parts for the people who want them.

Re:Shame about the Artwork (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43063955)

Cool story, bro. But the part you didn't mention is that you were in Malaysia on a sex tour. And not just any sex tour -- a "barely legal" gay sex tour.

Re:Shame about the Artwork (1)

nukenerd (172703) | about a year ago | (#43064035)

I want [software] to be stable, functional, and I don't want it to distract me from what I'm doing. Wobbly windows, transparent title bars and other forms of bling bling are distracting to me ... Debian, by having a not so nice logo... shows that their focus is not on shiny looks. .... it fits their purpose: they make a stable OS, not a shiny one. ..... I can imagine that this actually helps them to keep focused on quality.

Crickey, all I said was that it was a lousy logo.

Are you seriously distracted by a nice looking logo? Does it really take much effort to design a nice one? And do you think those Debian guys really wake up in the morning saying "Hey, that crappy logo helps keep me focussed on quality!" ?

I too want a stable and plain OS without wobbly windows and stuff. But look again at that logo and see that it is in that irritating "Designer Sloppyness" style, with ragged edges - so is not just a spiral, but one looking like it was done in a hurry by an 8-year old with a worn-out paint brush. A previous company I worked for paid a "Design Consultant" a 5-figure sum for a logo in that style, of which (it was explained to us) every splodge and wobble was supposed to have some inner meaning. I am not suggesting that Debian would have paid such (or any) sum, but it is the same bollocks at any price.

Re:Shame about the Artwork (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43066207)

Are you seriously distracted by a nice looking logo?

No, I'm distracted by shiny stuff in the UI, and by not even making low hanging fruit like the logo shiny Debian makes it very obvious that its focus isn't on appearances. I like that.

Re:Shame about the Artwork (1)

iroll (717924) | about a year ago | (#43068009)

Malaysian Chinese restaurants must follow a different philosophy from American Chinese restaurants, which are about the gaudiest thing this side of an Indian bus.

Re:Shame about the Artwork (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43063913)

You can't expect an open sores project to have good artwork. These are the same people that think that GIMP is comparable to Photoshop or even Paint.NET.

Re:Shame about the Artwork (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43064953)

These are the same people that think that GIMP is comparable to ... Paint.NET

Say what you want about all the features in Adobe that will take 20 years to get into the Gimp, but at least I can move the fucking popup windows in the gimp without having an image loaded, unlike paint.net where my options for the windows are "on top of the image I'm trying to edit and fuck you" or "on top of everything else I'm working on and fuck you".

Wake me when paint.net lets me scroll the window past the edge of the image so I can work on the corners of the picture without having to spend as much time moving the fucking color picker as I spend actually working.

Re:Shame about the Artwork (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#43072021)

These are the same people that think that GIMP is comparable to Photoshop or even Paint.NET.

gimp isn't even in the same class as photoshop... it's a class above

gimp: developed by pros, for pros... noobs that aren't interested in getting their hands dirty should try ps instead

i'm yet to see anyone list all the reasons why gimp is deficient... more often than not ps users complain when they try gimp merely because its not exactly like ps and they don't know how to do it in gimp... similar to "linux sux because it's not like windows" morons

Re:Shame about the Artwork (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#43065639)

some of the debian swirls are pretty cool

there's a 3d one that looks like its made out of glass floating around on the net somewhere

Wow (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43063337)

How very nice of you to allow people to use the Buzz Lightyear swirl, you guys blatantly ripped off lol

Re:Wow (3, Funny)

pipatron (966506) | about a year ago | (#43063423)

Also known as an Archimedean spiral, who probably also ripped it off from Disney.

Tides are sure changing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43064325)

Your move Gaben. Duke Nukem Forever toppled, Debian Toppled, even Tim Cook Signed a deal with Samsung.

BSD may be dying, but it never died.

you missed 3/3/13, so you failed at 3 again.

This post brought to you by the number 3, and the letter M (for metro UI)

Yes, I use Windows 8 and an app to run it on my i pad which lets me access a Linux virtual machine!

Give me the score 3, insightful or give me -1, the truth hurts, and always hurts.

Re:Tides are sure changing. (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | about a year ago | (#43065173)

Dude... put the bong down...

Re:Tides are sure changing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43065427)

PCP isn't smoked with a bung, it's used transanally.

Re:Tides are sure changing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43066819)

Transanally... ass to ass? WTF?

Yes. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#43068073)

Many people are wondering in this thread why they should care. I should hope the answer would be obvious. When an average human goes to buy a typical retail product they are not doing a lot of research ahead of time. They will often do some research today, but they are rarely drilling down into the specs to find out if the device will do precisely what they want to do. This works fine for most people because they don't want to do many things, if any, which the manufacturer did not intend. Most of us who want to do unusual things have learned to do some research ahead of time. For everyone else there are comforting rows of colorful icons. People have been picking up packages and seeing Mac or Win logos and leaving the store with a smile all along. Relatively few of those packages have a fat penguin stuffed with herring, but I do see him occasionally. Nothing I've ever seen in a store has had any other Linux-related icons (aside from Linux distributions back when people used to buy those) and it's about time that they did. And the way it will get there is through the dirt cheap stuff, because few of the top-tier vendors are going to risk associating themselves with Linux that closely.

How manny no that Debian comes from Deb and Ian ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43068847)

How manny no that Debian comes from Debbey and Ian ?

Finally. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43069013)

Finally I can get that Debian chest tattoo I was thinking about without fear of legal repercussion.

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