[Foundation-l] Wikimedia logos on Commons

Erik Moeller erik at wikimedia.org
Thu Aug 23 22:19:44 UTC 2007

On 8/23/07, Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell at gmail.com> wrote:
> For the true Foundation logos. It would be best to remove them from
> commons, and make them accessible from the skins...

I hacked a MediaWiki option $wgAllowExternalImagesFrom a while ago
that makes it possible to use MediaWiki's URL-to-image translation
with a defined basepath URL. So it would theoretically at least be
easy to allow basic image usage by putting the logos in a protected
path somewhere and referencing them as URLs. That limits the usage
possibilities though.

Personally I feel that the real answer is to figure out what
"free/libre" truly means in the context of identifying works such as
logos. I don't believe existing free content licenses are appropriate
for such works. The main purpose of a logo is to identify something.
To "liberate" it in the sense of permitting completely unrestricted
use is to render it useless.  But perhaps "liberation" here should
mean something different.

For example:
- a free/libre logo could be one which can be used in a list of
defined scenarios without permission.
- a free/libre logo could be one which always has a corresponding,
freely licensed "community" logo (Debian style).
- a free/libre logo could be one which makes the frictionless model of
"don't ask for permission but respect requests for removal" explicit.

The problem is not unique to us, and conflicts over the meaning of
freedom in the context of trademarks/logos have led to
counterproductive infighting in the free culture movement (such as the
renaming of Firefox to Iceweasel in Debian GNU/Linux for trademark

To me, it sounds like a job for a workgroup of interested people who
would bring both a legal and an ethical  perspective to the subject.
Is anyone interested in pursuing this line of reasoning further?

Toward Peace, Love & Progress:

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