[Wikimedia-l] Fwd: [Toolserver-l] [TS logo] Fwd: Free as in Wikimedia Foundation

Peter Gervai grinapo at gmail.com
Wed Mar 20 07:46:58 UTC 2013

On Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 7:54 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak <darekj at alk.edu.pl> wrote:
> well put. I think that clearly WMF legal department assumed that having the
> trademark registered is such a good idea that it does not require a
> dialogue with the community,

My _general_ problem, however, that I have seen in the past some quite
awkward dance steps from the WMF (and other free software entities) to
"protect their (our) intellectual property", sometimes referencing
legal requirements for trademark protection, which very much reminds
me of the "Firefox" trademark, where the community, (not a direct
quote) "would very much like to share the trademark with all the world
for free but we cannot since if we would the unrestricted usage would
legally nullify the protection, so we must, very unfortunately,
immediately ask you to cease and desist and prefer to change the name
of your project as well thank you bye". Debian had to change the name
to "Iceweasel" to be able to actually patch and package the beast
(since patching was required to package the damn thing).

Wikipedia and Wikimedia logos (and plenty of them) are clearly a nice
example, where the community is generally forbidden to use them, apart
from some very strict cases. It's not a Wikimedia problem, same goes
for almost any protected logo of any open projects.

So protecting a logo means good intents but entering some dark legal
alley where anything might happen, including some possibly friendly
legal guy informing us that our use does not conform something so we
should please to choose another logo.

My 2 'cents.

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