Proposal for logo license exemption #9

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hw wants to merge 2 commits from logo-license-exemption into master
hw commented 1 year ago
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Following issue Codeberg/Community#238, we propose an exemption clause to the Terms of Use for logo images and similar assets to not force users to rely on weak and convoluted international trademark law in order to ensure that derivative works use their own name and logo.

What do you all think?

Following issue https://codeberg.org/Codeberg/Community/issues/238, we propose an exemption clause to the Terms of Use for logo images and similar assets to not force users to rely on weak and convoluted international trademark law in order to ensure that derivative works use their own name and logo. What do you all think?

One super minor thing, I think it should be spelled extent rather than extend. Other than that at least from my view this looks good. For anyone jumping into this, note I'm not neutral since I believe my project would benefit from such clause.

One super minor thing, I think it should be spelled `extent` rather than `extend`. Other than that at least from my view this looks good. For anyone jumping into this, note I'm not neutral since I believe my project would benefit from such clause.

I agree with the idea of the proposal. The legal implications of logos and trademarks are not an easy thing to handle for open source projects, so I think it's reasonable to not complicate the matter and provide a pragmatic policy on these, as long as:

  • the open licensing of the main work is not compromised (so no hard dependencies on non-free files that users are not allowed to swap out)
  • the open licensing of the main work prevails, so logos/trademarks are only a marginal aspect of the project (thus people shouldn't create projects that are only for building and hosting non-free content)

I would also drop the such as and instead write an explicit list of exceptions.

Thus, I propose changing the wording in the direction of this:

The following exceptions are considered acceptable:

  • Logos and Trademarks that are under a Non-Free License, alongside a main project that is licensed under a Free License if and only if all of the following conditions are met:
    (a) The Logos and Trademarks are intended to be used as or like trademarks for the main project,
    (b) the freedoms guaranteed by the Free License of the main project are not compromised,
    (c) the majority of the main project must be a non-trivial work under a Free License and it must not be a mere collection of logos and trademarks

together with defintions of Free License and Non-Free License like for example

Free License is a license that is approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) and/or the Free Software Foundation (FSF)

Non-Free License is either no license (all rights reserved) or any other license but a Free License

which we can then also use at other points throughout the terms of service.

The usual disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. If my proposed wording is considered, it's a very good idea to have it double-checked by someone who knows more about legal issues (plus, a native/proficient English speaker 😁)

I agree with the idea of the proposal. The legal implications of logos and trademarks are not an easy thing to handle for open source projects, so I think it's reasonable to not complicate the matter and provide a pragmatic policy on these, as long as: - the open licensing of the main work is not compromised (so no hard dependencies on non-free files that users are not allowed to swap out) - the open licensing of the main work prevails, so logos/trademarks are only a marginal aspect of the project (thus people shouldn't create projects that are only for building and hosting non-free content) I would also drop the `such as` and instead write an explicit list of exceptions. Thus, I propose changing the wording in the direction of this: > The following exceptions are considered acceptable: > > - Logos and Trademarks that are under a Non-Free License, alongside a main project that is licensed under a Free License if and only if all of the following conditions are met: > (a) The Logos and Trademarks are intended to be used as or like trademarks for the main project, > (b) the freedoms guaranteed by the Free License of the main project are not compromised, > (c) the majority of the main project must be a non-trivial work under a Free License and it must not be a mere collection of logos and trademarks together with defintions of `Free License` and `Non-Free License` like for example > `Free License` is a license that is approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) and/or the Free Software Foundation (FSF) > > `Non-Free License` is either no license (all rights reserved) or any other license but a `Free License` which we can then also use at other points throughout the terms of service. The usual disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. If my proposed wording is considered, it's a very good idea to have it double-checked by someone who knows more about legal issues (plus, a native/proficient English speaker :grin:)

For what it’s worth, I just noticed there is also this: -must only contain code and data compatible with the Open-Source license requirements defined by FSF or OSI which sounds like it’d currently conflict with such a change.

Also, huge guess since I’m not a lawyer so treat this as possibly false, but you may need to specify an exclusive irrevocable license grant in your terms of use for any submitted contents for the purpose of running the platform if not everything submitted is required to be under such an open license. (I wonder if you maybe should also add that in any case, since some OSI licenses may not trivially allow the exact use as required to display things without caveats)

And again not a lawyer, but as a side note I’ve also noticed the top of your terms of use doesn’t define 1. “we” and in general 2. the exact contract partner in the initial paragraph as appears to be common in most other terms of use. Whether that is legally possibly an issue I cannot say, just an observation.

Edit: I’ve also just noticed that the terms of use do not appear to specify any useful reason to terminate/kick off any project beyond lack of OSI compliance, it just lists that you may “investigate” the “issues threatening our ability to provide the services” but it doesn’t appear to say anywhere that any of the listed items is actually grounds for termination or would be a violation of the terms of use. And it seems odd to me there is no code of conduct/behavior termination clause either. But again not a lawyer, so just a casual uninformed observation, edit 2: sorry, I guess saying "user content ... must [conditions]" like done in that block right after is clear enough, somehow I missed that

For what it’s worth, I just noticed there is also this: `-must only contain code and data compatible with the Open-Source license requirements defined by FSF or OSI` which sounds like it’d currently conflict with such a change. Also, huge guess since I’m not a lawyer so treat this as possibly false, but you may need to specify an exclusive irrevocable license grant in your terms of use for any submitted contents for the purpose of running the platform if not everything submitted is required to be under such an open license. (I wonder if you maybe should also add that in any case, since some OSI licenses may not trivially allow the exact use as required to display things without caveats) And again not a lawyer, but as a side note I’ve also noticed the top of your terms of use doesn’t define 1. “we” and in general 2. the exact contract partner in the initial paragraph as appears to be common in most other terms of use. Whether that is legally possibly an issue I cannot say, just an observation. Edit: ~~I’ve also just noticed that the terms of use do not appear to specify any useful reason to terminate/kick off any project beyond lack of OSI compliance, it just lists that you may “investigate” the “issues threatening our ability to provide the services” but it doesn’t appear to say anywhere that any of the listed items is actually grounds for termination or would be a violation of the terms of use.~~ And it seems odd to me there is no code of conduct/behavior termination clause either. But again not a lawyer, so just a casual uninformed observation, edit 2: sorry, I guess saying "user content ... must [conditions]" like done in that block right after is clear enough, somehow I missed that

I'm not a lawyer, but +1 to this change. What's missing to get it merged?

I'm not a lawyer, but +1 to this change. What's missing to get it merged?
This pull request has changes conflicting with the target branch.
TermsOfUse.md
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