[License-discuss] Logo for an (O)pen (S)ource (Li)cense (C)ompendium

Karl Fogel kfogel at red-bean.com
Wed Feb 22 17:00:46 UTC 2012

"Reincke, Karsten" <k.reincke at telekom.de> writes:
>Deutsche Telekom AG (DTAG) is writing an Open Source License
>Compendium, which we intend to be made available to the whole Open
>Source community.
>Large (IT) companies are particularily challenged by the quantity of
>licenses and their various versions. It is becoming quite expensive
>for each company to allocate and train employees as "Open Source
>License Experts" in order to ensure that the company acts according to
>those Open Source licenses touched by their projects. A better
>solution would be to have something like a "compendium" which lists
>all relevant usage scenarios, and offers for the major Open Source
>licenses something like a to-do list that describes what one has to do
>in order to fulfill the license conditions applicable to these usage
>scenarios. As far as we know such a reliable compendium doesn't exist
>at the moment.
>Following the spirit of Open Source Software, DTAG wants to publish
>this compendium under the license 'Creative Commons
>Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany'. Moreover, DTAG intends to host
>the sources of this compendium on github: we want to follow the rule
>publish early, publish often', and to develop this compendium together
>with the community.
>As this compendium will serve the Open Source community, and also
>perhaps help the Open Source Initiative achieve its goals of promoting
>open source usage and bridging the gaps between producers and
>consumers of open source software, we would like adopt a logo that
>reflects this. As such, we are considering the attached logo, and
>would like to ask the Open Source Initiative if this would be
>acceptable to the organisation.
>We understand that 'Opensource.org site content is licensed under a
>Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License'. Hence, deriving something
>from the OSI logo can be achieved, and we naturally also want to
>respect the OSI Logo Usage Guidelines (
>http://www.opensource.org/logo-usage-guidelines). Our proposed logo
>shall express that the OSLiC (Open Source License Compendium) shall
>act according to the spirit and intentions of the 'umbrella' Open
>Source Initiative
>We look forward to your feedback, and sincerely hope that the proposed
>logo is acceptable. Please let us know if this is the case.

Thanks for your mail, Karsten.  This sounds like a great project, and
it's very nice to hear you're releasing the compendium under a free

The relevant set of practices for the OSI logo is trademark law, rather
than copyright law -- the issue is potential dilution of the mark.  

I'm not sure what the answer is yet; we'll have to discuss it with the
Board.  But first, can you tell us whether it is the case that every
license discussed in the compendium is OSI-approved?  One thing's for
sure: we can't have our logo used to refer to non-OSI-approved licenses,
so that question is fundamental I think.

(One outcome of this discussion might be that we update
http://www.opensource.org/logo-usage-guidelines to discuss whether or
when it is permissible to add new elements to the logo.)

I suspect approving a derivative logo will be difficult, because of the
potential for confusion about the meaning of our original logo and about
OSI involvement in the project.  If so, one solution would be to use the
original OSI logo in the compendium in its normal sense -- to refer to
OSI-approved licenses -- and separately apply a new logo to refer to the
compendium as a whole.  Thoughts?


>Best Regards
>K. Reincke, G. Sharpe, J. Dobson
>Deutsche Telekom AG
>Products & Innovation
>Karsten Reincke, PMP®
>Fach-Senior Manager T&P/A&S/TM
>T-Online-Allee 1
>64295 Darmstadt
>Tel.: +49 6151 680 - 8941
>Fax.: +49 6151 680 - 2529
>E-Mail k.reincke at telekom.de
>Erleben, was verbindet.
>Deutsche Telekom AG
>Aufsichtsrat: Prof. Dr. Ulrich Lehner (Vorsitzender)
>Vorstand: René Obermann (Vorsitzender),
>Dr. Manfred Balz, Reinhard Clemens, Niek Jan van Damme, Timotheus
>Höttges, Claudia Nemat, Thomas Sattelberger
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