Matthew Rosewarne on 24 Aug 2008 14:45:09 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] PLUG Logo! And LinkedIn

On Sunday 24 August 2008, James Barrett wrote:
> On Sun, Aug 24, 2008 at 3:01 PM, Jeff Abrahamson <> wrote:
> > At a talk a couple years ago by Lawrence Lessig (who is a lawyer), I
> > believe he noted some problems with putting things in the public
> > domain.  The piece of it I remember probably applies to code and not
> > to art: that you can't enforce license terms, such as people agreeing
> > not to sue you if it doesn't work.

Unfortunately what it means for a copyright holder (ie. not the US government) 
to release a work into the public domain still isn't entirely clear.  It is a 
better idea to use a strongly permissive copyright license, which is on far 
more solid legal ground.

If PLUG is a legally-recognised organisation, it would be ideal to establish a 
fiduciary trust with PLUG for ownership of the copyright.

On Sunday 24 August 2008, James Barrett wrote:
> What if a corporation wanted to use a public domain "ben franklin tux
> logo" in their massively-produced pamphlets or brochures, or in a huge
> ad campaign without citing the source?  Would people who otherwise had
> never before seen the PLUG logo automatically start mentally
> associating it with that other event, company, product or service?

It would be under the purview of trademark law to protect PLUG from that sort 
of thing.  If PLUG is recognised as an organisation, it can hold the 
trademarks for "Philadelphia (area) Linux User Group" and that logo to prevent 
just that sort of thing.

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