Logo licensing question

Ethan Blanton elb at pidgin.im
Mon Apr 20 14:10:59 EDT 2009

Ralf Hölzemer spake unto us the following wisdom:
> i am here to ask a somewhat unusual question - but first some context.
> I made a 3D version of the pidgin bird in blender in order to create another
> vehicle for the game supertuxkart [1].
> Now, the supertuxkart devs require to license such contributions under the
> CC BY-SA 3.0 license [2].
> Therefor i wanted to know if the Pidgin logo (bird/text) is licensed in any
> form that would prevent such a distribution - and of course if you are
> generally okay with the idea of the pidgin bird driving around in a kart. :)
> I searched the wiki at pidgin.im and the source tarball, but i was not able
> to find any information about the license.

The Pidgin logo and rights to that logo are owned and licensed by
Instant Messaging Freedom, Inc.  (I have verified that in the contract
with the artist.) It was licensed GPL v2 (or any later version, at
your discretion) at its inclusion in the Pidgin tarball.

However, in this case, you're not actually using the logo, but
creating a new work which is based on that work.  It is my
understanding (though I am not an authority on copyright or licensing,
and locales vary greatly) that this is an issue of branding and the
Pidgin trademark, more than the license on the source image itself.

I personally have no problem with you using the Pidgin image and logo
text in this setting, which is clearly an homage and reference to the
Pidgin project but is not attempting to dilute the Pidgin "brand" or
pose as the Pidgin project itself.  This is possibly something that
the IMF should take up, however, if you need more clarification.


The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws [that have no remedy
for evils].  They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor
determined to commit crimes.
		-- Cesare Beccaria, "On Crimes and Punishments", 1764
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