If you were to design the identity of a software project that is released as Free Open Source Software (FOSS), let's say under the GPL licence, including the identity, graphics, logo, etc., can it be distributed under a different licence and specific set of rights granted to the project?
What would be the preferred licence for a logo, from the project's perspective?
The goal would be to have identity graphics which were created for one project in particular remain with the project and not be hijacked by a commercial fork.
Main reason for using a Creative Commons licence for the logo I see is:
- Simplicity - it's free, derivations, modifications, no permission need to be asked nor given. It can be distributed together with the GPL code without worry.
Main reason against using a Creative Commons / GPL licence for the logo I assume is:
- Keep branding exclusive to the project it was created for, either through disallowing forks or derivative commercial products to use the same branding. A commercial project with money thrown at it and spent on PR for example could generate enough publicity to channel potential users (and contributors) away from the original open source project (which could lead to its stagnation and end). Having access to the same branding (because it was released under CC) could cause confusion and would it make it impossible to retain the identity exclusive to the project it was designed for?
The commercial fork hijack is just a scenario I came up, would there be more serious ones worthy of consideration?
Also, I understand CC-NC-ND would prevent the commercial fork hijack scenario but would that be a licence you'd consider for a logo, does it have any other noteworthy drawbacks? Or is it easier to use a standard licence such as a very comprehensive bullet point list of rights given.
I've checked similar topics, they seem to deal with specific cases on how to mix and match software and assets with differences licences, this question assumes there is a free choice of any licence. What would you choose for the logo design and why?
Why this question even came up: some in the community believe the logo must be released under the same license as the software, others do not. There is no consensus.