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    • CommentRowNumber1.
    • CommentAuthorshintaro
    • CommentTimeMar 30th 2018
    Hi, I'm part of a mathematical meme page on facebook ("Graduate Texts in Memes") and we decided to make merch for the page to sell online. It's very small scale (considering how niche it is) so it won't lead to actually earning any money, but it's a financial matter nonetheless. (The scale is - "RedBubble" (our platform for selling merch) may earn up to $50, while we'd earn up to $10.)

    Our target audience naturally overlaps with people who use nLab, so I decided to make an "nLab mug" to sell on the website. We realised that this could have copyright issues. What are the copyright rules surrounding the use of the logo? Is this allowed?

  1. Hi, thanks for checking about this. The logo is in fact not specific to the nLab, but is the logo of Instiki. See here. It seems that Jacques Distler would be the person to ask about it.

    Others here will be able to help more regarding whether there are any further issues specific to use of the logo in connection with the nLab.

    • CommentRowNumber3.
    • CommentAuthorDavidRoberts
    • CommentTimeMar 30th 2018

    It may be more trademark related, rather than copyright, if you are just using the logo. But IANAL.

    • CommentRowNumber4.
    • CommentAuthorDavidRoberts
    • CommentTimeMar 31st 2018

    That said, if it’s for the purpose of parody, and you are making them in the US (I guess RedBubble is…), then it might be considered fair use.

    • CommentRowNumber5.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeApr 14th 2018

    Logos can trigger both copyright and trademark issues. If the design of the logo required creative effort, then it can be a copyrighted work of pictorial art; if the logo is used to identify a product, then it can be a trademark.

    It is kind of strange that the nLab uses the Instiki logo, especially as our codebase diverges from Insitki; and since we're by far the most prominent use of Instiki (unless something has changed), the logo would tend to be associated heavily with us. Jacques implicitly allowed this at the very beginning, and it constitutes significant dilution of the logo as an Instiki trademark, so it might just be straight-up public domain by now, as a trademark.

    As a copyrighted work, it might be covered by the GNU GPL or whatever Instiki is licensed with; one would have to look at the sources to see this.

    Of course, you can always talk to Jacques about it, as has been remarked.

    • CommentRowNumber6.
    • CommentAuthorDavidRoberts
    • CommentTimeMar 20th 2019

    The source of the Instiki logo is covered by this license, which also include the possibility of the 2-clause BSD license. Both are permissive, so to my eyes the only issue is trademark, to the extent that it hasn’t been diluted. That said, see this new thread.

    • CommentRowNumber7.
    • CommentAuthorRichard Williamson
    • CommentTimeMar 20th 2019
    • (edited Mar 20th 2019)

    I think that regardless of the legal status, it would be nice not to share the logo with Instiki, so I’m all for a new one inspired by the Matisse painting!

    • CommentRowNumber8.
    • CommentAuthorDavidRoberts
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2019

    The new nLab logo, created by me, is placed in the public domain using a CC0 license. I don’t require attribution, but keeping it linked to the nLab would be good practice, rather than re-using it for other purposes.