I learned of the furor over the upcoming FreeBSD logo contest by reading the recent Slashdot thread bearing the unfortunate title "FreeBSD Announces Contest To Replace Daemon Logo." There is no replacement going on. As I've written previously, FreeBSD has no logo. FreeBSD has a mascot, "Beastie" the daemon. Core team member Robert Watson has affirmed this, and I believe the forthcoming announcement at FreeBSD logo contest willl make this point crystal clear. The new contest is designing a logo to complement the Beastie mascot, not replace or remove him.
A few people (here, here, and here) demonstrate an understanding of the difference between a logo and a mascot and have been brave enough to speak up.
Unfortunately, the FUD is already flying. Kon Wilms started the Help Save the FreeBSD Mascot online petition and has enjoyed a healthy number of sign-ups. I've started a Save the FreeBSD Mascot and Create a Logo petition to counter Mr. Wilms' effort. I'm not sure if it will be able to offset his call to "send a message to the FreeBSD Project administrators that they keep our mascot," even when we know the mascot will not change. According to the PetitionOnline FAQ, I might not see my petition posted until tomorrow or later.
My petition text says the following:
"The FreeBSD Project will soon officially release details of a contest to design the group's first-ever logo:
FreeBSD does not currently have a logo; it only has a mascot, the popular "daemon" named Beastie.
The logo will complement -- not replace or remove -- the existing "Beastie" FreeBSD mascot. Further, having a logo independent of the mascot will allow wider, unencumbered promotion of FreeBSD. The Beastie creator, Marshall Kirk McKusick, asserts copyright over the BSD Daemon:
This petition calls on FreeBSD users to express their support for the creation of an official FreeBSD logo. We make this call to counter the "Help Save the FreeBSD Mascot" petition, which has confused users by implying that they need to "send a message to the FreeBSD Project administrators that they keep our mascot." People signing that petition are being mislead. They rightly fear the removal of Beastie the mascot -- which won't happen -- but are sending the wrong message.
Beastie fans have nothing to fear! By signing this petition, you show the FreeBSD Project your support for the FreeBSD logo contest and recognize Beastie is not going to disappear."
When the petition is active, I'll update this site with a link to it.