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Re: Changes in formal naming for NetBSD porting effort(s)

Scripsit Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org>
> On Sat, Dec 13, 2003 at 09:28:12AM +0430, Stephane Bortzmeyer wrote:

> > Legally speaking, you're right. Now, on more practical grounds, I do
> > not think that the NetBSD Foundation threatened to sue us.

> I didn't say they did.  They did identify a legal theory for doing so in
> the future, though.  It's not like there is a common law of trademark
> dilution, or a "natural right" of trademarks.

Would you at least consider that possibility that they might have
meant exactly what they said: "We're somewhat worried that if someday
we have to defend our trademark against a real villain, then the
villain may be able to get off the hook by pointing to Debian/FreeBSD.
Could we work together on finding another name that will let us sleep

Just because the fear they related *could* be used as grounds for a
lawsuit doesn't mean that it's not real.

> I think the polite thing to do, if one has no intention of suing
> someone, is not to speculate to a person's face about what the
> thrust of your court complaint might be.

How would you expect them to that, if you insist of reading the mere
mention of why they are uneasy as a veiled lawsuit threat? Should they
just say: "We humbly suggest that you change your name, but we cannot
tell you why, because that would sound like a lawsuit threat?"

(BTW, to me it's immediately clear that it can't be a threat, because
they know that we know that a threat would be completely empty,
because we know that they know that they would earn an ocean of bad
karma if they actually attacked another majour open-source project
through the courts.)

> The TNF has made it clear enough that they feel they have legal remedies
> at their disposal if we don't handle their request in a manner to their
> liking.

I think you're seing spectres.

Henning Makholm                             "... and that Greek, Thucydides"

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