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

On Mon, Dec 15, 2003 at 10:40:11PM +0000, Roger Leigh wrote:
> Joel Baker <fenton@debian.org> writes:
> > On Mon, Dec 15, 2003 at 11:01:49AM +0100, David Weinehall wrote:
> >> Branden's second proposal of using something from Pratchett did have a
> >> nice ring to it, and then there's always the valar.
> >
> > Actually, given that I'm a long-time and deep-seated Tolkien geek, I rather
> > like the notion of using the Valar - they're fictional, and Tolkien's work
> > isn't yet out from under copyright, but they *are* reasonably well-known
> > (Okay, not as well as Pratchett, but better than Christian demonology),
> > and if we're liable to get in trouble over using just the names, we should
> > probably strongly reconsider our use of Toy Story character names for
> > tagging distributions...
> >
> > Suppose it's time to dig out my reference books and see if I can come up
> > with a suitable set of names out of that mythos.
> >
> > Besides, using Tolkien names is a long geek tradition.
> Would "Debian Aulë" be appropriate?
> "Of the fabric of Earth had Aulë thought, to whom Ilúvatar had given
> skill and knowledge scare less than to Melkor; but the delight and
> pride of Aulë is in the deed of making, and in the thing made, and
> neither in posession nor in his own mastery; wherefore he gives and
> hoards not, and is free from care, passing ever on to some new work."
> Ainulindalë, J. R. R. Tolkien, /The Silmarillion/.

Appropriate? As much as any of the Valar would be; he's certainly on the
list. But since we know of at least 4 active ports, one name isn't going to
be enough...

> There are also important Elves, such as Fëanor that might also qualify.

See my followup, elsewhere in the thread.

> However, there may well be copyright issues.  "Slink", "Woody",
> "Potato" and "Bo" etc. aren't exactly unique, but you would be hard
> pushed to find another book with "Manwë", "Oromë", etc. in it.

Given that we say, on the webpages, that they're Toy Story characters,
that isn't much of a defense. We're equally in trouble, except that
Disney is far more lawsuit-happy than Tolkien's estate has ever shown
itself to be.

That, and let's face it - given the number of machines in the world with
hostnames based on LotR, if the *name* - all we're using - is really
copyrightable (and the only opinion expressed so far on debian-legal has
asserted that it doesn't appear to be, as opposed to a *character*), there
are a whole lot of people who're going to be in trouble.
Joel Baker <fenton@debian.org>                                        ,''`.
Debian GNU/NetBSD(i386) porter                                       : :' :
                                                                     `. `'

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