[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Tetris packages - need a less-trademarked name

Dale, I agree with you we should not rename it.  However, are these
lawyers able to shut down the site?  a) Sunsite is not commercial b)
Debian is not commercial.  Why is Sunsite immune but not us?

Sounds fishy to me.  An attack on us is an attack on all Linuxers.  Its
stupid to tough it out alone and silently remove xtetris from our

Companies regularly make "cdrom mirrors" of Sunsite and sell it
commercially.  Ditto for Debian distributions.  These lawyers case will
get thrown out of court for frivolousness, since nobody is profiting from
the use of the "trademark", and noone is losing money from the trademark.
(meaning, xtetris isnt competing with commercial licensers of the

Cheers.  I hope this is resolved soon.  Let me know what I can do to help.

Jonathan Walther

On Thu, 11 Sep 1997, Dale Scheetz wrote:

> If we controled our distribution this would be true. We don't. It isn't.

What do you mean we dont control our distribution?

> We have a social contract that makes every attempt to protect our channels
> of distribution to our end users. This free distribution is hampered when
> those channels shut down. These lawyers know that. The quickest way to
> produce "compliance" is to threaten those without resources to complain. 
> The internet provider has no choice but to remove our distribution from
> his mirror, unless we remove the offending item. We do our best to obtain
> adequate copyright, but failed to consider trademark infringement in our
> deliberations (maybe). If we are "really" going to work to protect this
> channel of distribution, we have no choice but to remove the package from
> our master site until such time, if ever, that the dispute is resolved.

This gets into free speech.  A site cannot be shut down, as it is not a
"publisher".  It is the responsibility of the person who puts the stuff on
the site.  This issue is being dealt with for web sites, but I believe it
applies here.

> This does not mean that we should not do other things to discourage this
> form of legal "extortion" through threats and intimidation.

You got that right brother.  They are nothing but bullies pure and simple.
But yet, who knows what results a calm, reasonable approach might have
with them, pointing out the others who would logically be affected?
> Several things come to mind...Why is sunsite not as vulnerable as the
> commercial vendor? Is it because it is not a commercial venture and can't
> be sued for "profiting from abuse of trademark"? If this is the case we
> definitely need to run this gang out of town. Keeping free software out of
> commercial market places is not "the path to broader availability" we are
> looking for.

> Removing the package, as a short term solution, protects distribution
> until a better solution is found. This is the only prudent action.

Lets remove it for 1 week.  Once the package is taken off, trust me, it
will NOT be put back on.  I've seen how these things work. Its just
momentum. I say, nip it in the BUD.

If we take that package off the main site now, we'll never recover it.

Sometimes we have to get in there and do the dirty work.  We may be shut
down temporarily, but to let these bullies overrun us now will only harm
us in the long run.

> I'm not sure I like the idea of encouraging the author to change the name.

Same here

> Short of encouraging sunsite to sue these lawyers for harrasment I can see
> not good way to discourage their behaviour.

Show me the letter they sent you.  I will write up a reasoned, persuasive
response (hopefully those rhetoric lessons I took at the Alma Mater will
pay off ;-) ), then submit it to you and Joey Hess and Bruce Perens for
"vetting" (or submit it to whoever it should be submitted to) then if its
okayed, fire it off to these lawyers.

What say you all?

Eagerly awaiting as events unfold,

Jonathan Walther                    *reformedCapitanoDelBoholClub*

TO UNSUBSCRIBE FROM THIS MAILING LIST: e-mail the word "unsubscribe" to
debian-devel-request@lists.debian.org . 
Trouble?  e-mail to templin@bucknell.edu .

Reply to: