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

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

On Thu, Dec 18, 2003 at 04:31:42AM +0000, Henning Makholm wrote:
> Scripsit Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org>
> > On Mon, Dec 15, 2003 at 01:12:21AM +0000, Henning Makholm wrote:
> > I think you trimmed away content that was crucial for understanding the
> > parts you did quote, but whatever.  If you need reptition or
> > elaboration, I'll provide it.
> Please do. I found nothing in your article that seemed to provide
> answers to my questions.

I thought I just did.

> > One possibility would have been to not raise the trademark issues at all.
> Which would amount to saying "We won't tell you why, but please change
> your name." I think that would be discouteous in the extreme.

No, they simply could have said that they were worried that people would
be confused that NetBSD was a product of the Debian Project.

Compare "Microsoft Word" to "Debian NetBSD".

The habit, which the Debian Project practices extensively, of using the
same proper noun to refer all kinds of different things, contributes to
this.  NetBSD has it, too.  It is either an OS, a foundation, or a
community, depending on context.

> > Possible approaches include:
> > 1) don't ask, don't tell
> > 2) order us to stop
> > 3) grant us a license
> 4) Ask us nicely to stop.

Not compatible with mention of trademark.

> And (4). I don't think you have provided *any* evidence that (4) was
> not what they did, and I think that to react as if (2) was the case
> would be silly and excessively confrontational.

There is no such thing as a common-law trademark.  Telling someone that
they are (or "might be") diluting your trademark is putting them on
notice that you think you have a potential tort claim against them.

That's not polite in my book.  In yours, for all I know, it's a means of
romantic flirtation.

> > I'm generally in favor of a "use or lose it" approach to "intellectual
> > property", but this is more like "be an asshole or lose it".
> I still cannot see how you imagine that they could have *told* us
> about their misgivings at all in a way that you wouldn't equal with
> "being an asshole".

See above.

G. Branden Robinson                |    No executive devotes much effort to
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    proving himself wrong.
branden@debian.org                 |    -- Laurence J. Peter
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Digital signature

Reply to: