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

Scripsit Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org>
> On Thu, Dec 18, 2003 at 04:31:42AM +0000, Henning Makholm wrote:

> > 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.

Isn't that what they did?

They added that such confusion might make it hard for them to defend
their trademark. Is that a threat of litigation against Debian? I
think not. It is simply an explanations of their misgivings.

> > > 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.

Yes, because their trademark is one of the reasons why they would like
us to stop. That is called being open, not being threatening.

> > 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.

I don't see the connection between that and what I wrote.

> 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.

Perhaps it has that legal implication. You are claiming that this
legal implication is *why* they told us about their misgivings. I find
it hard to believe that, when the alternative explanation that they
were just being polite is so much more likely.

> That's not polite in my book.

I still don't see how you think they could have explained their
problems in a polite way, then. Your book seems to say that being open
is impolite.

> In yours, for all I know, it's a means of romantic flirtation.

Please read what I wrote. Telling us why they are worried *is*
polite. Just telling us that they are worred, and deliberately
withholding information about why is impolite.

Henning Makholm            "And why should I talk slaves' and fools' talk? I
                       don't want him to live for ever, and I know that he's
                   not going to live for ever whether I want him to or not."

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