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Re: To Linux or not to Linux

Scripsit Anthony Towns <aj@azure.humbug.org.au>

> This only applies to folks who have to purchase licenses; if you simply
> use the word descriptively, as in "I'm a Linux consultant", you don't
> have to pay anything. I'm not sure if "Debian GNU/Linux" was specifically
> given as an example of a "descriptive" use (I vaguely recall it was,
> but can't figure where),

<http://linuxmark.org/who_needs.html> cites "Super Dooper Linux" as an
example of a name that requres payment of money. If there's any
difference in principle between using "Debian" as a first part and
using "Super Dooper", I am unable to see it.

> but Linus specifically notes [0] that getting a name of your own,
> like "Red Hat" or "Debian", is a way of avoiding having to worry
> about the Linux trademark.

Of course Linus acknowledges that the name "Debian" alone is OK, but
it appears that he was not aware that we sometimes use the fuller (?)
name "Debian GNU/Linux".

> Presumably "Linux Standard Base" and "OpenLinux" are examples of names
> that do require a sublicense (since Linux is part of their name), whereas
> "Debian" is Debian's name, and "Debian GNU/Linux" is purely descriptive,
> and hence fair use that doesn't require a license.

There are many places on www.debian.org where "Debian GNU/Linux" is
used as a single proper noun. Those are what I am worried about.

Just to name one example, on <http://www.debian.org/intro/free>, the
paragraph "Debian GNU/Linux is a strong supporter of free software..."
seems to clearly imply that GNU/Linux is a part of the name our project.

> If anyone really cares, it's probably wise to check with LMI directly.

As far as I can tell they do not give any email address on their
website.  And in any case, oughtn't to be some kind of official Debian
representative who checked with them?

Henning Makholm         "Khanivore is climbing out of its life-support pod."

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