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Re: To Linux or not to Linux

On Wed, Aug 31, 2005 at 06:47:57PM +0200, Henning Makholm wrote:
> <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.

One difference is that "Super Dooper" mightn't be trademarkable on its
own. "OpenLinux" isn't trademarkable without "Linux", eg. IIRC I've seen
a few people saying (possibly in private, I'm not sure) that being unclear
about this stuff is actually good practice for trademark enforcement. :-/

> > 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".

Debian's our name; Debian GNU/Linux is the name of our distribution.

In any event, I'm sure he's aware that Red Hat calls their distro Red
Hat Linux, and they've been quoted in the press as not having obtained a
license. I haven't heard any reports of LMI suing Red Hat, though.

See http://www.internetnews.com/dev-news/article.php/3529246

Oh, the article I was thinking of that addressed "Debian GNU/Linux"
directly was on LWN: http://lwn.net/Articles/140670/

> 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.

Err, that'd be a mistake then, surely...?

> > 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. 

info@linuxmark.org probably works, but the web form might be more

> And in any case, oughtn't to be some kind of official Debian
> representative who checked with them?

I'm sure Branden would be happy to delegate someone :)


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