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Re: fair use of the word Debian

Please CC comments to me, as I am not subscribed to this list.

On Fri, 12 Mar 1999, Wichert Akkerman wrote:

> (Note I'm cc'ing debian-devel to get more interest in this discussion ,
> but please keep all the discussion itself on debian-legal)
> I see people sidestepping the real issue here. The relevant question
> is: do we have any problem with a company that uses the word `Debian'
> in its name? And related: do we have any problem with a company that
> uses the word `Debian' in a product description or domain-name?
> Examples of the first issue:
>   Debian System Labs
>   Instant Debian Support Inc.
> Examples of the second issue:
>   debian-cd.com
>   debiansupport.com
>   Yoyodyne Desktop Linux, based on Debian GNU/Linux
> I'm not in favour of condoning the first, but I'm not sure sure about
> the second. 

I'm not sure that I see much difference between debian-cd.com and Debian
System Labs, as they both designate a commercial effort.

In addition I would like to separate out domain naming from product names.

I have been producing DiD (Drop in Debian) for the past several years, and
have plans to release "Essential Debian" (a one cd release of 2.1) in the
next several days. I would be very disapointed if my use of the Debian
name was decided to be inappropriate.

On the broader point, there is always going to be the toss-up between the
benefit of having higher visibility for the Debian name, and the costs
incurred by misunderstandings and lack of quality control.

As long as the name is not being used to sell something that doesn't have
anything to do with Debian there doesn't seem to be a problem, but then
there are things like "Debian T Shirts", or "The Debian Baseball", or ...

We have a basic conflict between our fundamental desire to allow "Free
Use" of the Debian name, and the obvious need to control that use when it
would put the Project into a bad light.

I am strongly in favor of the first desire, and have mixed feelings about
the second. Control is always so temprary, at best. We would be better off
letting the "moral objections" of the community, guide the use of the
name, than to ever try to "define" adequate use requirements.

But I've been wrong before ;-) 

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