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

Re: selfhtml license + trademark violation

Obligatory statement first: I am not a lawyer.


I think I should post the entire "license", so that the problem 
will be more clear...

| Copyright
| This document is *freeware* in the meaning of the Software 
| License Law¹. The rules in detail:
| o Copying and distribution of the document are allowed.
| o Publishing on WWW servers, online services or "mailboxes"
|   (BBS) is allowed.
| o Publishing on physical electronic media such as CD-ROMs is
|   allowed, even if these media are commercially oriented.²
| o Changing the document is not allowed.³ This applies on the
|   content as well as the file format. Also, removing unbeloved
|   passages is not allowed. Only exception: The file
|   wselfhtm.css in the directory of SELFHTML may be edited for
|   personal purposes (see ->below). Before distribution, the
|   original form of this file has to be reconstructed.
| o Literal adoption of single text passages into other projects
|   is allowed¹¹ in form of a quotation. The quotation has to
|   name the document source clearly. The reference should
|   contain the document title (SELFHTML) and its WWW adress 
|   http://www.teamone.de/selfhtml/
| o Always, the document has to be copied, distributed or
|   otherwise published in its given form and comletely --
|   copying, distributing or publishing parts of the document is
|   not allowed.¹²
| o Publishing the document on a WWW-server or physical
|   electronic media together with illegal pornographic material
|   or nazi ideas¹³ is not tolerated and will be juristically
|   prosecuted as soon as discovered.  
(translated by T.U.G.)


¹) I have never heard of a law called "Software License Law". If 
it exists, how can it be that I can't find anything about it on 
the web?

²) The latter remark seems superfluous. As I interpret it, it 
implies "publishing" on a commercially oriented web server is 
not intended.

³) If this is supposed to be a license, this remark is 
superfluous. Unless the license states that changing is allowed, 
it remains forbidden, anyway.

¹¹) The reusability of the text installed here, reminds slightly 
of free software. Was this intended?

¹²) To me, this seems to be a contradiction to the clause before.

¹³) This seems to be the most dangerous clause. Does Debian even 
check, though packages might contain "nazi ideas" or material 
that is considered illegal and pornographic in some country?
AFAIK Debian has no such policy, so what happens if there 
actually *are* tittis in Debian??? (However, I don't think this 
clause is enforcable at all.)

On Tuesday, 4. September 2001 17:47, Uwe Hermann wrote:

>> Therefore I think selfhtml cannot go into main.

How could it get in there?

> The file tbcf.htm in the selfhtml Debian package lacks the
> following 3 lines:
> This is because there's a lawsuit going on in Germany about a
> trademark violation of the name 'Explorer' by a company called
> Symicron GmbH.

> But this change IMHO violates the selfhtml license

> So what can we do?
>  * Contact the upstream author of selfhtml and ask if he
> allows us to remove those three lines?

IIRC he gave permission to everyone to remove the lines in 
question. However, I can't find any evidence for that.

Maybe you should contact the upstream author anyway, and tell 
him that the classification was [main], but will be corrected to 
[non-free], if the document can stay in Debian at all. It would 
be great if he could review the "license".

Since he doesn't write this tutorial for money, it would be also 
interesting to know why he keeps it non-free at all. Of course, 
it is his decision after all, but maybe he is just not aware of 
the problem. Maybe he cannot even make it entirely free at all, 
without raising problems with his paper book publisher.

>  * As a special permission for Debian, we are allowed to
> change links. Maybe we could re-add the three lines and just
> change the name of the link from 'FTP Explorer' to 'FTP XXXX'
> or something, so that it doesn't violate the trademark?

If there was any violation at all, it was not Selfhtml that has 
violated the trademark but the strange shareware program behind 
the link. However, as the court has decided that "Explorer" is a 
weak name, and "FTP Explorer" is different enough not to violate 
it, there should be no problem anymore.

The reason the lawsuit is still going on is that the campaign 
"Freedom for Links", and the Selfhtml author want a decision 
from court, though web page authors are legally resposible for 
the content behind the links they make. 

>  * Remove selfhtml from Debian altogether?

NO! Please try to avoid it! Selfhtml is a really great 
hypertextbook. :o)

The Explorer stuff does not seem to be an exclusion reason to 
me, anyway, however, the strange nazi-titti-clause does.


Reply to: