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Re: forwarded message from Jeff Licquia



On Wed, Jul 17, 2002 at 04:25:35PM -0700, Walter Landry wrote:
> The LPPL goes beyond what is allowed by DFSG #4.  If the LPPL just
> said that you can't call the resulting program "latex", then it would
> be fine for Debian.

<personal opinion>
Actually, I dislike permitting even that, for a couple of reasons:

1) Names and titles are not copyrightable.  If you want intellectual
property protection in a name, you need a trade mark, service mark,
certification mark, or similar instrument.

2) Free Software copyright licenses should not attempt to achieve via
their license what would not ordinarily be achievable through copyright
law.  I do not know whether a court would uphold a copyright license
that attempted to enforce a "poor man's trademark" by conditionally
extending the license to a party contingent on that party's not using a
particular name or title in a particular way.  I do believe, however,
that it is illegitimate for a copyright license to attempt to this, and
it is especially unacceptable for a "Free Software" license to do this.
I feel this way for the same reason that I believe that a DFSG-free
license should not be contingent on the licensee obeying the laws of
some jurisdiction, praying to Mecca five times daily, or refraining from
kicking their dog.  A licensee may nor may not be in sympathy with any
or all of these sentiments, but the simple fact is that they are outside
the scope of copyright and should remain so.  A work that is Free
Software must be free to everyone who does not infringe its copyright by
engaging in unauthorized distribution.  A work that is Free Software
should not discriminate against those who engage in insider trading,
smoke marijuana, infringe the copyright on Microsoft Windows, infringe
the copyright on some other work of Free Software, abuse animals, eat
meat, chew tobacco, chain themselves to trees, or change lanes without
signaling.

If you want copyright protection in your work, place a copyright notice
on it and state some licensing terms.[1]

If you want protection of a word or phrase, apply for trademark, service
mark, or certification mark status.

If you want patent protection on your work, apply for a patent.

If you want trade secret protection on your work, keep it secret and
persuade those whom you share it with to sign confidentiality
agreements.
</personal opinion>

[1] Under U.S. copyright law, copyright attaches to original works
automatically, but it's still a good idea to attach a notice and
license, and it's mandatory for the purposes of Free Software.

-- 
G. Branden Robinson                |    I'm sorry if the following sounds
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    combative and excessively personal,
branden@debian.org                 |    but that's my general style.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    -- Ian Jackson

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