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Re: Changes in formal naming for NetBSD porting effort(s)

Scripsit Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org>
> On Thu, Dec 18, 2003 at 09:02:35PM +0000, Henning Makholm wrote:

> > They added that such confusion might make it hard for them to defend
> > their trademark.

> Have you seen the precise language?

No. Have you?

> > Is that a threat of litigation against Debian? I think not.

> As I keep saying, and as you keep ignoring, there is no such thing as a
> common-law trademark.

I keep ignoring it because I have never claimed that there is.  I
don't even know what a "common-law trademark" is or why it would be
relevant to the discussion whether it exists or not.

> If they feel we are using their mark, they either
> have to license it to us, take us to court, or convince us to stop.

You seem to rule out the third option by interpreting any
communication that mentions the matter as a first step in "take us to

> > Yes, because their trademark is one of the reasons why they would like
> > us to stop. That is called being open, not being threatening.

> They've put us on notice that we need to stop, in their opinion,
> infringing their trademark. Have you looked up the penalties for
> willful infringement of trademark in the U.S. lately?

No. What does that have to do with whether they are asking nicely or
threatening litigation?

> You seem to think it is possible to threaten people with litigation
> in a completely polite manner.

No I don't.  I have loudly and clarly *refused* the idea that there is
necessarily a threat of litigation, and *that* is why I find it
improper to conclude that the message must be impolite.

> > Perhaps it has that legal implication.

> "Perhaps"?  Is it necessary to cite statutes and case law at you to
> establish this to your satisfaction?

I wrote "perhaps" beacause I don't care.

> > You are claiming that this legal implication is *why* they told us
> > about their misgivings.

> It doesn't have to be the only reason.

I'm saying that it doesn't have to be *a* reason at all.

> > I find it hard to believe that, when the alternative explanation that
> > they were just being polite is so much more likely.

> Your alternative explanation is belied by the fact that trademarks were
> brought into the discussion.

No. If trademarks are what they are worried about, then they cannot
politely communicate us without explaining their worries. That
explanation logically has to include mention of trademarks.

> Again, you're grossly oversimplifying.  You're saying their message
> only mean "A", and accusing me of saying their message only meant
> "B".  I'm saying their message meant A *and* B, and that A is rude.

I will refrain from trying to decipher which of A and B means what

You still have not explained how you think it is logically possible to
give the non-rude message without, in your opinion, implying the rude

> > I still don't see how you think they could have explained their
> > problems in a polite way, then. Your book seems to say that being open
> > is impolite.

> They would have to have not mentioned the trademark issue at all.

That would have meant not communicating at all, since what they were
trying to communicate was that they were worried about the trademark

> > Please read what I wrote. Telling us why they are worried *is*
> > polite.

> Not if it's expressed in a manner conjoined with an implicit threat of
> litigation.

You have still not told how you think the worries can be communicated
in a way that you will not interpret as a an "implicit threat of

Henning Makholm          "Ambiguous cases are defined as those for which the
                       compiler being used finds a legitimate interpretation
                   which is different from that which the user had in mind."

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