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Re: AbiWord, trademarks, and DFSG-freeness

> On Fri, 15 Oct 2004 12:40:23 -0400 Raul Miller wrote:
> > If we are prohibited from removing the name abiword from some
> > derivative form of the program, then we must be allowed to have
> > abiword on that derivative form.

On Sun, Oct 17, 2004 at 04:04:46PM +0200, Francesco Poli wrote:
> That's not enough for DFSG-freeness, IMHO: if I'm required to keep the
> name "abiword" in every derivative work of abiword, I cannot sanely
> choose a name for a derivative that is significantly different (in
> scope, purpose, functionality and so forth) from the original.
> That is a major restriction in modification and it seems to fail DFSG#3.


What makes you think we'd be required to keep the name "abiword" in
every derivative work?

Spanish law would require us to keep the name "abiword" on certain
derivative works, but I've seen nothing to believe that it would be
required on all derivative works.

[If it did, Spanish law would not allow trademarks to be removed from
generic products.  Which would defeat the point of having a trademark.]

In any event, the trademark AbiWord might be applied to a program whose
name is "aw".  The prohibition against removing trademarks is probably
not equivalent to a prohibition on changing the command line which is
used to start the program.

Also, the GPL grants recipients of a copy the right to modify that copy.
I don't know about spanish case law, but this alone might be constituted
as permission to make modified versions of the program available under
alternate names.

> P.S.: A little afterthought doubt: were you discussing about acceptable
> restrictions for DFSG-freeness (as I thought when I began replying) or
> simply about basic logic (that is: they cannot consistently prohibit
> both things without effectively disabling permission to modify)?

Basic logic.

But not basic logic about "permission to modify".  Instead, basic logic
about "what do trademark restrictions mean".

I don't see that trademark prohibitions can affect whether a GPLed
program is DFSG free or not.

If trademark law can do this, I'd like the legal issues presented in a
way which explicitly addresses issues including generic labelling, command
line vs. trademark, and explicit and comprehensive permission to modify.



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