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Re: Trademarks: what is the line?

O Venres, 31 de Decembro de 2004 ás 12:18:52 +0100, Francesco Poli escribía:

> What I wonder is: what is the line between trademarks that are enforced
> in a Free manner and those that are not?
> Or are trademarks entirely orthogonal to Freeness issues? They still can
> be used to impose significant restrictions to freedoms...

 This is something which is yet to be decided, but in most practical cases
trademarks don't affect the DFSG-freeness of the software (even when they
become nuisances, yes).

 For example, in the "Mozilla" case, the owners of the "Mozilla" trademark
want to reserve this name to unmodified copies of the products created by

 Wanting to preserve the name would keep us from modifying the software, but
the freedom to do so can be recovered via a change of name, making it that
we're no longer encumbered by the trademark license.

 Why don't I find this non-free? Because trademarks already affect you,
whether you want it or not. For example, nobody can make a modified copy of
OpenOffice and change its name to "Microsoft Office" without incurring the
wrath of Microsoft, and that doesn't make OpenOffice non-free.

 In short: yes, trademarks are orthogonal to copyright, ergo to copyright
license freeness.

   Jacobo Tarrío     |     http://jacobo.tarrio.org/

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