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Re: Linux mark extortion

* Stephen Frost:

> I'm not entirely sure that what Debian does wouldn't fall under the
> "descriptive use" concept.  "Debian GNU/Linux" is more like "Debian for
> GNU/Linux" than "DebianLinux".

I don't think anybody knows how trademark law applies in the context
of goods which are expected to be shared freely.  What is descriptive
and what is not is extremely murky.

The approach which looks most reasonable to me is to apply for
trademark protection in as meny jurisdictions as possible, don't
enforce them, and what as the trademark dilutes.  As a result, nobody
(including the original registrant) can claim exclusive ownership.
True, somebody might call their detergent "Linux", but I fail to see
how anybody could exploit the resulting confusion on the long run.

In most jurisdictions, you have to enforce and license trademarks,
otherwise they dilute.  As a result, I don't think there is something
like a free trademark license, unless it implicitly or explicitly
promotes dilution (e.g. each licensee receives the right to sublicense
the trademark).

> I don't see DFSG coming into this at all and, no, I don't think we need
> to run around and remove the word "Linux" from the entire distro or some
> such nonsense.

We could use LiGNUx als a fallback.  (Just kidding.)

Sometimes the ways in which history repeats itself are truly bizarre.

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