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Re: Linux mark extortion

* Bruce Perens (bruce@perens.com) wrote:
> Stephen Frost wrote:
> >What's the scenario you're concerned about here?  Someone taking Debian
> >and distributing it as "MyLinux" and Debian not protecting that use
> >somehow?
> >
> Not even that. The license only applies to "(c) on AUTHORIZED
> GOODS/SERVICES which are (i) produced by or for SUBLICENSEE, and (ii)
> distributed under SUBLICENSEE?s name."
> Debian distribution does not work this way. Debian CDs are not produced
> by or for us, they are made by third parties with whom we have no
> contract. They are not distributed in our name but in the name of those
> third parties.
> In other words, I don't see that the license as currently written works
> for software that our CD manufacturers duplicate and sell.
> They clearly did not understand our model and did not bother to ask us
> about it. Debian is still the #2 Linux distribution worldwide, so this
> seems to me to be a pretty significant error.

Did I miss something here?  Does Debian actually have such a license (or
SPI)?  Have you talked with them and gotten them to agree with your
interpretation that we even need a license?  Have they contacted Debian
or SPI about having us get a license?

From what I've seen to date it seems like they've contacted UserLinux
(which it appeared you agreed was reasonable in a prior email given that
you were saying you'd be willing to pay the license costs) about a
license but havn't contacted Debian or SPI about one.  Perhaps there's a
reason for that- ie: that Debian's use (and therefore the use of the
same "Debian GNU/Linux" text) falls under "descriptive use" and they've
no reason or intent to ask us or our distributors to get a license,
which makes the concerns you have about the license go away wrt Debian
I'd think...

Please let me know if there's something I've misunderstood here.  In
any case it'd probably make some sense to talk to them before jumping to
conclusions and, honestly, if we need to make some minor wording change
or something to be able to avoid having a license at all personally I
think I'd be fine with that.



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