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Re: DomainKeys license(s) (Re: Hello and request for sponsor (DomainKeys packages))

"Magnus Holmgren" <holmgren@lysator.liu.se> wrote in message [🔎] 200606201843.29434@proffe.kibibyte.se">news:[🔎] 200606201843.29434@proffe.kibibyte.se...
On Saturday 17 June 2006 23:02, Joe Smith took the opportunity to write:
"Magnus Holmgren" <holmgren@lysator.liu.se> wrote in message
[🔎] 200606172024.20240@proffe.kibibyte.se">news:200606172024.20240@proffe.kibib

> What about the statement on http://antispam.yahoo.com/domainkeys?
> "Yahoo!'s DomainKeys Intellectual Property may be licensed under either
> of the following terms:
> * Yahoo! DomainKeys Patent License Agreement
> * GNU General Public License version 2.0 (and no other version)."

Hmm.. the GPL does not deal directly with the patents, however,
That statement presumably means that they grant a patent licence for all
programs under the GPL 2.

Confusing. We need a clarification.

Yeah, but I think what i said is a pretty safe assumption, as the other licence deals only
with patents.

The sourceforge site only mentions the patent licence version 1-2. The
software is published under the "Public Licence", which contains all of the
terms of the patent licence, and additional terms dealing with the

So while the patents can be used by a GPL2'd program, the licence of
software on source, the souceforge software is not GPL'd, is definately not
GPL2-compatible, and is most likely not DFSG-free.

But if an entity releases a piece of software under one license, then later
publicly gives everyone permission to use it under a different licence (and
is in the capacity of doing so), surely anyone can choose to excercise that

Yes, but it is not clear that they ever gave permision to use the code
under the GPL. That statement on the main page looks to be more about the patents.
The fact that nothing on the sourceforge sight ever mentions the GPL
is fairly telling.

It can be claimed however that yahoo "acidentally" relicenced the code
under the GPL, by using the phrase "Yahoo!'s DomainKeys Intellectual Property",
which surely includes any and all DomainKeys code they ever wrote.
This is yet another reason why the phrase "Intelectual Property" is a bad idea.

> Also, the links on http://domainkeys.sourceforge.net/ to "Other > Libraries"
> seem to indicate that it's OK to release DomainKeys libraries packages
> with DomainKeys in their name.

That does not mean they do not violate the licence.

Do we know that they haven't received permission? Of course that won't help

No we don't but I strongly suspect they have not.

At the very least they
violate trademark law. They are using the trademark as a name for their

But trademark law, like patent law, normally (it may be different in some
countries) only restricts *commercial* activities, doesn't it? So the author of the Perl package can get away with it for that reason, even if "commerce"
can mean a lot.

AIUI, trademarks prevent anybody from using the same mark in a way that could mislead or confuse consumers. For example, I cannot use the word "Microsoft" in the name of my software, because that would misleadingly imply that my software was mad, sponsored, or endorsed by Microsoft. However, I can use the word Microsoft all I want
to reference the company because that does not mislead or confuse.

Indeed trademark law is one of the few so-called "Intelectual property" laws that is not is desperate need of reform.

They do not have a trademark licence allowing that. At the worst,
programs they are violating the patent agreement (unless they are GPL2'd)
which means they have even greater liablity, as they presumably do not
recive the rights under the patent agreement while they are violating it.

On the other hand, by including libdomainkeys in its distribution by that
name, Debian dosn't exactly use "DomainKeys" to endorse anything or as a
trademark in any way, though it's probably quite clearly "use[s] the
term 'DomainKeys' in or as part of a name [...] for Your Licensed Code".

Does it? It seems like the package name implies that the library is fully domainkeys compliant, and is perhaps even official. That is reasonable if no changes have been made to the upstream source, as we are simply redistributing an unmodified product under its original name. However if any changes are made to the package, then we are distibuting a modified product under the original name.
That does normally need a trademark licence, AIUI.

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