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Re: RE : Re: RE : Re: Linux Magazin Germany, affecting Debian's image?!

Scripsit Radu-Cristian FOTESCU <beranger5ca@yahoo.ca>
> On Mon, 2006-07-17 at 19:54 +0200, Henning Makholm wrote:

>> You are the only one who thinks that a trademark is being misused.
>> You are wrong.

> You are not in court. Neither of us has the right to declare the other
> is wrong.

You can be wrong even outside a court, and you are.

> Because I suppose that if I made up my own "modified Debian" and I'm
> sticking it to a magazine and label it "Debian Sarge, enhanced", I could
> be sued for that.

You can always be sued, but if you could _lose_ the suit, it would
mean that there is something seriously, horribly wrong somewhere. It
would mean that Debian is no longer free according to our own
standards. It is an _essential_ part of freedom that you can enhance
the software to your own liking and distributing the result. Requiring
you to hide the fact that your work is based on Debian and think up
some cheesy name to use instead would be counterproductive and


No, you shouldn't.

> You never said how comes that something labeled "Debian" should *not* be
> available as free download, as long as debian.org says Debian GNU/Linux
> is available for free download!

There is no such requirement. The _default_ state of legal matters is
that you can do as you want _unless_ there is something concrete that
says you cannot. In this case there is nothing that says that modified
versions of debian must be "available for free download".

If there WERE anything that said that modified versions of Debian must
be "avavilable for free download", it would mean that something is
seriously, horribly, wrong. It would be a non-free requirement.

> If you don't care about your brand, you'll lose the respect of your
> partners. Companies like RHAT are defending vigurously their brand.

Debian is not a company like Redhat. Companies, be they like or unlike
Redhat, exist to make a profit for their owners. Debian exists to
produce a free operating system.

> No, really, you can't afford to have various editions sticking around,

On the contrary: we can't affort to forbid people making their own
editions, or to require hoop-jumping if they do. It would be counter
to everything Debian stands for.

> Or you'll just take the risk of losing users.

The way you're behaving, we would be most happy to lose you.

Henning Makholm             "Jeg forstår mig på at anvende sådanne midler på
                           folks legemer, at jeg kan varme eller afkøle dem,
                    som jeg vil, og få dem til at kaste op, hvis det er det,
                  jeg vil, eller give afføring og meget andet af den slags."

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