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Re: New Ion3 licence

On Sat, Apr 28, 2007 at 06:48:15PM +0200, Mike Hommey wrote:
> On Sat, Apr 28, 2007 at 09:14:32AM -0700, Steve Langasek <vorlon@debian.org> wrote:
> > On Sat, Apr 28, 2007 at 02:09:21PM +0200, Mike Hommey wrote:
> > > > > To have a trademark license, ion3 should be a trademark in the first
> > > > > place. Is it ?

> > > > It's not a *registered* trademark, but it may yet be a trademark, as the
> > > > author claims.  I don't think we really want to test that claim, do we?

> > > IANAL, but I think you can hardly have a "trademark license" if it's not
> > > registered.

> > Why not?  Someone may dispute whether the license has any legal *force*, but
> > in law you can provide a license to just about anything you're willing to
> > assert ownership over... including, practically speaking, things you don't
> > have any legal right to (such as bullshit software patents).

> What does a trademark license serve if you can't enforce it ? Nothing. I
> don't think that's the intent of ion3's upstream.

I said "someone may dispute whether the license has any legal force", not "a
license for an unregistered trademark is not enforceable".  An unregistered
trademark is still a trademark, it just takes more effort on the part of the
holder to enforce it /at the time of enforcement/ because you have to do
more than just point to the government's recognition of your mark.  But if
you don't think you're ever going to have to resort to legal enforcement on
your mark, what difference is there between a registered and an unregistered

In this case, it's certainly in our interest to honor the ion3 upstream's
proposed trademark license, because even if we don't believe it's
enforceable directly, he can always enforce it by reverting to a non-free
copyright license, and that's not in anybody's interest here AFAICS.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
vorlon@debian.org                                   http://www.debian.org/

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