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Re: EllisLab, Inc. CodeIgniter license



On Thu, 30 Oct 2008 11:01:18 +0100 Josselin Mouette wrote:

> Le mercredi 29 octobre 2008 à 23:34 +0100, Francesco Poli a écrit :
[...]
> > >    nor may "CodeIgniter" appear in their name, without prior written
> > >    permission from EllisLab, Inc.
> > 
> > IMHO, this goes beyond what is permitted (as a compromise!) by DFSG#4,
> > since it forbids an infinite set of names, rather than a single one.
> > I cannot use any of the following names for a derived product:
> > CodeIgniterNG, CodeIgniter++, SuperCodeIgniter, TinyCodeIgniter, ...
> 
> In all cases you will not be allowed to use such names unless you obtain
> a trademark exception, so I don’t think this is problematic either.

There are some important differences between just avoiding to grant any
special trademark-related permission and putting a specific
no-name-including-this-string clause in a copyright license.

First of all, a no-name-including-this-string clause may well be more
restrictive than default trademark law.  A case where this is
particularly apparent is the PHP one: I am not allowed to use any name
including the string "PHP" for a derivative work of PHP, not even
something like RALPHPANTHER or TELEGRAPHPOLE!
Those example names are not confusingly similar to PHP, as far as I can
tell, and trademark laws usually insist on avoiding confusion, rather
than on substrings...
On the other hand, it should also be noted that a clause in a copyright
license cannot prevent me from writing a (non-derivative) work from
scratch and calling it "PHP++": so maybe such clauses do not even fully
reach their goal...

Secondly, one thing is having something forbidden by trademark law, one
different thing is adding copyright violation to the picture.
If trademark law already forbids something, why should I prevent it
through copyright law as well?

[...]
> > Warning: indemnification clause: is it acceptable?
> > It smells as non-free, but I would like to know the opinion of other
> > debian-legal regulars...
> 
> At least this is already accepted in main, see e.g. postfix.

I don't like the IBM public license either, but that's another story...

-- 
 On some search engines, searching for my nickname AND
 "nano-documents" may lead you to my website...  
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
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