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Re: Educational Community License 1.0

On 26/08/11 23:09, Ben Finney wrote:
> Bear in mind that the Debian Free Software Guidelines don't allow a work
> into Debian if the license is special to Debian. See DFSG §8:
>     8. License Must Not Be Specific to Debian
>        The rights attached to the program must not depend on the program's
>        being part of a Debian system. If the program is extracted from
>        Debian and used or distributed without Debian but otherwise within
>        the terms of the program's license, all parties to whom the program
>        is redistributed should have the same rights as those that are
>        granted in conjunction with the Debian system.
> This effectively means that the trademark license must be universal and
> open to all recipients, regardless of Debian, otherwise it's not a free
> work under the Debian guidelines.

If you interpret the DFSG that way, then effectively Debian policy is
that no trademarks may appear anywhere in Debian. The purpose of
trademarks in law is as a determinant of origin. If putting a trademark
into Debian requires the trademark holder to allow software from any
origin and with arbitrary changes to bear the trademark, then the
trademark is no longer valid or defendable. And such a 'trademark' is no
longer a trademark (literally: a mark used in trade).

I do not think that breaking the trademark system with respect to free
software is a necessary or desirable goal for the Debian project.
Allowing software makers to build reputations and mark software as being
of a certain origin (and therefore having a certain reputation attached)
is a user-friendly thing, not a user-hostile thing. It empowers people
to make better and more informed software choices.


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