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Ownership of "debian.community" domain

The Debian Project                               https://www.debian.org/
Ownership of "debian.community" domain                  press@debian.org
August 7th, 2022               https://www.debian.org/News/2022/20220807

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), under its Uniform
Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP), decided that ownership of
the "debian.community" [1] domain should be transferred to the Debian
Project [2].

   1: https://debian.community
   2: https://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/search/case.jsp?case=D2022-1524

The appointed panel found that "the disputed domain name is identical to
a trademark in which the Complainant has rights."

In its decision the panel noted:

"[...] the disputed domain name is
identical to the DEBIAN mark, which carries a high risk of implied
affiliation with the Complainant. [...] Given that the Complainant
prominently describes Debian on its homepage as a 'community' and not
just an operating system, [the.community] suffix actually reinforces
that the disputed domain name will resolve to a site operated or
endorsed by [Debian]. The disputed domain name contains no critical or
other terms to dispel or qualify that false impression."

The panel went on to observe:

"The evidence submitted by the Complainant shows that some posts present the
DEBIAN mark together with information about a notorious sex cult, notorious sex
offenders, and enslavement of women, and one post displays photographs of
physical branding allegedly on victims’ genital skin. The segues from
information about the Complainant to this type of information are contrived and
the scale of this information is not merely incidental on the website. In the
Panel’s view, these posts are deliberately intended to create a false
association between the DEBIAN trademark and offensive phenomena and thereby
tarnish the mark."

and further concluded that:

"nothing in the Debian Social Contract or elsewhere indicates that the
Complainant has ever consented to the type of false associations with its mark
published by the respondent on its website. The Respondent points out that the
DEBIAN mark is registered only in respect of software. However, while the
relevant posts attack members of the Complainant who make available DEBIAN
software, rather than the software itself, these posts use the mark in
combination with the disputed domain name in a way that intentionally seeks to
create false associations with the mark itself. "

Debian is committed to the proper use of its trademarks subject to its
trademark policy [3] and will continue to take enforcement action when
that policy is violated.

   3: https://www.debian.org/trademark

The content of "debian.community" has now been replaced by a page [4]
explaining the situation and answering further questions.

   4: https://www.debian.org/legal/debian-community-site

WIPO's full decision text is available online:

https://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/search/case.jsp?case_id=58273 [5]

   5: https://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/search/case.jsp?case_id=58273

About Debian

The Debian Project is an association of Free Software developers who
volunteer their time and effort in order to produce the completely free
operating system Debian.

Contact Information

For further information, please visit the Debian web pages at
https://www.debian.org/ or send mail to <press@debian.org>.

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