Re: On the uselessness of Debian trademarks.
On 2004-05-07 14:55:36 +0100 Stephen Frost <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
* MJ Ray (email@example.com) wrote:
If it's software, it seems illegal anyway. If it's not software,
probably outside the scope of debian's registered trademark.
Uh, it'd only be illegal if we have a trademark on Debian which made
illegal. If we don't then I don't think we'd have a leg to stand on
Maybe illegal is the wrong word. I believe we could still prosecute
for "passing off" without a trademark? There is an identifiable group
called debian with a presence in the UK, so one arguably cannot
produce software called "debian ..." without their involvement or
approval without causing confusion with this prior group. I'll need to
look this up again, as it's common law not legislation, but it's the
same reason that you cannot call your product "MJ Ray's Moolie Grater"
if I produce moolie graters and that's not your one.
Do you support trying to use the debian mark to crack down on
shirts without contracts with SPI?
Erm, not if they're using the mark to mean Debian. Possibly if they're
claiming the mark means something else, which would kind of be the
There is a popular debian/lesbian shirt in the UK, although I don't
know what agreements exist between the seller and SPI. I think it's
perfectly fair to have that, although maybe someone can argue this is
using the mark to mean something else?
Anyway, trying to stop this probably wouldn't work. If someone
produces "debian round silver drinks coasters with a hole" shirts then
there's nothing our project's trademark would do about it, so it
sounds to me like you're demonstrating exactly why the trademark is
The concern was that we have to enforce our trademark in all cases if
to be able to keep it and enforce it in certain circumstances.
I believe that you have to defend it from infringing use in the US. I
do not remember whether the same is true here. (I am not a lawyer,
This doesn't make sense if you can use the Coke trademark without Coke
doing something about it if you don't have a contract with them.
As long as it is not infringing use of their trademark, they cannot
touch you. Some debian developers seem ignorant about non-infringing
uses of trademarks and some things they wish to prevent seem to be
non-infringing uses IMO.
Alright, that's fine, we can stipulate the license under which the
Debian logo is used.
Yes: I say MIT/X11-style now!
Having a generous license there should *not*
detract from our ability to enforce the Debian trademark since
and copyright are seperate and distinct from each other.
I agree entirely with that. It's the reverse case (where you do write
trademark enforcement into copyright licences, or sometimes go further
than that and try to prevent non-infringing uses, as in the newer
XFree86 licence) which causes "non-free-ness" of the copyright licence
My Opinion Only and possibly not of any group I know.
http://www.ttllp.co.uk/ for creative copyleft computing