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Re: [Spi-trademark] Re: debian domains

* MJ Ray <mjr@dsl.pipex.com> [2005-04-13 14:21]:
> > Anyway, before we can enforce our trademark, we actually need an
> > updated and coherent trademark policy.
> I'm disappointed by your inaction. The current permission statement
> does not permit any use which seems to cover this case.
> http://www.debian.org/News/1998/19980306a
> Further, the SPI Trademark Committee charter resolution suggests
> that trademark disputes have been resolved in the past. Why do you
> think that updating the policy is *required* before action?

Because life isn't always as simple as you may seem.  There are
basically two matters which have to be resolved first:

1. SPI had two lawyers at some point and when I asked them about their
opinion on enforcing the trademark on domains, I got two different
answers.  One thought we shouldn't do it because it would open
Debian/SPI up to law suites and that this would also be a never ending
task (given how many domain names contain "debian" in them).  The
other lawyer thought we should enforce the trademark.  This dispute
got "resolved" when one lawyer changed firms and the new one didn't
let him do pro-bono work for SPI anymore.  So before we do anything, I
suggest we get a third, independent opinion and see how other projects
handle this situation.

2. While the current trademark policy may be enough to enforce some
domains, it is certainly not enough for all the domains currently on
my list.  If we decide to enforce the trademark this way, we should do
it for all; given that the domains currently in question don't seem
particularly urgent, I suggest we wait until we have a clear procedure
and policy.

You are of course right that some trademark disputes have been handled
already.  In fact, I personally asked the "Trusted Debian" people to
change their name, but this situation was imho different since it
required urgent action (changing the name of a new project is much
easier than doing it two years later...).

Finally, Greg's time is limited and I think working on the trademark
policy and a license for the Debian logo are of higher priority than
this matter.  Which doesn't mean this matter is not important - I
raised it here so I know how people think about this matter; will
allow us to act faster once we have proper procedures in place.
Martin Michlmayr

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