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Re: What the DFSG really says about trademarks

On Thu, Aug 25, 2005 at 08:13:48PM +0100, Ian Jackson wrote:
> Philip Hands writes ("Re: What the DFSG really says about trademarks"):
> > That being the case, I (as the society's current chairman) would like to
> > formally request a license to use the Debian trademark in the context of
> > the Debian UK Society, and it's associated bank account.
> I think that the right answer here is for Branden as DPL simply to
> bless (revocably, of course) the activities of the Debian UK Society
> as currently constituted and as described on that wiki page.

I don't see any problem with a revocable trademark license.  I suspect all
trademark licenses we grant should be revocable.

We might want to limit its scope to "activities within the Society's
charter", and so forth.

> The Debian-UK activities are not really controversial and ought just
> to be allowed to continue.

I realize there is a dispute ongoing among some of its current and former
membership regarding its governance.  I am insufficiently well-placed to
identify, let alone judge, the issues of contention.

I am unware of any tangible bad behavior on the part of the Debian UK
Society to date.  Their representatives have been responsive to my requests
for information when called upon, I'm not aware of any inappropriate usage
of Debian's marks by them, and they appear to dispose of funds as directed
by the Debian Project.

They could keep their wiki a bit more up to date, but the same could be
said of the SPI website.

> Branden: please just say `Carry on, Debian-UK' :-).

I'd like to give any objectors the opportunity to bring any episodes of
"bad behavior" to my attention, and I would also like to work with Greg
Pomerantz on developing, if possible, a boilerplate (revocable) trademark
license grant for Debian's name and logos usable by any of our local
charitable affiliates.

In the meantime, however, let this message serve as notice that the Debian
UK Society's usage of the Debian name and logos is sanctioned[1] pending
further review.

[1] In the good sense; I've always wondered why "sanction" denotes approval
but "sanctions" (say, against Iraq for not letting IAEA inspectors into
their nuclear facilities) denote *dis*approval.

G. Branden Robinson
Debian Project Leader

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