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Re: What the DFSG really says about trademarks

Branden Robinson / Debian Project Leader <leader@debian.org> wrote:
> I do not understand to what specific activities you are referring to when
> you refer to "trading".

Already in its short life: buying and selling goods, hosting
events, marketing DUS by appearing and speaking at events.

> > It would compete with long-standing suppliers (debianshop.com?)  and may
> > deter UK commercial support, which needs to grow.
> Being cognizant of this problem is worthwhile, but at present I have no
> data with which to evaluate it.  I suspect I'm not alone -- can you
> elaborate on this list for the benefit of the members of the Project who
> are not intimately familiar with Debian-related affairs in the U.K.?

Good statistics on debian share and sales for UK don't exist, as
for elsewhere in the world.  Anecdotally, I get more enquiries at
work for other distributions than debian, despite only listing
debian in our adverts. I think better general UK commercial
support could help make debian more common here.

(I think that my example of debianshop.com would be unlikely to
complain of DUS itself because http://www.definitesoftware.com/
suggests it's the same firm that DUS purchases some stock from.)

> > The society will not solve its originally-stated problem well, if at all.
> Can you remind us what that is? 

"set up a bank account for Debian UK" (from
and others)

> My impression is that the Debian UK
> Society was founded largely to mitigate the problem of there not being a
> charitable organization closely affiliated with Debian in the U.K. [...]

DUS's leaders seem determined it should not be a charity.
Suggestions that DUS should apply for charitable status are
met with sarcasm, silliness and slanted interpretation like

> > Why not treat DUS and DCC similarly? Both are developer business
> > initiatives presenting themselves as done deals using Debian's name, and
> > DCC is a lot less secretive, as far as I can tell.
> I don't understand in what sense DUS is a "developer business initiative".

As currently set up, it buys and sells things
to raise money which is then spent on equipment,
events and training for its members, as far as seen in:
and although it's honoured requests from the DPL, it's
not obliged to do so.

> I am unable to adduce a hidden agenda (nefarious or benign) on the part of
> either the DCC Alliance or the Debian UK Society.  Perhaps those who can
> would care to enlighten the Project?

If you could adduce it, would it be very well hidden? ;-)
DUS was sprung on most of its members without consultation:
It's rather hard to tell what its agenda is beforehand IMO.


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