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Re: What the DFSG really says about trademarks

Michael Ray <mjr@phonecoop.coop> wrote:
> 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.

To the best of my knowledge, Debian-UK has never hosted an event (the
closest you could possibly argue is the annual Debian UK barbeque, which
is something that's pretty much entirely unrelated to the Debian-UK
society) and does not speak at events (though some of its members do).

> 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.

Do you believe that Debian-UK's actions inhibit the commercial support
of Debian in the UK? Remember that the biggest retailer of Debian
merchandise in the UK is run by the same people that provide merchandise
to Debian to sell on their stand at UK Linux shows.
> (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.)

And vice-versa on occasion, I believe.
> 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
> http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/pipermail/debian-uk/2005-August/010548.html

Nobody has yet produced a convincing argument for why charitable status
is any way preferable under UK law. It's been demonstrated that US law
is fairly different in this respect.
> 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:

I'm sorry, I'm not able to find a single instance of money being spent
on member training. Money /has/ been spent on parts for Debian machines,
food for volunteers at events and funding delegates' participation in

It's an entirely reasonable suggestion that Debian-UK be required to
follow the DPL's requests regarding disbursement. If you'd ever made it,
I doubt anyone would have objected.

(I do apologise for repeatedly using the word "you" here, despite it
being a public message. My personal beliefs prohibit me from using the
third person in direct responses)

Matthew Garrett | mjg59-chiark.mail.debian.project@srcf.ucam.org
My preferred name is "you"

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