Re: Question about GNOME Trademark and GNOME project packages in Debian
- To: Mike O'Connor <email@example.com>
- Cc: MJ Ray <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: Re: Question about GNOME Trademark and GNOME project packages in Debian
- From: Russ Allbery <email@example.com>
- Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2011 13:40:03 -0700
- Message-id: <[🔎] firstname.lastname@example.org>
- In-reply-to: <[🔎] email@example.com> (Mike O'Connor's message of "Fri, 15 Jul 2011 11:07:11 -0400")
- References: <[🔎] 20110715120113.533EB9F0E8@nail.towers.org.uk> <[🔎] firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mike O'Connor <email@example.com> writes:
> On Fri, 15 Jul 2011 13:01:13 +0100 (BST), MJ Ray <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>> OK, sorry if this is an old chestnut, but do we actually need a licence
>> in general? Is most of the use in Debian more than honest description
>> of the source of the software?
> As far as I know, we have not made any inquiries to lawyers as to how
> valid their claim to the GNOME mark is. If their claim to the mark is
> valid, then we could be legally be required to stop using this mark.
The point isn't that the mark may be invalid. The point is rather that
using a trademark descriptively concerning the product for which the mark
is registered is legitimate use of the mark and doesn't require any sort
of license. It's not clear that a trademark holder can put additional
restrictions on how the mark can be used, as long as the mark is being
used to refer to the associated product and not some different product.
However, at the point that one is making that argument, one is well into
lawyer territory with murky and inconsistent outcomes in trials.
Russ Allbery (email@example.com) <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>