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Re: trademark licenses and DFSG


Sorry to be late to the party; although I am surprised that the
discussion of this topic did not persist beyond 24 hours...

On 10/10/11 00:02, Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
> From a philosophical point of view, there are essentially two stances we
> can take: either DFSG should be applied to trademark licenses or they
> should not (i.e. they should be applied only to copyright licenses).
> From a practical point of view we have more options. For instance, *if*
> we decide that DFSG should not be applied to trademark licenses, we
> might still want to limit what is acceptable in the archive in terms of
> the extra burden that it poses on Debian procedures.

My opinion (and IANADD) is that the DFSG should be taken as applying to
copyright licences, and that Debian should develop additional guidelines
as to what is acceptable in a trademark licence for Debian to use it.
Furthermore, you should strongly discourage "licenses" which address
both sets of rights, asking people to separate them into two documents
or licensing statements.

(One exception: if using the trademark in certain ways is necessary for
the proper operation of the package, and either the copyright or the
trademark licence purports to restrict those particular uses, the
software should be considered DFSG non-free. This prevents the
"cross-linking" in some way of the two fields of licensing.)

So broadly, I agree with your approach, and would be happy to help with
drafting the trademark license acceptability guidelines. I have had raw
material for an essay "Trademarks and the Free Software Movement"
sitting in one of my email folders for nearly 7 (!) years now, waiting
for it to reach the top of my ToDo list...


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