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Re: trademark licenses and DFSG: a summary

On Sun, Feb 19, 2012 at 07:56:11PM +0000, Uoti Urpala wrote:
> Stefano Zacchiroli <leader <at> debian.org> writes:
> > - Debian should neither seek nor accept trademark licenses that are
> >   specific to the Debian Project.
> > 
> >   (Suggested by Steve Langasek. In addition to Steve's reasoning, I
> >   think that doing otherwise would go against the underlying principle
> >   of DFSG §8 "License Must Not Be Specific to Debian".)
> I think this one is questionable. Ideally, a trademark is about trust - it tells
> the user that the product meets the quality requirements of the trademark owner.
> A trademark owner may trust the processes used by the Debian project to produce
> results that meet their quality criteria, and may be able to monitor the
> versions actually released by Debian and withdraw the right to use the trademark
> should Debian change in a direction that harms users. There's no way a trademark
That all sounds like a good reason to reject this hypothetical package.
Retrospectively being able to change the trademark terms sounds like a
"tentacles of evil" problem. Trademark isn't all about trust, it's
also about control. We, unfortunately, cannot ignore it but we have
to deal with it our way.

All of the sections in the DFSG are important.  We could of, when
framing the DFSG, gone the easy path and not had a section 8 but we
didn't.  To me the requirements that we will not accept a
Debian-specific trademark arrangement is as important as not accepting a
Debian-specific license for exactly the same reasons.

Both stances mean we cannot package stuff at times, or we have to fudge
it with non-free.  That to me is a perfectly acceptable trade-off.
I completely agree with you that there will be problems with this stance
but Debian is more than a technical group cranking out .deb files.

 - Craig

Craig Small VK2XLZ   http://enc.com.au/          csmall at : enc.com.au
Debian GNU/Linux     http://www.debian.org/      csmall at : debian.org
GPG fingerprint:     5D2F B320 B825 D939 04D2  0519 3938 F96B DF50 FEA5

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