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Re: trademark licenses and DFSG: a summary

Craig Small <csmall <at> debian.org> writes:
> On Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 03:26:59PM +0000, Uoti Urpala wrote:
> > requirements. That say Firefox is distributed under a DFSG-free
> > license means that any idiot who thinks it's a great idea to create a
> > browser that replaces all web page pictures with Goatse images is free
> > to use Firefox code to achieve his goal. However, trademarks are meant

> So what? With no trademark they could do this now. With trademarks you
> are saying they cannot. The user has lost some freedom here.  There are

You're quoting incorrectly. The "this" I said they could not do due to
trademarks was "calling the result Firefox", not the part you quoted.

> plenty of times when we have done something to a program that upstream 
> might not like; with your scenario they can revoke the trademark and
> therefore our way of being able to distribute the package.

You could still distribute the program, but you might have to rename it.

> > If you want to allow doing all modifications permitted by the DFSG
> > (which includes obnoxious ones) without the effort of rebranding, then
> > you must remove all use of trademarks from Debian, including the

> This I don't understand. To me there are two scenarios:
>   1) The trademark license permits us to do everything that a DFSG
>   license would permit
>   2) It doesn't
> We accept 1 and not 2.  A Debian-specific trademark fits in #2 so
> we cannot accept it and either don't package it or rename it.

You've failed to understand what the relevant issues are. DFSG 4
explicitly allows software to require a name change for modified
versions. Thus, no trademark license of any kind is ever really
required to satisfy the DSFG; if you rename everything then you're not
using any trademark you'd need a license for. The interesting question
is: when should Debian include trademarked programs WITHOUT rebranding
them? A meaningful trademark license cannot permit everything
permitted under the DFSG; at some point you do have to rebrand the
software and remove use of trademarks to be allowed to further
exercise DFSG freedoms (a limitation allowed by DFSG 4). So the choice
is between "pre-emptively" rebranding software in Debian, or using the
trademarked name as long as that is not expected to cause significant
practical problems.

Try to understand what the actual issues here are, and then read
through the thread again.

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