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Re: trademark licenses and DFSG: a summary

Ben Finney <ben+debian <at> benfinney.id.au> writes:
> Uoti Urpala <uoti.urpala <at> pp1.inet.fi> writes:
> > 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.
> That statement implies a contradiction: that the trademark holder trusts
> the Debian project's processes, and does not trust the Debian project's
> processes.

No, rather the trademark holder trusts Debian processes as they
currently work, but does not trust them to keep working the same way
indefinitely into the future.

> This highlights that a trademark is not about trust, I think.
> > There's no way a trademark owner would trust random people or
> > organizations they don't even know about, nor is it possible to
> > maintain quality control over those. Thus, I think it would make sense
> > to have arrangements allowing Debian specifically to modify the
> > software in ways deemed necessary by the project without asking
> > permission for each individual change. Downstreams would have to
> > either distribute the code unchanged, seek a similar arrangement with
> > the trademark owner, or rebrand.
> If so, then the Debian project would accept a critical freedom in the
> work that is not transferred to Debian recipients. That's unacceptable,
> by my understanding of the social contract.

What part of it? If you're referring to DFSG #8, i don't see how
that'd apply (extracting the program from Debian would not change

> > IMO attempts to apply the DFSG requirements to trademarks are
> > fundamentally flawed.

> A restriction is still a restriction whether implemented by copyright,
> trademark, contract, threats of violence, or back-room deals. Attempts
> to accept restrictions solely because of how they are implemented are
> fundamentally flawed, IMO.

You seem to think this would result in restrictions beyond those
allowed by the DFSG. But DFSG #4 already allows rebranding
requirements. So this is NOT a question of whether the result would
directly violate the DFSG. Any form of trademark license for modified
code is beyond the minimum required by DFSG.

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