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Re: trademark licenses and DFSG: a summary

On Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 02:43:22PM +0900, Charles Plessy wrote:
> I think that we can't make requirements or recommendations on others
> trademarks without applying them to ourselves.

Right. And in fact the proposal I've drafted applied equally to us as it
applies to other. In fact, part of the "exercise" is precisely to: (1)
decide how we deal with trademarks in general, (2) refine our trademark
policy, (3) ensure our logos are released under a DFSG-free license.

> Have we used our trademarks in the past, and how are we expecting to
> use them in the future ?

Yes, various times. A recent examples is that by merely *mentioning*
that "Debian" is a registered trademark, we've obtained that the
registrant of debian.eu (a company selling computer hardware that used
to redirect it to their own shop) redirect it to debian.org and has
agreed to pass domain ownership to us.

Something people sometimes fail to understand is that without a
trademark nobody would stop a proprietary OS to ship their stuff and
call it "Debian". That has nothing to do with the freedoms attached to
the software we distribute, is a matter of reputation.

> Compared to other organisations (Linux Foundation, Python Software
> Foundation, GNOME Foundation, etc…), we do not have a clear trademark
> license or policy.

(Which alone shows that defending reputation is a common concern of Free
Software projects. I fail to see why we should act differently, and I do
think that reputation defense is compatible with Debian values, as
exemplified by DFSG §4.)

For the trademark policy, see above. I've already spend some time on it,
as you should know, but I'd like to first decide the general guidelines
before finalizing that part.

Stefano Zacchiroli     zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} . o .
Maître de conférences   ......   http://upsilon.cc/zack   ......   . . o
Debian Project Leader    .......   @zack on identi.ca   .......    o o o
« the first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club »

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