Re: trademark licenses and DFSG: a summary
On 20/02/12 03:43, Craig Small wrote:
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.
Surely only if the "remove the trademark now, please" command has some
effect on the functioning of the software?
Imagine some software with a README which says:
"This software and its derivatives are endorsed by Gervase Markham,
until such time as he withdraws that endorsement for a particular
derivative. If he does so and informs the maintainer of that derivative,
this paragraph must be removed from that derivative."
Does the presence of those two sentences in a README make the software
The first is simply a statement of fact. The second is a requirement for
non-misrepresentation, such as in a BSD licence. I don't see any
freeness problems with such a statement. You could argue it's a
restriction on modification, but it's not - you could, if you chose,
remove the sentence at any time. Rather, it's a "forced modification
under certain circumstances" - but one which, to my mind, fits with
human notions of non-misrepresentation of other people's views, and
non-lying. Would you say you had a right to retain the endorsement
sentence in your copy even if I withdrew my endorsement? I would hope
not. And, crucially, the forced modification makes no difference to the
functioning of the software.
If the presence of such a statement does not make the software non-free,
why does it become non-free if the endorsement is in the form of a logo
rather than a set of words?