Re: trademark licenses and DFSG: a summary
On 21/02/12 10:36, MJ Ray wrote:
Does the presence of those two sentences in a README make the software
Yes! Firstly, the paragraph should allow its retention with a
different name as the endorser. DFSG 3: Derived Works.
That seems a little hair-splitting. A) I'm not sure it doesn't; you are,
of course, allowed to remove the endorsement without being required to
do so, and nothing in the text says you can't do that, and replace it
with a different one. If you are arguing about the word "paragraph" in
sentence 2, would replacing it with "endorsement" get past this little
linguistic quibble? :-)
Are you suggesting that the paragraph is subject to copyright, and that
the text places a copyright restriction on the paragraph text itself?
It's arguable whether that's true, but that argument is not the
discussion we are having.
Secondly, it allows retrospective amendment: I'm sure such licences
have been rejected in the past (often called the "tentacles of evil"
test). Non-permanent licences that could start failing DFSG 1 or 3 at
an arbitrary-but-unknown future date are at least a practical problem
for stuff that has releases we want to archive forever.
This isn't the usual situation for "or any later version" licences
because there's the option of continuing with the current version.
So, as it makes it non-free, the rest of the posted argument fails.
"The license may require derived works to carry a different name or
version number from the original software."
Are you saying that if a license requires unilateral renaming, it's OK
under DFSG 4, but if it requires renaming under certain circumstances (a
less strict requirement), it's not OK under DFSG 4? Or is it OK to
require renaming under certain circumstances as long as those
circumstances are sufficiently clear at the time of receiving 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. [...]
Removal is only one type of modification - a very destructive one at
that - whereas we seek permission to modify in other ways, except for
cases like the limited stuff in DFSG 4.
I don't think the paragraph restricts modification of itself, or of the
rest of the software.