[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: trademark licenses and DFSG: a summary

On Sat, Mar 03, 2012 at 08:08:57PM +0900, Charles Plessy wrote:
> sorry to be difficult, but after reading again your proposal, I do not
> understand whether you propose to apply the DFSG to trademark licenses and to
> have a more liberal interpretation of DFSG #4 for copyright licenses which
> attempt to implement trademark-like restrictions on distinguishing marks
> (images, sounds, ...), or only to change our interpretation of DFSG #4 for
> copyright licenses.

I don't think you're being difficult :) It's important that people are
on the same page on this, so let me try to clarify that again.

1) as many have pointed out in the thread, DFSG should apply to the
   freedoms of a specific piece of software, rather than to a specific
   kind of licenses/policies. So either options of your dichotomy above
   are incorrect

2) what I'm proposing is in essence the second part of the first choice
   in your dichotomy, i.e. extend interpretation of DFSG §4 to other
   distinguishing marks (I notice that you mention sounds, but I do not
   think they are in the realm of trademark protection; although I
   haven't checked)

> If DFSG does not apply to trademark license, isn't it an invitation to switch
> from non-free license to free license plus trademark restrictions, and accept
> in our archive some software that was considered non-free before, and that in
> practice do not give extra freedom for the user unless they rebrand?  In
> particular, the restrictions on commercial use come to mind.

On this, once more, please check out some more information on trademarks
(the wikipedia entries alone are already quite informative). You cannot
do everything with trademark protection, there are things you simply
cannot restrict with a trademark policy --- for instance you cannot
restrict nominative usage. A trademark policy can restrict what you
could do with *modified* versions of the software, but they need to let
those restriction go as soon as you decide to rebrand removing the
distinguishing marks. That seems to be in full conformance with the
spirit of DFSG §4 and also matches what we are already doing with
various pieces of software in the archive. I'm just trying to
rationalize and document our stance on the matter.

> If we decide to be more liberal with DFSG #4, can we also consider the case of
> license restrictions enforcing integrity of scientific data ?  In scientific
> packages, we regularly encounter works that distribute data with a license
> forbidding to modify it, and it is very difficult to explain to the scientists
> why on one hand we want the right to distribute files with erroneous data, and
> on the other hand do not plan to do so anyway...   Think of "Science" as a
> brand that we all share and must protect against deliberate data corruption ;)

That is not something which is in the realm of trademark protection; the
current proposal won't change anything of that.

> (Or perhaps we can ignore these non-free license, because facts are not
> copyrightable.

IANAL, but AFAIR fact *collections* might be under some circumstances.
But again, this has nothing to do with this discussion.

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 »

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Digital signature

Reply to: