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Re: trademark policy draft

On Wed, Aug 01, 2012 at 05:50:56PM +0200, Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
> (Fearing an increase in nitpicking threshold.) Well, you can, people
> will, and I'm sure nobody will bother, on average. But I can imagine all
> sorts of "journalistic" declarations about Debian that would undermine
> the project reputation. If they are factual (or non-disprovable) fine,
> if not this gives the project a edge to defend its reputation/identity.
> This is what trademarks are about.

Do I understand correctly? If a journalist says bad things about Debian,
you want to use trademark law to shut them up? I think this is an abuse
of the trademark system, regardless of whether the journalist is correct
or not, or whether they lie or not.

The purpose of the trademark system is to avoid consumers from being
confused by competitors making products with similar names, but large
differences. Or that's what it used to be, when I was young; these 
days it is a way to excercise control on people you don't like.

The proper way to react to lies told about us is to respond with the
correct information.

Trademarks and software freedom mix badly. If I make a big change to
Debian (replace eglibc with musl, or gcc with llvm), can I still call
it Debian? We've struggled with that issue with Firefox, and we should
not be inflicting the same pain onto others.

> I've been correct by Mako on this before. Short answer: hostname !=
> domain name, so "debian.mirror.my.org" is perfectly fine.  (No, I don't
> have a clear definition for "domain name" to offer, but it is intended
> here as "the things that you register via a domain name registrar".)

If you don't have a clear definition of what it means, then having it
in the license is not acceptable, in my opinion.

I don't think I want to participate in this discussion much, since
the entire premise seems unacceptable to my value system.

I'll leave the discussion with this counter suggestion: change the
trademark policy to say:

    We call ourselves the Debian project. You can use our name as long
    as it doesn't make reasonable people confuse you or your stuff with
    us or our stuff, or imply that we're affiliated with or endorse you.
    You can use our logos under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 (US) or later license.

I don't expect this to be acceptable to the rest of the project, but
I also don't want to let this trademark stuff happen without objecting.

I wrote a book: http://gtdfh.branchable.com/

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