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Re: trademark policy draft

On Wed, Aug 01, 2012 at 10:41:31AM -0400, Joey Hess wrote:
> Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
> > \item You can use DEBIAN trademarks to make true factual statements about
> >   DEBIAN or communicate compatibility with your product truthfully.
> Can I use DEBIAN trademarks to make snarky ill-supported statements?

Actually, I've realize only later an important overlook in my first
follow-up to this. This provision is positive, in the "you can use our
trademarks to ..." form. As such, it is just a public declaration that
we are with that kind of use. It does *not* follow from it that the
negation of that statement is forbidden.

Trademark law is full of gray areas by default. With trademark policies,
trademark owners provide their own interpretation of what is white, what
is black, and (by exclusion) what remains gray --- on which a judge, if
ever, will have to decide.

The correct answer to Joey is then related to what I've already
mentioned in reply to Paul. That provision, as all "positive"
provisions, simply tries to reduce the number of requests we get, with
which we agree by default.

I don't know why I overlooked this trivial fact at first, given that I
was in fact aware of. I've probably replied too much in a hurry (due to
a dial-up session that was about to end, but that's a different story…).
I'm sorry my reply spawned a slightly heated sub-thread. All in all,
rest assured that, even if future people in charge will want to, this
specific provision can't be used to implement the evil plan that has
been hypothesized.

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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