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Re: trademark policy draft

On Wed, August 1, 2012 18:54, Russ Allbery wrote:
> Lars Wirzenius <liw@liw.fi> writes:
>> 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.
> So, again, the reason why it doesn't read like this is because we got
> actual legal advice and the lawyers said that we can't make it read like
> that.
> We can choose to abandon our trademark and make it indefensible, but we
> should do that intentionally and not under an illusion that we're just
> creating a better usage policy.

I would just like to register that I would be in favour of that: just let
go of these trademarks, which gains people maximum freedom and creates for
us the least policies and the least hassle. And it also saves money. That
sounds like a win.

Of course there are some imaginable uses of a trademark: to protect
against bad guys misrepresenting us. We have to balance this potential
future possible benefit against the current costs, policy and hassle these
trademarks bring us and more notably people wanting to do good things
based on Debian. And factor in the huge costs a lawsuit against a
trademark infringer would bring (as I understand it, we would be required
to act on any infringement in order not to lose the trademark). Many other
projects don't have any trademarks, and to my knowledge are not quite
swamped by counterfeit ripoffs.

For me the balance tips to the 'no trademarks' side.


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