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Re: Inbound trademark policy, round 3

Don Armstrong wrote:
> On Wed, 09 Jan 2013, Uoti Urpala wrote:
> > Ian Jackson wrote:
> > >  1. DFSG principles should apply.
> > 
> > IMO taking this as a starting point is completely wrong. DFSG
> > guarantees that incompetent and malicious people may freely modify
> > the software. For trademarks to have any meaning at all,
> > distributing those modified versions under the original trademark
> > must not be allowed.
> This problem and the compromise which allows escape from it is already
> present in the DFSG. (Require renaming upon modification.)

Yes, but this was about the policy concerning acceptable terms in
trademark licenses.

DFSG allow a rename requirement; this means any trademark policy
whatsoever cannot violate DFSG as long as it allows distributing
unmodified sources and binaries, as you can always rename and then
ignore the trademark policy. But this does not in any way help decide
which trademark policies Debian should be willing to follow (rather than
avoid them by immediately renaming). And my point above was that
starting from DFSG principles is a completely wrong approach for this

> We must start from the principles in the DFSG. If we decide that
> specific principles in the DFSG need to be altered to account for the
> realities and/or necessities of trademark(s), we should examine those
> differences and then alter the DFSG accordingly.

I don't see why the DFSG would need to be altered. No proposed or
plausible policy would violate the current DFSG as far as I can see; the
existing rename clause already covers everything relevant. The open
question is what terms to reject even if the DFSG rename clause allows

> > While I can see the rationale for wishing to avoid Debian-specific
> > licenses, I doubt adding such a restriction would ultimately be
> > beneficial.
> The reason why this restriction is beneficial is because it allows the
> hundreds of distributions which are based on Debian to modify
> software, etc. [But feel free to argue that this benefit is not worth
> the cost to Debian in rebranding affected software.]

It could save those distributions the work of doing the renaming
themselves. But that doesn't make it always beneficial, even ignoring
the cost to Debian itself. In many cases the downstream distributions
would prefer to distribute the software under the original name, and
would either be content with the Debian version (possibly including
changes done with a Debian-specific permission to modify), or would
prefer to ask for upstream permission themselves rather than rename.

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