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Re: Proposed MBF - mentions of the word "Ubuntu"

On Sun, Nov 10, 2013 at 09:53:32AM +0100, Martin Quinson wrote:
> I think I understand your point of view, and I really appreciate your
> moderation here as I like to be moderated myself when possible. 

> I have an additional question here: is this position really the best
> to protect our downstreams? What will we do if Canonical get
> "over-enthusiastic" against a Debian derivative that is e.g. not
> Ubuntu-based?

> I agree that the question may be completely artificial at this point,
> but I think that ensuring that there is no legal threat over Debian
> derivative (neither now nor in the future) is a neat goal for our
> ecosystem.

This hypothetical situation isn't a legal threat in the first place, it's an
extralegal one.  The case under scrutiny here is a domain name that
referenced the trademark; and even that, everyone agrees, is a case for
which Canonical's response was the wrong one.  There's no real risk of
Canonical going after Debian derivatives over something as far removed from
the domain of trademark law as references to 'Ubuntu' within the

This thread isn't about risk mitigation.  It's about trying to punish
Canonical for what was perceived as an attempt to suppress criticism on the
Internet (but which was in fact nothing of the sort).

If a Debian derivative started calling itself, e.g., "Debuntu", then of
course that becomes a trademark infringement matter that Canonical would
need to address.  But that's nothing to do with the contents of Debian, and
it's not something that Debian could prevent.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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