[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Request for official help

MENGUAL Jean-Philippe writes ("Re: Request for official help"):
> Here is the mail I could get in English. It sums up the situation.

Thanks.  This is very helpful.

As far as I can see:

 * Amazon seem to be concerned that products should not be sold
   on Amazon without an EAN, if the manufacturer in fact assigned
   (or will assign) an EAN.
 * Reading between the lines, Amazon also wants to avoid getting
   embroiled in trademark infringements.
 * Amazon think that manufacturers and trademark holders are
   always the same.  As a result, Amazon will probably be satisfied
   with a letter from Debian, even though Debian is not the

So I think the Debian project has the following options:

1. Write a letter like the one I propose below (NB this is
   slightly different to the original one proposed.)

2. Become an EAN issuer via something like this GSI website, and set
   up an arrangement for EAN issuance on behalf of manufacturers.

3. Become an EAN issuer and assign EANs for specific ISO files,
   with the expectation that all manufacturers of DVDs or whatever
   with the same contents, will use the same EAN.

4. Decide that Debian products should always be sold with EANs
   but that product manufacturers should acquire their own EANs

I think that (4) is unhelpful and I include it only for completeness.

I think (as previously discussed) that (3) is contrary to the intent
of the EAN system.  For example, one can imagine a hypothetical trade
fair where Debian DVDs from different manufacturers (maybe with
different cover art, different packaging, or different media quality)
are being sold, but via a unified checkout system.  If they have the
same EAN they aren't distinguishable by barcode.

Furthermore it would mean that a manufacturer couldn't make
hypothetical "Debian ISO - Enterprise Edition" with cover appealing to
idiots in suits, but with the same contents, and have the barcode at
the till distinguish it from the "Debian ISO - home edition" with a
colourful logo and a cheaper price.  That can't be right.

(2) is extra work.  Debian is desperately short of volunteer effort
for administrative stuff.  I don't think (2) would be a good use of
Debian's volunteer effort.

Therefore I propose that we should write a letter (1).  Draft below.
We should probably run this past a lawyer.


                              Debian Project


To Whom It May Concern

The Debian Project ("Debian") and Software In The Public Interest ,
Inc (SPI) wish to make known that:

1. Debian, through its Trusted Organisations including SPI, own and
control the trademark "Debian" in various jurisdictions.

2. Debian does not provide European Article Numbers (EANs).  Nor do
any of Debian's associated organisations do so on Debian's behalf.

3. Debian and SPI give public permission for products embodying
Debian's software and documentation to be sold, according to the
Debian Trademark Policy (which can be found at
https://www.debian.org/trademark).  That policy doese not make any
requirement about EANs.  Therefore (provided the the policy is adhered
to) we have no objection to Debian branded products being sold without

4. Debian do not anticpate this situation changing in the next 2
years.  Specifically, we do not expect to be issuing EANs within the
next 2 years.

5. Please therefore allow vendors of Debian merchandise to trade,
notwithstanding any lack of EANs for those products.

6. This is without predjudice, of course, to our right to enforce our
trademarks against anyone found violating our trademark policy.  We
are simply saying that lack of an EAN is, in itself, completely fine.


for the Debian Project          for Software in the Public Interest

Debian Project Leader           corporate Secretary

Reply to: