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Re: [Fsfe-uk] GPLv3 last days for comment, and other news links

From: MJ Ray
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] GPLv3 last days for comment, and other news links
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2007 09:08:58 +0100
User-agent: Heirloom mailx 12.2 01/07/07

"Jon Grant" <address@hidden> wrote:
> On 11 Jun 2007 19:17:25 +0100, Ciaran O'Riordan <address@hidden> wrote:
> > I think the reason GPLv3 isn't tackling trademarks is that they haven't
> > become a big problem, and there aren't clear signs that they will.
> That's good then. It seemed possible trademarks could be used to exert
> some "control".. [...]
> Imagine if a toolkit vendor said all the "Zt" had to be removed, and
> all the classes have the trademark "Z" name prefix removed on anyone's
> redistributed copies. [...]

More than possible - it's already happened.  As one example, to get
trademark permission to call a Firefox-based browser Firefox, IIRC you
have to:
- include proprietary graphics, which is a problem for debian;
- use their approved configuration that points at a site which offers
to install proprietary plugins for you, which is a problem for GNU; and
- obey some MozCorp release policies, which is a problem for both.

I'm surprised if GPLv3's authors are ignorant of the problems this has
caused for the GNU and debian projects, or think it's not worth
addressing when the more limited (at present) problem of swpat is.

The functional name problem is possible (but not necessary) in both
the Open Font License and the PHP License (again IIRC).

Hope that explains,
MJ Ray - see/vidu http://mjr.towers.org.uk/email.html
Experienced webmaster-developers for hire http://www.ttllp.co.uk/
Also: statistician, sysadmin, online shop builder, workers co-op.
Writing on koha, debian, sat TV, Kewstoke http://mjr.towers.org.uk/

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