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

From: Jon Grant
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] GPLv3 last days for comment, and other news links
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2007 20:03:36 +0100

Hi Rob,

Trademarks exist to protect consumers by marking products as having
come from an identified source. Debian taking Firefox and hacking on
the code but still releasing it under the Firefox trademark clearly
breaks this. And it breaks it for the consumer, not for the Mozilla

I'd say we should be allowed to redistribute as they did under the GPL
(with their trademarks included). Our only obligation should be to
differentiate the version number and release, perhaps adding a suffix
to it, each time it occurs visibly on the presentation of the software
to the user.

You cannot use trademarks to prevent modification of software in the
same way as copyright or as patents. Trademarks are therefore not the
same potential or actual threat as patents. You can remove them,
although it may be very inconvenient to do so.

I definitely see it is possible to remove Trademarks, patented
algorithms, and copyrighted code from a software package. The question
is (as I see it), should anyone be allowed to ship a package under a
GPL software license which allows people to say you're excluded from
using certain parts of code, certain trademarked graphics and the
compression algorithm which is patented -- I think the license should
protect/allow all 3 freedoms for the user.

This isn't my ideal solution, but it would allow for GPL
redistribution of trademarked code, and at the same time allow vendors
a solution they might be happy with, as a compromise off sorts.:

* If company Z want to display a Z(tm) image in the corner of the
window that they don't want anyone else to redistribute, surely they
should just ship an override-trademark-graphics package under a
different license? and leave the normal users to get all the GPL'd
graphics from the main package..?
-- as I say though, I prefer my first idea than offering vendors this
workaround for them.

Cheers, Jon

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