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Open licences need a "no passing off" clause
Posted Jul 14, 2011 20:00 UTC (Thu) by kripkenstein (subscriber, #43281)
Not having a trademark leads to what VLC is now facing. That isn't an issue for Linux, GNOME, Qt, etc. because they aren't popular consumer products like VLC and Firefox. For those last two though, this is a major danger.
Having a trademark will always lead to friction at some level. It adds some limitations on what people can do with your code. But optimally this can be resolved in most cases (like how Ubuntu can ship branded Firefox).
So there isn't a perfect solution here. But I think that Linux and Qt do not need trademarks, while VLC and Firefox do.
Posted Jul 14, 2011 20:28 UTC (Thu) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
Posted Jul 14, 2011 21:18 UTC (Thu) by kripkenstein (subscriber, #43281)
In practical terms, someone could make something called "TotallySecure Linux", but which actually contains spyware, and I'm not sure Linus (or whoever owns the Linux trademark) could do anything about that.
But this doesn't really matter, because Linux isn't a consumer brand. The people that actually use Linux - like us - know enough to not be confused by a "TotallySecure Linux". But that isn't the same for VLC and Firefox.
Posted Jul 14, 2011 21:45 UTC (Thu) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
I believe that this did require enforcement at one point (I know that there were attempts by individuals and businesses to trademark 'Linux' as their own, and Linus had to fight it)
someone calling something TotallySecure Linux" as you say would probably not be violating the trademark on Linux (as long as there actually was linux in there).
Posted Jul 15, 2011 2:52 UTC (Fri) by jhhaller (subscriber, #56103)
Posted Jul 15, 2011 3:04 UTC (Fri) by kripkenstein (subscriber, #43281)
Posted Jul 14, 2011 22:18 UTC (Thu) by roc (subscriber, #30627)
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