Trademarks and their limits
[Front] Posted Feb 5, 2013 23:10 UTC (Tue) by corbet
A user looking for the Firefox browser on a Debian system may come away
confused; seemingly, that program is not shipped by Debian. In truth, the
desired software is there; it just goes under the name "iceweasel." This
confusing naming is a result of the often controversial intersection of
free software and trademarks. Critics claim that trademarks can remove
some of the freedoms that should come with free software, while proponents
assert that trademarks are needed to protect users from scam
artists and worse. A look at the activity around free office suites tends
to support the latter group — but it also shows the limits of what
trademarks can accomplish.
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