Debian Bug report logs - #258918
abiword: Debian appears to be violating AbiWord's license

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Package: abiword; Maintainer for abiword is Dmitry Smirnov <onlyjob@debian.org>; Source for abiword is src:abiword.

Reported by: Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org>

Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2004 07:33:02 UTC

Severity: minor

Found in version 2.0.7+cvs.2004.05.05-1

Done: joshk@triplehelix.org (Joshua Kwan)

Bug is archived. No further changes may be made.

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Report forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Masayuki Hatta (mhatta) <mhatta@debian.org>:
Bug#258918; Package abiword. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org>:
New Bug report received and forwarded. Copy sent to Masayuki Hatta (mhatta) <mhatta@debian.org>. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #5 received at submit@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org>
To: submit@bugs.debian.org
Cc: debian-legal@lists.debian.org
Subject: abiword: Debian appears to be violating AbiWord's license
Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2004 02:23:52 -0500
[Message part 1 (text/plain, inline)]
Package: abiword
Version: 2.0.7+cvs.2004.05.05-1
Severity: serious

Please see the following mailing list discussion.

On Tue, Jul 06, 2004 at 04:14:03PM -0700, Josh Triplett wrote:
> Dagfinn Ilmari Mannsåker wrote:
> > Josh Triplett <josh.trip@verizon.net> writes:
> > 
> >>For example, "Abiword" is a trademarked name; Abisource requires that
> >>modified versions of Abiword are either called "Abiword Personal", or
> >>that they don't have "Abiword" in the name.  This is a perfectly
> >>reasonable application of a trademark to Free Software, and Debian
> >>distributes of Abiword using the branding "Abiword Personal".
> > 
> > Not as far as I can se:
> > 
> >     Description: WYSIWYG word processor based on GTK2/GNOME2
> >      AbiWord is the first application of a complete, open source office
> >      suite. The upstream source includes cross-platform support for
> >      Win32, BeOS, and QNX as well as GTK+ on Unix.
> >      .
> >      This package contains the AbiWord binary built with GTK2/GNOME2.
> > 
> > Neither the GNOME menu entry, the splash screen, the window title nor
> > the about box mention "Personal" in any way.
> > 
> >>From what I see at
> > <http://www.abisource.com/information/license/personal.phtml> the source
> > they distribute should automatically brand itself "AbiWord Personal",
> > but the source only mentions "Personal build" (or anything resembling)
> > in the Windows .nsi installer files.
> 
> Interesting.  I was almost certain that at one point Abiword was branded
> "Abiword Personal" in Debian, and used the blue ant graphics rather than
> the official graphics.  However, checking again, I see that this is not
> the case in either the stable or unstable versions.  This is definitely
> a violation of the Abiword license, and should be submitted as a serious
> bugreport on the abiword package.

Filed.

-- 
G. Branden Robinson                |
Debian GNU/Linux                   |       Extra territorium jus dicenti
branden@debian.org                 |       impune non paretur.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |
[signature.asc (application/pgp-signature, inline)]

Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Masayuki Hatta (mhatta) <mhatta@debian.org>:
Bug#258918; Package abiword. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Daniel Glassey <wdg@debian.org>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Masayuki Hatta (mhatta) <mhatta@debian.org>. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #10 received at 258918@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Daniel Glassey <wdg@debian.org>
To: 258918@bugs.debian.org, debian-legal@lists.debian.org
Cc: Dom Lachowicz <domlachowicz@yahoo.com>
Subject: Fwd: Abiword being removed from Debian/unstable?
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2004 22:35:48 +0100

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Dom Lachowicz
> Date: 20 July 2004 22:08:34 BST
> To: Andy Korvemaker, abiword-dev@abisource.com
> Subject: Re: Abiword being removed from Debian/unstable?
>
>
> I'm not sure if this is the reason or not, but please
> see:
>
> http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=258918
>
> For the record, I've recently acquired the AbiWord
> trademarks and whatnot. I haven't had a chance to
> update the TM information on the website.
>
> To be expressly clear here for any Debian guys that
> read this message:
>
> Within reason, I don't care if you use "AbiWord" vs.
> "AbiWord Personal." In fact, I'd prefer it if you used
> "AbiWord."
>
> Within reason, I don't care if you use the "official"
> artwork or the "personal" artwork. In fact, I'd prefer
> it if you used the "official" artwork.
>
> I do begin to care if you use my trademarks to promote
> other products, or in ways that disparage my
> trademarks or products. If you "forked" AbiWord, you
> couldn't use the trademarks. But you're clearly not
> going to do that. The USPTO has more info and case law
> on this sort of thing.
>
> Debian and the other distros are clearly distributing
> AbiWord, and providing a beneficial service to the
> community. Even though Debian's version might have a
> few patches against our "mainline" branch, I don't
> believe it constitutes a "fork." As such, I think that
> it is fine (if not preferable) for you guys to use the
> official name and artwork in your distribution.
>
> So, you have my blessing to call your AbiWord +
> patches "AbiWord". You can use the official artwork
> too.
>
> Dom
>
> --- Andy Korvemaker wrote:
>>
>> I was checking whether a new version of Abiword was
>> available in
>> Unstable and decided to see what was holding the
>> current Unstable
>> version from moving into Testing (at
>> http://packages.qa.debian.org/a/abiword.html).
>>
>> Clicking on the "Check why" link for why it's not
>> there, it looks like
>> Abiword is scheduled for removal from Sid. See
>>
> http://bjorn.haxx.se/debian/testing.pl?package=abiword
>>
>> I'm not a Debian developer at all, so I'm not sure
>> if this is a "common"
>> occurence. But as a (relatively inexperienced) user
>> it sounds like
>> Abiword is being pulled for some reason. (I don't
>> know how to find out
>> what that reason is.)
>>
>> andy
>> -- 
>> Andy Korvemaker
>>
>>
>
>
>
> 	
> 		
> __________________________________
> Do you Yahoo!?
> Vote for the stars of Yahoo!'s next ad campaign!
> http://advision.webevents.yahoo.com/yahoo/votelifeengine/
>




Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Masayuki Hatta (mhatta) <mhatta@debian.org>:
Bug#258918; Package abiword. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Steve Langasek <vorlon@debian.org>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Masayuki Hatta (mhatta) <mhatta@debian.org>. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #15 received at 258918@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Steve Langasek <vorlon@debian.org>
To: Daniel Glassey <wdg@debian.org>
Cc: 258918@bugs.debian.org, debian-legal@lists.debian.org, Dom Lachowicz <domlachowicz@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: Fwd: Abiword being removed from Debian/unstable?
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2004 14:58:52 -0700
[Message part 1 (text/plain, inline)]
[answerinng only the off-topic parts, for clarification from the release
team:]

On Tue, Jul 20, 2004 at 10:35:48PM +0100, Daniel Glassey wrote:

>--- Andy Korvemaker wrote:

> >>I was checking whether a new version of Abiword was
> >>available in
> >>Unstable and decided to see what was holding the
> >>current Unstable
> >>version from moving into Testing (at
> >>http://packages.qa.debian.org/a/abiword.html).
> >>
> >>Clicking on the "Check why" link for why it's not
> >>there, it looks like
> >>Abiword is scheduled for removal from Sid. See

> >http://bjorn.haxx.se/debian/testing.pl?package=abiword

> >>I'm not a Debian developer at all, so I'm not sure
> >>if this is a "common"
> >>occurence. But as a (relatively inexperienced) user
> >>it sounds like
> >>Abiword is being pulled for some reason. (I don't
> >>know how to find out
> >>what that reason is.)

You can find this information at
<http://ftp-master.debian.org/testing/hints>.  The reason for the
removal request was not 258918, which is far too recent to have shown up
on the release team's radar yet as a removal issue, but 241279,
affecting a library that abiword depends on.  An alternative resolution
for 241279 has since been found that doesn't involve ripping out abiword
and half the GNOME metapackages depending on it, so abiword is no longer
in danger of removal.

Please feel free to forward this information to Andy, as I don't appear
to have his email address.

-- 
Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer
[signature.asc (application/pgp-signature, inline)]

Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Masayuki Hatta (mhatta) <mhatta@debian.org>:
Bug#258918; Package abiword. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Masayuki Hatta (mhatta) <mhatta@debian.org>. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #20 received at 258918@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org>
To: Dom Lachowicz <domlachowicz@yahoo.com>
Cc: 258918@bugs.debian.org, debian-legal@lists.debian.org, Daniel Glassey <wdg@debian.org>
Subject: Re: Fwd: Abiword being removed from Debian/unstable?
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2004 12:40:11 -0500
[Message part 1 (text/plain, inline)]
On Tue, Jul 20, 2004 at 10:35:48PM +0100, Daniel Glassey wrote:
> Begin forwarded message:
> 
> >From: Dom Lachowicz
> >Date: 20 July 2004 22:08:34 BST
> >To: Andy Korvemaker, abiword-dev@abisource.com
> >Subject: Re: Abiword being removed from Debian/unstable?
[...]
> >For the record, I've recently acquired the AbiWord trademarks and
> >whatnot. I haven't had a chance to update the TM information on the
> >website.

Hello,

Thank you very much for shedding some light on this issue!

I have some questions below.

> >To be expressly clear here for any Debian guys that read this message:
> >
> >Within reason, I don't care if you use "AbiWord" vs.  "AbiWord
> >Personal." In fact, I'd prefer it if you used "AbiWord."
> >
> >Within reason, I don't care if you use the "official" artwork or the
> >"personal" artwork. In fact, I'd prefer it if you used the "official"
> >artwork.
> >
> >I do begin to care if you use my trademarks to promote other products,
> >or in ways that disparage my trademarks or products. If you "forked"
> >AbiWord, you couldn't use the trademarks. But you're clearly not going
> >to do that. The USPTO has more info and case law on this sort of thing.
> >
> >Debian and the other distros are clearly distributing AbiWord, and
> >providing a beneficial service to the community. Even though Debian's
> >version might have a few patches against our "mainline" branch, I don't
> >believe it constitutes a "fork." As such, I think that it is fine (if
> >not preferable) for you guys to use the official name and artwork in
> >your distribution.
> >
> >So, you have my blessing to call your AbiWord + patches "AbiWord". You
> >can use the official artwork too.

One of Debian's "freeness" criteria is that licenses not be specific to
us[1].  The Open Source Initiaive has a similar criterion, which says that
licenses must not be specific to a "product".  To be precise:

  8. License Must Not Be Specific to a Product

  The rights attached to the program must not depend on the program's being
  part of a particular software distribution. If the program is extracted
  from that distribution and used or distributed within the terms of the
  program's license, all parties to whom the program is redistributed
  should have the same rights as those that are granted in conjunction with
  the original software distribution.[1]

Debian wants our users to enjoy the same freedoms we do, and we consider
our users to be -- potentially, anyway -- the "general public".

Are you willing to extend this trademark license to the general public?  I
am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice, but I *suspect* you can do so
without encouraging dilution.

If I may, let me rephrase your statement above so that it is not specific
to OS distributors:

[EXAMPLE -- NOT ACTUAL STATEMENT OF TRADEMARK HOLDER]
  Within reason, I don't care if you use "AbiWord" vs. "AbiWord Personal."
  In fact, if you regard the AbiSource community as your source for the
  work you're distributing, and you seek to retain compatibility with the
  work distriuted by the AbiSource community, I'd prefer it if you used
  "AbiWord."

  Within reason, I don't care if you use the "official" artwork or the
  "personal" artwork.  In fact, if you regard the AbiSource community as
  your source for the work you're distributing, and you seek to retain
  compatibility with the work distriuted by the AbiSource community, I'd
  prefer it if you used  the "official" artwork.

  I do care if you use my trademarks to promote other products, or in ways
  that disparage my trademarks or products.  If your goal is to distribute
  a work that is largely indepent of, and/or is not compatible with the
  works distributed by the AbiSource community, then you should NOT regard
  yourself as having permission to use the trademarks.

  Those who distribute the works of the AbiSource community to the general
  public, I regard as providing a beneficial service to the community.  Even
  if the works your redistribute have a few "patches" against the AbiSource
  community's "mainline" branch, this doesn't necessarily constitute a "fork".
  As such, I think that it is fine (if not preferable) for such people to
  use the official name and artwork in their distributions.

  If you have doubt as to whether the work you are distribuing is
  compatible with that distributed by the AbiSource community, please
  contact me, Dom Lachowicz <domlachowicz@yahoo.com>, so that we can try to
  figure out whether this trademark license grant applies to you.
[EXAMPLE -- NOT ACTUAL STATEMENT OF TRADEMARK HOLDER]

My goals in the above restatement are several:
1) Eliminate "grant of license to specific party" problems which could run
   afoul of DFSG 8 or OSD 8.
2) Generalize the language so that it could be re-used for any other work
   the AbiSource community comes up with, not just AbiWord.
3) Do not attempt to prohibit anything not already prohibited by trademark
   law.  This isn't merely the polite thing to do on the part of licensor;
   it leaves people in the position of having to consult with you and/or
   their lawyer(s) to figure out what they can get away with if they'd like
   to skirt your intentions.  In most such cases the easiest and most
   affordable thing to do is just to rename the work and not use the
   trademarked names or images as representations of the work they're
   distributing.  (As I understand it, they can still use the term
   "AbiWord" to make factual statements about the heredity of their forked
   work, which is probably good for the AbiSource community anyway.  They
   merely cannot attempt to "pass off" their work as AbiWord without
   violating the Lanham Act[3].)

I hope that the above accurately captures your desires, albeit in a broader
context.  Please let me know if I'm reasoning from any bad assuptions.

Thanks for your work and understanding.  If it matters, I've been a happy
AbiWord user since version 0.9<mumble>.  :)

[1] http://www.debian.org/social_contract#guidelines
[2] http://www.opensource.org/docs/definition.php
[3] http://www.bitlaw.com/source/15usc/

-- 
G. Branden Robinson                |    Quantum materiae materietur marmota
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    monax si marmota monax materiam
branden@debian.org                 |    possit materiari?
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |
[signature.asc (application/pgp-signature, inline)]

Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Masayuki Hatta (mhatta) <mhatta@debian.org>:
Bug#258918; Package abiword. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Sven Luther <sven.luther@wanadoo.fr>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Masayuki Hatta (mhatta) <mhatta@debian.org>. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #25 received at 258918@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Sven Luther <sven.luther@wanadoo.fr>
To: Dom Lachowicz <domlachowicz@yahoo.com>, 258918@bugs.debian.org, debian-legal@lists.debian.org, Daniel Glassey <wdg@debian.org>
Subject: Re: Fwd: Abiword being removed from Debian/unstable?
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2004 20:22:59 +0200
On Sun, Jul 25, 2004 at 12:40:11PM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 20, 2004 at 10:35:48PM +0100, Daniel Glassey wrote:
> > Begin forwarded message:
> > 
> > >From: Dom Lachowicz
> > >Date: 20 July 2004 22:08:34 BST
> > >To: Andy Korvemaker, abiword-dev@abisource.com
> > >Subject: Re: Abiword being removed from Debian/unstable?
> [...]
> > >For the record, I've recently acquired the AbiWord trademarks and
> > >whatnot. I haven't had a chance to update the TM information on the
> > >website.
> 
> Hello,
> 
> Thank you very much for shedding some light on this issue!
> 
> I have some questions below.
> 
> > >To be expressly clear here for any Debian guys that read this message:
> > >
> > >Within reason, I don't care if you use "AbiWord" vs.  "AbiWord
> > >Personal." In fact, I'd prefer it if you used "AbiWord."
> > >
> > >Within reason, I don't care if you use the "official" artwork or the
> > >"personal" artwork. In fact, I'd prefer it if you used the "official"
> > >artwork.
> > >
> > >I do begin to care if you use my trademarks to promote other products,
> > >or in ways that disparage my trademarks or products. If you "forked"
> > >AbiWord, you couldn't use the trademarks. But you're clearly not going
> > >to do that. The USPTO has more info and case law on this sort of thing.
> > >
> > >Debian and the other distros are clearly distributing AbiWord, and
> > >providing a beneficial service to the community. Even though Debian's
> > >version might have a few patches against our "mainline" branch, I don't
> > >believe it constitutes a "fork." As such, I think that it is fine (if
> > >not preferable) for you guys to use the official name and artwork in
> > >your distribution.
> > >
> > >So, you have my blessing to call your AbiWord + patches "AbiWord". You
> > >can use the official artwork too.
> 
> One of Debian's "freeness" criteria is that licenses not be specific to
> us[1].  The Open Source Initiaive has a similar criterion, which says that
> licenses must not be specific to a "product".  To be precise:
> 
>   8. License Must Not Be Specific to a Product
> 
>   The rights attached to the program must not depend on the program's being
>   part of a particular software distribution. If the program is extracted
>   from that distribution and used or distributed within the terms of the
>   program's license, all parties to whom the program is redistributed
>   should have the same rights as those that are granted in conjunction with
>   the original software distribution.[1]
> 
> Debian wants our users to enjoy the same freedoms we do, and we consider
> our users to be -- potentially, anyway -- the "general public".

Huh, i am bluffed here. Not sure i understand the whole issue, but i think we
consider licences of the type :

  you may use, modify, distribute, whatever this software as you wish, as long
  as you don't call it <foo>.

as free. How is this here different ? Or did i misunderstood or is the
distribution of software at hand here, and not only the name we give it ? 

Friendly,

Sven Luther




Severity set to `normal'. Request was from Joshua Kwan <joshk@triplehelix.org> to control@bugs.debian.org. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Severity set to `minor'. Request was from Masayuki Hatta <mhatta@po.airs.net> to control@bugs.debian.org. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Masayuki Hatta (mhatta) <mhatta@debian.org>:
Bug#258918; Package abiword. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Masayuki Hatta (mhatta) <mhatta@debian.org>. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #34 received at 258918@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org>
To: 258918@bugs.debian.org, debian-legal@lists.debian.org
Subject: AbiWord, trademarks, and DFSG-freeness
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2004 02:12:41 -0500
[Message part 1 (text/plain, inline)]
Hi folks,

At Josh Kwan's request, I hopped into the IRC channel used by AbiWord
developers and had a brief chat with them about our concerns over trademark
licensing.

Let me try to summarize their position as I understand it:

A) The existing trademark restrictions documented in
   /usr/share/doc/abiword/copyright are out of date, as is
   <URL: http://www.abisource.com/tm_guide.phtml >.  Unfortunately, there
   appears to be nothing available that supersedes these documents.
B) As far as I can tell, they feel that the trademark usage guidelines Dom
   Lachowicz communicated to Debian[1] should suffice for our needs.
C) They feel that because trademark rights are automatic and implicit
   (though you are in a better position to sue people if you claim your
   marks with a "(TM)", and better still if you register them with the
   United States Patent and Trademark Office, earning the right to put (R)
   next to your mark), that there is nothing unique about their situation,
   and Debian needs to solve "the trademark problem" for everything we
   distribute before singling them out for special attention.
D) They don't want to say anything more on the matter until and unless we
   can come back with some real lawyers.
E) At least some of them appear to feel that we don't understand the
   distinction between copyrights and trademarks.

It may be the case that the AbiWord developers interpret documents like the
DFSG[3] and OSD[4] as applying only to copyright licenses.  I am
speculating, but it would explain some of the strenuousness of their
protestations.

It is my opinion -- and to my knowledge the general consensus of those
familiar with such documents -- that the DFSG and OSD (and the Free
Software Foundation's "four freedoms" for software[5]) are completely
neutral as to the legal mechanisms that are employed (even if by default)
to prohibit the exercise of users' prerogatives to use, copy, modify, and
distribute software.

Before proceeding, permit me to make the following observations:

There is a kind of "fair use" that applies to trademarks, just as there is
to copyrights.  Just because "IBM" is a trademark doesn't mean the IBM
Corporation has complete and arbitrary control over *all* appearances of
this word[6].  As far as I know, trademark holders cannot prohibit people
from using the mark to make factual assertions, write product reviews,
report on SEC filings, rant in newsgroups, and so forth.

It is my (weak) understanding that trademarks are mostly designed to
prohibit confusion in the marketplace, by providing legal remedies against
people who "pass off" a product as being something it is not, or
originating from some place that it does not.  In the U.S., the Lanham
Act[7] is the most often cited provision of federal law dealing with
trademarks in commerce.

Consequently, I think we need to be careful when modifying works that use a
trademark to identify themselves.  In the U.S., I can buy boxes of Cracker
Jacks from the store, advertise them, and sell them without the permission
of the Frito-Lay Company.  However, if I open those boxes of Cracker Jacks
-- say to mix in almonds or dried, pitted prunes -- and advertise and sell
the result as "Cracker Jacks", the Frito-Lay Company will probably have a
good case against me in court.

In the interests of full disclosure, I should mention that the AbiWord
developers I spoke to did not find the above analogy very persuasive.
Unfortunately, I was unable to figure out why.

Therefore, I think the biggest question for us is:

1) Do the default protections that attach to trademarks, even when
   unregistered and unmentioned (not even with a "(TM)"), infringe upon the
   freedoms the DFSG purports to defend?

Further questions are:

2) Do these default protections vary widely in the jurisdictions Debian
   typically has to cope with?  I know WIPO, the World Intellectual
   Property Organization, claims to have been working for years to
   "harmonize" issues of mark usage, but they also claim to do that for
   things like copyright terms, and what really happens is that copyright
   cartels see to it that the US and the EU keep leapfrogging each other,
   making the copyright durations longer and longer.

3) I don't know if the AbiWord developers are right about meaningful,
   strong, legal protections applying to potential trademarks if no notice
   of trademark status is made.  After all, common dictionary words are
   frequently trademarked.

4) Are we willing to retain counsel (on a pro bono basis, I'd advise) to
   research these issues further?

In lieu of pursuing all of the above questions exhaustively, I propose the
following:

P1) Adopt a kind of don't-ask, don't-tell policy regarding implicit
    trademarks.  Many free software developers don't give a whit about
    trademarks, and some don't even care how much their software is patched
    by third parties while retaining the name.  So, if you maintain a
    package that doesn't assert any trademarks, don't worry about it.
P2) If a package does assert a trademark, contact the mark holder and ask
    for a trademark license that permits usage of the marks under the same
    terms as the copyright license that has been attached to the
    corresponding work, wherever applicable.
P3) If the trademark holder is not willing to do what we ask in P2), we
    need to find out what trademark license they are willing to extend, if
    any.  If they extend one, we will have to ensure that it satisfies the
    DFSG.  If they do not extend one, then if trademark law prohibits any
    DFSG-free actions, the package will have be moved out of main.  We may
    not be able to distribute it at all, depending on what we're restricted
    from doing, and if the package maintainer is unwilling or unable to stop
    doing whatever is restricted.
P4) As an alternative to P3), we can remove the marks from the package, and
    replace them with alternatives.

I therefore request that we research the answer to 1).  We do not seem to be in
situations P1) or P2) with AbiWord.  I'd like to ask the package maintainer
to offer his opinion on whether we should go with route P3) or P4) in the
instant case.

If we go with P4), I suggest we retain conspicuous notice of the package's
origins.  Possible ways of doing this include:
* the package description;
* the manpage;
* the splash screen;
* the About dialog.

I suggest the following language:
  "[NEW NAME] is derived from AbiWord(tm), a product of SourceGear
  Corporation."

I don't think we are required to change the package name or command name,
but we might want to make abiword a virtual package, and manage the command
name via alternatives, in the event someone wants to package the
trademark-encumbered version.

I'd appreciate comments and feedback.

[1] See Message-Id: <C4067944-DA94-11D8-9171-000A95AB6C48@debian.org> in
    the archives of bug #258918[2].
[2] http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=258918
[3] http://www.debian.org/social_contract.en-gb.html#guidelines
[4] http://www.opensource.org/docs/definition_plain.html
[5] http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html
[6] I'm given to understand it's not an acronym anymore.  Or was that AT&T?
[7] http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode15/usc_sup_01_15_10_22.html

-- 
G. Branden Robinson                |     I'm not going to waste my precious
Debian GNU/Linux                   |     flash memory with Perl when I can
branden@debian.org                 |     do so much more with it.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |     -- Joey Hess
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Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Masayuki Hatta (mhatta) <mhatta@debian.org>:
Bug#258918; Package abiword. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Andrew Suffield <asuffield@debian.org>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Masayuki Hatta (mhatta) <mhatta@debian.org>. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #39 received at 258918@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Andrew Suffield <asuffield@debian.org>
To: debian-legal@lists.debian.org
Cc: 258918@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: AbiWord, trademarks, and DFSG-freeness
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2004 11:22:55 +0100
[Message part 1 (text/plain, inline)]
On Fri, Oct 15, 2004 at 02:12:41AM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> Therefore, I think the biggest question for us is:
> 
> 1) Do the default protections that attach to trademarks, even when
>    unregistered and unmentioned (not even with a "(TM)"), infringe upon the
>    freedoms the DFSG purports to defend?

I suspect that strictly as stated, no. Trademark dilution will stop
this for most works - anything which has been repeatedly branched in
the past, for example. You would have real trouble defending a
trademark on 'glibc', 'gcc', or 'emacs' at this point.

However, there almost certainly exist scenarios in which trademarks
can be an issue.

> In lieu of pursuing all of the above questions exhaustively, I propose the
> following:
> 
> P1) Adopt a kind of don't-ask, don't-tell policy regarding implicit
>     trademarks.  Many free software developers don't give a whit about
>     trademarks, and some don't even care how much their software is patched
>     by third parties while retaining the name.  So, if you maintain a
>     package that doesn't assert any trademarks, don't worry about it.

For the above reasons I'm inclined to agree that this is safe.

> P2) If a package does assert a trademark, contact the mark holder and ask
>     for a trademark license that permits usage of the marks under the same
>     terms as the copyright license that has been attached to the
>     corresponding work, wherever applicable.

As with abiword, the main thrust here is:

"Can I call a modified version foo, even when you don't like the
modified version?"

So that makes a good opener for people with no comprehension of
trademarks; it'll rapidly categorise them into people who are and are
not willing to grant a free license.

(Answer appears to be 'no' for abiword; DFSG aside, we can't really
afford to distribute it with trademarks intact)

-- 
  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
 : :' :  http://www.debian.org/ |
 `. `'                          |
   `-             -><-          |
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Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Masayuki Hatta (mhatta) <mhatta@debian.org>:
Bug#258918; Package abiword. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Jacobo Tarrio <jtarrio@trasno.net>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Masayuki Hatta (mhatta) <mhatta@debian.org>. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #44 received at 258918@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Jacobo Tarrio <jtarrio@trasno.net>
To: debian-legal@lists.debian.org
Cc: 258918@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: AbiWord, trademarks, and DFSG-freeness
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2004 17:50:29 +0200
O Venres, 15 de Outubro de 2004 ás 02:12:41 -0500, Branden Robinson escribía:

 First of all, I Am Not A Lawyer, so don't sue me if your trial goes bad.
It's all your fault for believing me :-)

 And now...

 I think that trademarks are irrelevant to DFSG-freeness since if the
copyright license is DFSG-free, we would still be able to distribute the
software even if we were asked by the trademark owner not to use its
upstream name (we'd have to change the name. It would be a hassle, but the
software would still be DFSG-free).

 IOW, nowhere in the DFSG says something like "you cannot restrict the
user's right to have their modified copies of the software called in the
same way as the original". In fact, there's one place (DFSG #4) where it
says just the opposite :-)

 So take the following only FYI, since I think you'd like to know about it.
Or if there's interest in ever writing a trademark license for the Debian
logos, which allow the maximum admissible freedoms :-)

 First, useful URLs:

 http://www.oepm.es/internet/legisla/signos/iii21lmar.htm

 This is the URL to the Spanish trade mark law. It's in Spanish but it's
there for the record :-)

 http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/en/consleg/main/1989/en_1989L0104_index.html

 This is the EU trade mark directive. All EU member states' trade mark laws
have to comply with this.

 http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/en/consleg/main/1994/en_1994R0040_index.html

 This is the Council Regulation on the Community trade mark. That is,
EU-level trade marks. Its wording is similar to the Spanish law...

> 1) Do the default protections that attach to trademarks, even when
>    unregistered and unmentioned (not even with a "(TM)"), infringe upon the
>    freedoms the DFSG purports to defend?

 In Spain, trademark owners have no rights until they register them, or
unless the trademark is "notoriously known" in Spain.

 After registering a trademark, its owner has the right to prohibit its use,
but these prohibitions are not enabled by default (it's the owner who has to
actively enforce the prohibitions).

 So there are no default protections in Spanish trademark law. I think it is
the same for "Community trademarks", that is, EU-level trademarks.

> 3) I don't know if the AbiWord developers are right about meaningful,
>    strong, legal protections applying to potential trademarks if no notice
>    of trademark status is made.  After all, common dictionary words are
>    frequently trademarked.

 In Spain, notice does not affect (in principle) the outcome of a trademark
suit. Only a cease&desist order, which would earn the trade mark holder
damages in some cases.

> P1) Adopt a kind of don't-ask, don't-tell policy regarding implicit
>     trademarks.  Many free software developers don't give a whit about
>     trademarks, and some don't even care how much their software is patched
>     by third parties while retaining the name.  So, if you maintain a
>     package that doesn't assert any trademarks, don't worry about it.

 This is sane; if no TM is asserted, do nothing special.

> P2) If a package does assert a trademark, contact the mark holder and ask
>     for a trademark license that permits usage of the marks under the same
>     terms as the copyright license that has been attached to the
>     corresponding work, wherever applicable.

 No; ask for a license that allows usage of the name for packages derived
from the original and whose (behaviour, form, etc) does not deviate
substantially from that of the original software.

 Or more than a license: prohibition of using the trade mark for any piece
of software which is not derived from the original one or has had major
modifications.

 I don't think more is needed. Look at first paragraphs to see why.

-- 
   Jacobo Tarrío     |     http://jacobo.tarrio.org/



Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Masayuki Hatta (mhatta) <mhatta@debian.org>:
Bug#258918; Package abiword. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Jacobo Tarrio <jtarrio@trasno.net>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Masayuki Hatta (mhatta) <mhatta@debian.org>. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #49 received at 258918@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Jacobo Tarrio <jtarrio@trasno.net>
To: debian-legal@lists.debian.org
Cc: 258918@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: AbiWord, trademarks, and DFSG-freeness
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2004 18:11:12 +0200
O Venres, 15 de Outubro de 2004 ás 17:50:29 +0200, Jacobo Tarrio escribía:

>  I think that trademarks are irrelevant to DFSG-freeness since if the

 Oops, I have just thought of a case where it isn't so, at least in Spain.
The Spanish trade mark law allows the owner of a trademark to prohibit its
removal from a product.

 I don't know what I would think of a piece of software with a name that
couldn't be changed. It would make forking impossible... so now I know.
Non-free.

 But it wouldn't be the case more often. More trade mark holders are more
eager to have you NOT use their mark than the inverse ;-)

 Some hypothetical Debian Free Trade Mark Guidelines (DFTMG) would have this
item: "the trade mark license must allow removing the mark from the work".

-- 
   Jacobo Tarrío     |     http://jacobo.tarrio.org/



Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Masayuki Hatta (mhatta) <mhatta@debian.org>:
Bug#258918; Package abiword. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Raul Miller <moth@debian.org>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Masayuki Hatta (mhatta) <mhatta@debian.org>. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #54 received at 258918@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Raul Miller <moth@debian.org>
To: debian-legal@lists.debian.org, 258918@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: AbiWord, trademarks, and DFSG-freeness
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2004 12:40:23 -0400
On Fri, Oct 15, 2004 at 06:11:12PM +0200, Jacobo Tarrio wrote:
>  Oops, I have just thought of a case where it isn't so, at least in Spain.
> The Spanish trade mark law allows the owner of a trademark to prohibit its
> removal from a product.

If we are prohibited from removing the name abiword from some derivative
form of the program, then we must be allowed to have abiword on that
derivative form.

Alternatively, once we're not allowed to have abiword on the derivative
form, we can't be prohibited from removing the name.

-- 
Raul

P.S. you have permission to quote in other forums anything I've written
and sent to debian-private in the last year.



Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Masayuki Hatta (mhatta) <mhatta@debian.org>:
Bug#258918; Package abiword. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Bill Allombert <allomber@math.u-bordeaux.fr>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Masayuki Hatta (mhatta) <mhatta@debian.org>. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #59 received at 258918@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Bill Allombert <allomber@math.u-bordeaux.fr>
To: 258918@bugs.debian.org, debian-legal@lists.debian.org
Subject: Re: AbiWord, trademarks, and DFSG-freeness
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 12:41:45 +0200
On Fri, Oct 15, 2004 at 02:12:41AM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> Let me try to summarize their position as I understand it:
> 
> A) The existing trademark restrictions documented in
>    /usr/share/doc/abiword/copyright are out of date, as is
>    <URL: http://www.abisource.com/tm_guide.phtml >.  Unfortunately, there
>    appears to be nothing available that supersedes these documents.
> B) As far as I can tell, they feel that the trademark usage guidelines Dom
>    Lachowicz communicated to Debian[1] should suffice for our needs.
> C) They feel that because trademark rights are automatic and implicit
>    (though you are in a better position to sue people if you claim your
>    marks with a "(TM)", and better still if you register them with the
>    United States Patent and Trademark Office, earning the right to put (R)
>    next to your mark), that there is nothing unique about their situation,
>    and Debian needs to solve "the trademark problem" for everything we
>    distribute before singling them out for special attention.
> D) They don't want to say anything more on the matter until and unless we
>    can come back with some real lawyers.
> E) At least some of them appear to feel that we don't understand the
>    distinction between copyrights and trademarks.

I would like to discuss whether Debian can legally ship abiword:

1) abiword/copyright read 
  " Source code created by AbiSource is
  copyrighted by AbiSource, Inc., and is distributed under the terms of
  the GNU General Public License. "

and latter:

   "The GPL does not grant you any right to use AbiSource trademarks in
  connection with these derivative works. AbiSource trademarks may not
  be used in connection with any such derivative works unless that usage
  is explicitly and specifically licensed, in writing, from Dom
  Lachowicz."

This imply that a restriction on modifications is imposed upon us.

2) GPL section 7. par. 1) say:

    7. If, as a consequence of a court judgment or allegation of patent
  infringement or for any other reason (not limited to patent issues),
  conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or
  otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not
  excuse you from the conditions of this License.  If you cannot
  distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this
  License and any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you
  may not distribute the Program at all.  For example, if a patent
  license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by
  all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then
  the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to
  refrain entirely from distribution of the Program.

It is my understanding that 'for any other reason' include restriction 
imposed by trademark holders as well.

In light of GPL 6.
  
    6. Each time you redistribute the Program (or any work based on the
  Program), the recipient automatically receives a license from the
  original licensor to copy, distribute or modify the Program subject to
  these terms and conditions.  You may not impose any further
  restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein.
  You are not responsible for enforcing compliance by third parties to
  this License.

The trademark condition impose a restriction on modification in direct
conflicts with GPL 6., so the conclusion I draw is based on GPL 7.

  "If you cannot distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously your
  obligations under this License and any other pertinent obligations, then
  as a consequence you may not distribute the Program at all."

My conclusion is that the GNU GPL does not allow us to distribute
abiword in its current form under the trademark obligation.

Probably we could still distribute it after removing all references to
abiword. Whether this is would be DFSG-free or not is a different
question entirely.

Cheers,
-- 
Bill. <ballombe@debian.org>

Imagine a large red swirl here. 



Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Masayuki Hatta (mhatta) <mhatta@debian.org>:
Bug#258918; Package abiword. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Brian Thomas Sniffen <bts@alum.mit.edu>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Masayuki Hatta (mhatta) <mhatta@debian.org>. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #64 received at 258918@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Brian Thomas Sniffen <bts@alum.mit.edu>
To: 258918@bugs.debian.org, debian-legal@lists.debian.org
Subject: Re: AbiWord, trademarks, and DFSG-freeness
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 10:29:29 -0400
I think you're mistaken in calling the trademark issue a restriction
on modification.  It is a restriction on the manner of distribution of
certain modifications.  I can make whatever changes I like, but I may
not distribute them under the mark "Abiword."

Your substantive argument, however, is persuasive.  Debian should
distribute its modified work derived from Abiword as, perhaps,
Debiword.  It's OK to still have references to Abiword in it, and even
to prominently mark that it's derived from Abiword -- anything which
reduces confusion and avoids charges that Debian's changing names to
accrue glory to itself, as was the case with Red Hat a year or two ago.

-Brian
-- 
Brian Sniffen                                       bts@alum.mit.edu




Reply sent to joshk@triplehelix.org (Joshua Kwan):
You have taken responsibility. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Notification sent to Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org>:
Bug acknowledged by developer. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #69 received at 258918-close@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: joshk@triplehelix.org (Joshua Kwan)
To: 258918-close@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Closing this old bug
Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2008 03:40:07 -0700
At the risk of igniting a long-dead flamewar, I am closing this bug
because I think we currently have a good understanding with AbiWor
developers and we are NOT in conflict with the license.

-- 
Joshua Kwan




Bug archived. Request was from Debbugs Internal Request <owner@bugs.debian.org> to internal_control@bugs.debian.org. (Tue, 05 Aug 2008 07:36:28 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

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