[Pkg-xen-devel] Bug#391935: Bug #391935: Re: The answer from Citrix & Xen.org

Robert Millan rmh at aybabtu.com
Sun Jan 11 10:49:19 UTC 2009

Hi Ben,

On Tue, Oct 07, 2008 at 07:58:25PM +1100, Ben Finney wrote:
> If the work will be modified in Debian, and if that would require a 
> name change under the trademark license, presumably we have another 
> “Firefox” → “Iceweasel” situation and would have to rename the work 
> ourselves in order to redistribute it in Debian.

The situation is somewhat different than that of Firefox.  In that one,
the logo was non-free, so it was changed;  this was unrelated to the
trademark, which was only used as an instrument to force us change the
name as well.  DFSG-compliance of the trademark itself was never put into
question, AFAIK.

Similarly, I don't think it makes much sense to try appliing the DFSG to
trademarks.  The DFSG requires that software is modifiable (by us and by
third parties), and it is, with the only caveat that depending on those
modifications you might have to change the name.  As has been pointed out,
the same applies to Apache (with license v1, it was on the license itself,
and rely only on trademark privileges).

Notice there are other areas of law that behave similarly; for example
if I write an essay and publish it under a free software license, you
can modify it but still can't claim the modified version states my opinion
(IANAL but this would probably be considered illegal as it is

If the maintainers want to (and are allowed to by the trademark holders) keep
the Xen name in the package, as long as the recipients can figure out how
to comply with the trademark by reading debian/copyright (or would that be
debian/trademark? :-)), why would it be a problem for us (or for them)?

Robert Millan

  The DRM opt-in fallacy: "Your data belongs to us. We will decide when (and
  how) you may access your data; but nobody's threatening your freedom: we
  still allow you to remove your data and not access it at all."

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