[Fwd: FW: For Approval: Generic Attribution Provision]

Lawrence Rosen lrosen at rosenlaw.com
Wed Dec 13 06:23:47 UTC 2006

> On Mon, 11 Dec 2006, Dalibor Topic wrote:
> > I'd say that badgerware that requires displaying and propagating
> > trademarked logos, is fundamentally contrary to the idea of 
> > open source, since it makes it very hard to actually fork the 
> > code without running foul of trademark laws.

Brian Behlendorf responded:
> No, not really.  If I tell you that you must include this logo in this way
> in the UI of your redistributed work, then I am implicitly but inarguably
> giving you a license to trademark rights I might have in that logo and
> name, limited to usage as defined by that license.

Brian, if you give me a license to trademark rights you have in your logo
and name, and thereby allow or require me to apply that logo or name to my
derivative works over whose quality you have no control, you are likely to
lose your trademark. 

Dalibor Topic's fear (from the vantage point of the licensee who forks) is
not realistic because forking is always allowed for open source software
regardless of the trademarks it bears, but the licensor should fear that his
trademark will become useless if he requires it to be displayed on those

The stronger the GAP requirements to include licensor's logo and trademark
in prominent places on uncontrolled goods, the more likely the loss of the
trademark. Given that reality of trademark law, I'm curious why so many
companies seem to want such strong attribution in UIs of other companies'
modified software?


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