GPLv3 Appropriate Legal Notices and Restrictive Trademark Grants

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at
Fri Jul 11 20:56:25 UTC 2008

Daniel Chalef wrote:
> Hello all,
> If this isn't the right place for discussion of this topic please do 
> point me in the right direction. [I recall a debate around this list 
> being for discussion of licenses approval issues.]
> I've come across the following application of Section 7(b) of the GPLv3 
> in conjunction with a restrictive trademark grant.

The license simply demands "Appropriate Legal Notices" (ALN) that are 
not actually Appropriate, in my opinion.  GPLv3 limits ALN to "a 
convenient and prominently visible feature that
(1) displays an appropriate copyright notice, and

(2) tells the user that there is no warranty for the work (except to the 
extent that warranties are provided),

that licensees may convey the work under this License

how to view a copy of this License."

So, for instance, an example of a possible appropriate legal notice 
would be:

ProgramName is Copyright 20xx CompanyName.

ProgramName has NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted under applicable law.

You may convey this work under its license, the GNU General Public 
License version 3.  To view the license, click About, License.

CompanyName can make you keep such a notice (for example) in their GPLv3 

Note that logos and URLs are not in the list of appropriate items.  That 
part of the required notice is void, and I believe it is automatically 
deleted under the GPL's conflict clause.


Matt Flaschen

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