[IAEP] Scenarios for licensing our trademarks

Sascha Silbe sascha-ml-ui-sugar-iaep at silbe.org
Fri Jan 29 08:10:03 EST 2010

On Fri, Jan 29, 2010 at 12:37:57PM +0100, Sascha Silbe wrote:

> I feel that our trademark policy is getting much too strong, [...]
I've had some time to think a bit more about it and would like to 
compare our trademark license with our software license.
Basis for comparison: The FSF free software definition [1], the Sugar 
Trademark case studies wiki page [2]

Software: "Being free to do these things means (among other things) that 
you do not have to ask or pay for permission to do so.", "In order for 
these freedoms to be real, they must be permanent and irrevocable as 
long as you do nothing wrong; if the developer of the software has the 
power to revoke the license, or retroactively change its terms, without 
your doing anything wrong to give cause, the software is not free."
Trademark: "approval can't be automatic for several reasons I have 
outlined previously, but in particular because of periodicity, renewal, 
and revocation if conditions not respected"

Software: "If you do publish your changes, you should not be required to 
notify anyone in particular, or in any particular way"
Trademark: no matching case study, but even unmodified software is 
required to "apply for a license for our label program. We will need to 
verify that there actually is Sugar running. License should be for one 
year with updated rider from applicant for renewal."

Software: "Whether a change constitutes an improvement is a subjective 
matter. If your modifications are limited, in substance, to changes that 
someone else considers an improvement, that is not freedom."
Trademark: any change to SoaS needs to go through the "labelling 

While the trademark license doesn't prevent you from exercising your 
software freedoms (you "just" have to remove all uses of the trademark 
from the software) and there are good reasons to be slightly more 
restrictive about the use of specific names / name combinations I would 
like both licenses to be much more closely aligned.

[1] http://www.fsf.org/licensing/essays/free-sw.html
[2] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Trademark_case_studies

CU Sascha

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