[IAEP] Scenarios for licensing our trademarks

Sean DALY sdaly.be at gmail.com
Fri Jan 29 12:04:07 EST 2010

It's because trademarks are far more fragile than published
copyrighted works. If somebody photocopies a book published by
McGraw-Hill, and puts it on the Net, they won't like it and will sue
you to cease & desist, but they won't really mind if that takes a
couple of months. If however you publish a lurid blog post with their
logo and accuse them of financing a secret society of anti-copying
cyberspies who report names to the government for IP blacklisting,
they would go into high-priority PR damage control mode, whether it
was true or not, all the more so if it wasn't. That's because their
good name being dragged through the mud affects everything they do.

A budding brand like ours needs protection to grow, but also needs
exposure to grow. Approving trademark licensing applications on the
basis of a functioning e-mail address will not assure our brand's
protection - we need to do a basic minimum of checking. Prevention
will be far more economical in time & energy, and fruitful for a
cooperative relationship, than the cure of chasing after those who
damage our marks (perhaps even inadvertently since they never had a
contact to ask questions to).


On Fri, Jan 29, 2010 at 5:10 PM, Chris Ball <cjb at laptop.org> wrote:
> Hi Sean,
>   > I don't see how the opposite is true. Just look at Sony.  To be
>   > clear, by "freely" I mean without conditions. The snag is that I
>   > don't see how we can be sure we have a legal handle on acceptance
>   > of our conditions without an explicit license. Again, this is a
>   > change from my original position of two weeks ago.
> I think the reason I'm quick to assume this is possible is that it's
> how the GPL works.  Either you are complying with its conditions,
> in which case you have a (copyright) license, or you are out of
> compliance with its conditions, in which case you don't.
> I don't see why the same idea of an automatic license that is only
> granted while its conditions are met would fail to be usable in a
> trademark license, but maybe there's a reason I haven't thought of.
> Thanks,
> - Chris.
> --
> Chris Ball   <cjb at laptop.org>
> One Laptop Per Child

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