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NewsForge: Trademarks: A Threat to Free Software's Freedom?

Nov 06, 2004, 23:00 (13 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Byfield)

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"Do trademarks require a special license for software to be free? That is the question that Debian developers are currently debating. The specific concern is whether AbiWord's recent assertion of trademarks conflict with the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG), the set of principles under which the Debian distribution operates. However, the implications could affect not only Debian's use of other trademarked packages, such as Mozilla, Evolution, and OpenOffice.org, but other GNU/Linux distributions' use of them as well.

"The first clause of the DFSG reads:

"The license of a Debian component may not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing programs from several different sources..."

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