[Mageia-dev] [RFC] move cairo-dock to tainted because of trademark/patent issues

Michael Scherer misc at zarb.org
Wed Nov 9 23:37:01 CET 2011

Le mercredi 09 novembre 2011 à 21:40 +0100, Florian Hubold a écrit :
> Am 09.11.2011 21:15, schrieb Michael Scherer:
> > Le mercredi 09 novembre 2011 à 14:14 +0100, Florian Hubold a écrit :
> >> Hi there,
> >>
> >> after updating cairo-dock and -plugins to the latest version,
> >> it has come to my attention that cairo-dock has been removed
> >> from Fedora due to patent issues, as can be seen here:
> >> http://pkgs.fedoraproject.org/gitweb/?p=cairo-dock.git;a=blob;f=dead.package;h=2f21e743a00cfe3accc33b8d5c974f2572bcdfc5;hb=9e2eb0b9936f326a454f6104a81c6061a5528625
> >> I've found no further explanation about this so far.
> >>
> >> The corresponding patent (from Apple) should be this one:
> >> http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=7,434,177.PN.&OS=PN/7,434,177&RS=PN/7,434,177
> >> IMHO this Apple patent should not have been issued because of prior art:
> >> http://en.swpat.org/wiki/Apple_Dock but currently it's effective and we need to
> >> respect it.
> > The base claim is indeed weak.
> >
> >> A related discussions about cairo-dock and trademarks of
> >> some of the included icons in cairo-dock-plugins can be seen here:
> >> http://lists.fedoraproject.org/pipermail/legal/2009-January/000505.html
> >> To be honest, i don't think this was appropriate as those icons
> >> clearly seem to come from the game pingus, which is FL/OSS.
> >>
> >> So i request cairo-dock and cairo-dock-plugins and cairo-dock-themes
> >> be moved to tainted. Any objections?
> > Yes, I do have one, I think we agreed that tainted was for enforced
> > patents, or those that would likely be enforced. While the definition is
> > fuzzy, I doubt that the patent will be enforced, mainly because it is
> > weak,
> >
> > Red Hat lawyers are right for a US company, but we are not in the same
> > position as Red Hat ( ie, we are not in the US, we are not a company
> > with several millions on the bank account and no one will ever attack us
> > because we are competing with them ).
> Wel, i don't understand this. Last time we talked about patents
> in the nonfree+tainted discussions, concensus seemed to be that
> even if patents don't apply here (europe), we need to respect them.
> So do we or don't we?
> IIUC you suggest that cairo-dock* stays where it is?

Well, I think we said we would place packages with various problem
related to the law, and that could be patent or something else. 
        stuff we think we can redistribute, but that may have some
        patent issues or other restrictions in other countries

The whole point is what is exactly "patent issue". 

One definition would be "someone found a patent related, that is
currently valid". That's one possibility.

Another one would be "we have heard of a significant problem with
something", and that would be my position ( which is annoying, because
that's not a real good set of criteria to decide, and that just lack
precisions, too fuzzy ). 

On one hand, video codecs are a patent minefield ( mp3 story 10 years
ago, the story of the mpeg la patent pool bac in february this year, etc

On the other hand, interfaces didn't see much patents attack, from what
I know ( besides the whole samsung/apple case, but that's maybe more
subtle as that's "design patent", which is different from a software
patent ). But maybe I am wrong on that point, and indeed, not having
issues now doesn't mean we are safe later.

One example that was often given is the progress bar
( http://badpatents.blogspot.com/2011/05/progress-bar.html ) and
despites it being expired now, no one ever did anything for that ( at
least, from what I know ).

Another example could be java ( Oracle vs Google case ), but the case is
more complex since Oracle own Java, and so the risk is quite low.

I think we can agree that we should not place everything in tainted, or
that would just mean everybody will use and have tainted and that it
will be mirrored everywhere, thus making the distinction useless ( and I
personally still think that's not useful for now ).

> > For the icons, what is the problem exactly, ie what icons are
> > copyrighted ?
> Only linked the ml thread for the icons for reference. It is not said
> which are trademarked (and more important by whom) i guess it could
> be seen as a derivated work to the original lemmings game from DMA design.
> But as the game pingus is existing, and has not been sued,
> i don't think they have a valid point there.

Maybe the problem is somewhere else, like a icon of windows, stuff like
that. Hence the question.

Michael Scherer

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