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

Duane Phinney genomega at earthlink.net
Thu Nov 10 05:43:31 CET 2011

Hash: SHA1

On 11/09/2011 04:37 PM, Michael Scherer wrote:
> 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.
Take a look here:

and here:

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