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

blind Pete 0123peter at gmail.com
Sun Nov 27 05:40:05 CET 2011

on Thu, 10 Nov 2011 22:08
in the Usenet newsgroup gmane.linux.mageia.devel
nicolas vigier wrote:

> On Thu, 10 Nov 2011, blind Pete wrote:

Sorry for the delay.  

Believe it or not, I was trying to be helpful.  

>> You guys really need to talk to a lawyer.  Then when you know 
>> how things work you will be able to make sensible decisions.  
> If you have anything interesting to say, just say it, 

What is legal or not varies a lot from time to time and place 
to place.  If you want to do anything that is legal everywhere 
for all time then you are doomed.  Just concentrate on the laws 
that apply to you.  

> no need to add
> things like "You guys really need to talk to a lawyer". 

Because I know that I am not an expert I am very reluctant to 
tell you what to do.  

> Especially
> when the rest of you email shows that you don't actually have anything
> useful to say that we already know. People interested in patents 
> already read this document (already posted on this list), which has 
> more useful and accurate informations than your email (without the
> condescending tone), prepared by real lawyers :
> http://www.debian.org/reports/patent-faq

Sorry if I appeared condescending.  

The Debian document describes US law as considerably harsher than 
the law where I am, but I'm not doing business in the US so I don't 
really care.  Are you in the US?  Are you doing business in the US?  
My reading of that document is that they repeatedly 
tell the reader to talk to a lawyer. 

>> > 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 
>> > weak, 
>> Patented?  That would stop me SELLING stuff, if someone has a valid 
>> patent in my jurisdiction, but if I am not selling then all patents 
>> are irrelevant.  Check this with a local professional!  
> Maybe you should do what you say and talk to a lawyer. You don't need
> to sell anything to be attacked for patent infringement, or inducing
> infringement (according to the document from lawyers at the Software
> Freedom Law Center). It's just that you are a more attractive target 
> you're making a lot of money.

I have talked to patent attorneys about enforcing patents.  The laws 
are very different here and there.  Again my emphasis on local experts.  
Not selling is apparently not an adequate defence in the US.  

Here you can quite happily sell patented stuff - until someone 
says, "Hey, I have a patent on that!", then you have to negotiate.  

> But the tainted repository is not here to protect Mageia, because 
> is distributing it anyway. The goal of the tainted repository is to 
> mirror owners (which can be commercial companies) or users or people
> selling stuff based on Mageia, who want to limit their legal risks by
> avoiding the more risky software.

That is very nice of you, but I doubt that it is as useful as you hope.  

Does anybody making any claim in any jurisdiction mean that something 
is tainted?  Or does the claim have to be made by someone rich and 
aggressive with a strong patent in a particular country?  

Don't answer that in public, just think about it.  Do you want a 
separate blacklist for every country?  

You appear to be aiming at the US, but their system is so perverse 
that honestly trying to do the right thing can put you in a worse 
position.  Personally, I'm staying out of there.  

sig goes here...  
blind Pete

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