Trademark license agreement status

Robert 'Bob' Jensen bob at
Tue Sep 8 16:49:34 UTC 2009

----- "Tom \"spot\" Callaway" <tcallawa at> wrote:

> On 09/08/2009 10:17 AM, Robert 'Bob' Jensen wrote:
> > Sad to see some of the spirit that made this community so cool for
> the last 5 years die, killed by lawyers.
> Okay, really? One guy decides that he's not willing to wait for the
> lawyer to research German trademark law to see if we can work with
> him
> and you're claiming that the community's spirit has been "killed by
> lawyers"?
> That's absurd. I'd make the point that if anything is poisonous, it
> is
> hyperbole and negative statements like the one that you made.
> Red Hat Legal is active and works very hard (both in public and
> private)
> to ensure that we are protected from risk (legal and financial). The
> things that Fedora is doing are pushing the boundaries of existing
> copyright and trademark law and precedence, and Red Hat Legal never
> simply tells us "no, stop, don't do that", they research the issues
> and
> work with us to come up with acceptable solutions whenever possible.
> I think they deserve a bit more respect than you're giving them.
> It is NOT the intent of Red Hat or Fedora to prevent community
> members
> from using the trademarks in reasonable ways, in fact, it is the
> opposite of that. We're actively and persistently trying to address
> every concern that we are aware of, to improve the trademark license
> agreement so that it is acceptable to as many people as possible.
> So, please, let's try to turn off the negative energy here. Like my
> 2nd
> grade teacher used to tell us, "if you ain't got nothing nice to say,
> keep it shut".

The spirit to create the sites for the community, a subset of the greater Fedora community, has been broken. Even if this issue is easily resolved I doubt Richard or any of us will ever feel the same about things as we did in the past. Perhaps it will be a great experience, only time will tell. I used to enjoy my involvement with Fedora, that is less true today because of things like this. Even if I have nothing nice to say, I still have my opinions and hopefully the right to express them. Richard clearly feels the problems with the TLA are insurmountable, one should not discount that with "We're actively and persistently trying to address every concern that we are aware of" it could be he feels that the "trying" is not going far enough. 

I have been attacked, called names and so on in private because I refuse to sign the original document, as a result I have reacted from a personal point of view. I have been passionate about the work we have done under the name "Fedora" when some item comes up to squelch that passion, I react with just as much passion to protect it. At times even in ways that could cause one to question my sanity and needs for medication. Hopefully the issues can be resolved, as I stated before in response to being told I should do so on the list, I will not negotiate on this list or any other. It can and is being handled in private. I do not feel that this item at this point needs input from those that start out with "IANAL" it is about domain owners and the lawyers and any interface between those parties in my opinion. Others with out a vested interest just muddy the waters.

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Not sure that Red Hat Legal is the enemy, but it seems the interpretation and enforcement of the law is the enemy of the community in my eyes and the eyes of others. Hopefully the TLA is the base for a much more encompassing document for all of the community, not just domain owners.

-- Bob

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