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Re: The current Trademark License Agreement is unacceptable



Hi Paul!

Thank you for your answer. Like Christoph, I am also concerned about signing
the TLA for my German Fedora web site. I will try to explain my concerns, even
though it will be difficult for me, since the topic is rather complex and
English isn't my native language.

> Section 3 only contemplates a transfer of the domain name.  There's no
> implication for the content of the website (data), which remains the
> property of the previous owner.  You can transfer a domain name
> without transferring any data or content, but I suspect you knew that
> already. ;-)

I do not completely agree. The TLA also says: "The right to use the Licensor's
Trademarks will cease immediately upon the termination or expiration of this
Agreement and Licensee must immediately discontinue use of the Licensor's
Trademarks."

If I understand it correctly, it means that after termination, I would not
only have to give away the domain, but I would also have to stop using the
word "Fedora" at all.

This means that with terminating the TLA, it would not only mean that I would
lose the domain, but it would also render the content completely worthless,
because I would not be allowed to publish it any more.

I also see some issues with Section 4 ("Permitted Use"), especially with the
Trademark guidelines. If I understood them correctly, I would be required to
do the following:

1) I would have to use trademark symbols "for the first instance" of "Fedora"
on my site. Well, I just cannot do that! I could try for my own content, even
though I am sure I would forget some. Anyhow the site also allows visitors to
post comments, and I cannot make sure that those commentors also use the
proper trademark symbols. And what is the "first instance" anyways?

Now when I take the TLA literally, then Red Hat would be allowed to terminate
the TLA immediately if I just forgot the trademark symbol on a very single
"first instance" of "Fedora".

On my site's imprint, it is stated that trademarks are used without the
explicit use of trademark symbols, and the lack of a symbol does not
necessarily mean that there is no trademark existing. This is allright
according to German law. I am afraid that I can be sued for trademark
violation when I start to use the symbols on some trademarks, but do not on
others. (I hope you get the picture.)

2) I would be required to use the Fedora "Spinfinity" logo. When I started
that site, I decided to use a self made logo. I do not use the Spinfinity logo
at all (except of some Fedora screenshots maybe). Of course I want to keep it
that way.

3) I would also be required to add links and a disclaimer ("This site is not
affiliated with...") in English language, which is rather nonsense on a German
web site.

After all, when I see the TLA and the Trademark guidelines, I see a LOT of
"must do" and "must not do" rules. I cannot assess all the legal implications
of the TLA. But I see that breaking one single rule (even if unintentionally
or by a commentor's post) would allow Red Hat to immediately terminate the
TLA, which would mean that I would lose the domain, and I also would not be
allowed to publish the content any more.

Frankly, I would rather drop the domain or close down the entire site, before
I would sign the TLA.

I hope that I could explain my concerns in an understandable way.

-- 
Richard


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