Subject: Re: NetBSD poster
To: None <>
From: Harry Waddell <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 02/22/2003 13:52:31
On Sat, 22 Feb 2003 15:54:03 -0500 wrote:

> On Sat, Feb 22, 2003 at 10:13:41AM +1100, grant beattie wrote:
> > I have started on somewhat of a "look and feel" (more look, at this
> > stage) for the web site as part of converting it to Docbook. The
> > NetBSD.css is used by only a couple of pages so far, eg.
> > but I'm it sure could use some more work.
> /*
> 	Copyright (c) 1994-2003
> 	The NetBSD Foundation, Inc.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
> 	$NetBSD: NetBSD.css,v 1.9 2003/01/31 07:53:55 grant Exp $
> 	This style sheet is meant to encapsulate the style used on all
> 	NetBSD web site pages.
> */
> Is it really intended that this style sheet never be used by
> anyone beside NetBSD? Not even in part?

no, but it does mean that you can't use it without permission. Of course,
CSS has enough flexibility, or if you prefer ambiquity, that one could
probably create a new stylesheet that could mimic the behaviour of the
copyrighted one. It would be trivial to make it look as if it were not a
derivative work.

By traditional rules of law, I doubt that the copyright assertion would have
any effect unless someone mirrored and then slightly altered the site,
probably for some fraudulent purpose. If they merely copied the look and
feel of the site, that would be a harder case to win. 

One would think that the fraud laws would be a more powerful tools than the
copyright laws, but sadly, there are some onerous sections of the [US]
digital milenium act that can be used, and easily misued. If a
marginally credible claim of copyright infringement can be made you can get
some immediate relief, or revenge, e.g. forcing search engines to remove
the "offender" [this is actually an indirect result, but I'm trying to be
brief so I'm leaving out many details] from their indexes BEFORE an
investigation has been completed.

The copyright may come in handy someday. :-(

> That seems a bit unfriendly. Then again, if NetBSD establishes a brand
> for the web site, the logo, etc etc, then I guess it wouldn't do to
> have someone else just swipe the brand. 

Does anyone know if TNF has actually trademarked the name NetBSD? As I
recall, a real trademark search costs about $500, from a company like
thompson and thompson. After you've done a search, a required due diligence
part of the process as I understand it, the trademark filing itself is
relatively inexpensive. There are cheaper firms that will do the whole task
for you. Does anyone know if in the absence of a trademark, do we actually
have a brand?

Copyright and trademark laws makes my head hurt. I have some reference books
buried in my library if we need to look into this further. I also have a
bottle of 500 aspirin on my desk.

Harry Waddell
Caravan Electronic Publishing

"Television: chewing gum for the eyes." - Frank Lloyd Wright