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Re: Opensource.com Zsh article

Bart Schaefer wrote on Fri, 20 Sep 2019 21:51 +00:00:
> On Fri, Sep 20, 2019 at 6:34 AM Daniel Shahaf <d.s@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> >
> > To elaborate on that: if Alice maintains an open source product and Bob
> > forks it, trademarks law requires that Bob rename the product before he
> > may distribute it.
> That would be true if there were actually a trademark on "zsh", but there isn't.

There isn't a _registered_ trademark, that is correct — but "zsh" is a
trademark nevertheless.

Trademarks are established through use in commerce.  So long as we
continue to offer a thing called "zsh" for download, "zsh" is our
trademark.  Registration can help but is not required.

> Copyright law might come into play because of the license terms, but
> because zsh assigns copyrights on the individual files to the
> individual contributors, it would be a serious headache to try to
> bring a coherent claim.

I'm not sure that is correct — but IANAL so I can't speak with any certainty.
What I can say is that copyright law and trademark law aren't the same thing,
and that zsh doesn't "assign" copyrights on individual files — it doesn't have
those rights to begin with.

> This is probably one of the factors behind other OSS projects deciding
> to join consortia like the Apache Foundation or Mozilla.

I can't speak of Mozilla, but the Apache Software Foundation doesn't
require copyright assignment; they only require a copyright _license_
(an ICLA [1]).  They do register trademarks for some of their project
names, but not all.



[1] https://www.apache.org/dev/new-committers-guide.html#cla

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