Joined: Mar. 2005
||Posted: Jan. 29 2008,23:51
|Quote (lucky13 @ Jan. 27 2008,09:40)|
|So, I disagree with the argument that the term "Damn Small" has become genericized when referring to Linux distros.|
You're right about the issue or whether it's generic. There's a distinction to be made between classifications and *actual* trademark names: e.g., Coke and Pepsi are both colas though each has various trademarks that include the name cola. "Small Linux" can be used to describe a category of Linux distributions. There is one in that category, though, that has trademark protection for being "Damn Small." Just as you can't call your own cola "Coke," you can't call your small OS "Damn Small."
That said, the name Linux isn't generic the way cola is -- Linux is a protected trademark. It's governed and licensed by Linux Mark, who allows its use in a variety of ways but reserves all their rights to the mark to prevent it from becoming generic.
It's my understanding John has trademarked Damn Small. DSL is also a commercial entity. It's certainly a source of revenue in the forms of advertising on the site, sales of CDs and other goods from the DSL Store, the DSL Book, etc. Infringing on a trademark *doesn't* help the mark, it diminishes its value -- something that seems to go right over the heads of some people who think it does a trademark or copyright owner a favor to reduce the value of his asset.
BY the very nature of the language, Damn Small is just as Generic as Small Linux, as "Damn Small" is a plain english description/modifier of another word.
And adding in your argument for the abbreviation, I'm pretty damn sure (See, I used damn to modify my description of sure) that some large company or Technical Standards organization has the rights to DSL, and DamnSmallLinux, being a computer OS which can be connected to a DSL connection, would be infringing on that trademark, much like Apple Computers would/has infringed on Apple (Beatles Record Company) Trademark when it comes to music.