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On 10/10/2014 05:26 PM, Mike Hearn wrote:
> I'm sure this suggestion will go down like a lead balloon, but
> Bitcoin Core is not the first project that's had issues with Linux
> distros silently modifying their software as they package it. In
> this case Luke has changed things to be closer to what users
> expect, which is good to see, but I expect to see the same issue
> crop up with other Linux distributions in future. The temptation to
> "improve" things when you're a middleman is just too great.
> The usual approach to fixing it is trademark the project name and
> use that to enforce "clean" packaging. Firefox and Chrome both take
> this approach. I'll probably do the same with Lighthouse (need to
> figure out the trademarking process first).
> The goal here is not to remove choice, rather to ensure people know
> what they're getting. It's reasonable to assume if you do "emerge
> bitcoin" then you're getting Bitcoin Core as distributed by
> bitcoin.org, not a highly opinionated fork of it. Renaming a
> project and creating a package under the new name is not only
> better for end users, but lets the fork grow into something else
> and be more usable to people on other distros too.
> In this case "Bitcoin" is already a trademark, though I lost track
> of who owns it at the moment (the foundation?) but I guess Bitcoin
> Core is not.

Regardless of whether this is a good idea or not in general, it won't
work in the case of Gentoo (and similar source-based distributions)
because Gentoo doesn't distribute software - they distribute
instructions which allow end users to download, compile, and install
software (ebuilds).

On my system I can compile a modified Firefox that still calls itself
"Firefox" by setting USE="-bindist". This would put Gentoo in
violation of Mozilla's trademarks if they were distributing that
modified version, but they aren't, so they're not. They just
distribute the instructions that tells my copy of Portage how to
compile the modified version. As long as I don't distribute the
modified binaries I compiled, then neither am I violating Mozilla's

tl;dr: The trademarking approach is only effective with regards to
binary distributions, not source-based distributions.

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