Another Damn Small??
Forum: Linux †and Free Software
Topic: Another Damn Small??
started by: Onyarian
Posted by Onyarian on Jan. 15 2008,22:26Notice in Distrowatch.com
< Distrowatch >
New distributions added to waiting list
* Damn Small BSD. Damn Small BSD (DSBSD) is a small (50MB or less) FreeBSD-based live CD desktop environment geared toward developers and system administrators, but it also includes applications that the average user may find handy. DSBSD comes with Fluxbox window manager, Firefox, XMMS, an SSH server, a mini web server, a VNC viewer, and many other applications.
Looks like our DSL...
Posted by lucky13 on Jan. 15 2008,22:40No, it isn't related to DSL. I'll leave it at that.
Posted by WDef on Jan. 15 2008,22:43Not related but another small OS entry - I'll give it a try.
Posted by roberts on Jan. 15 2008,23:51Its not from me. I didn't know about this until Lucky13 pointed it out to me.
Posted by jpeters on Jan. 16 2008,08:42Comes with 188.8.131.52
Posted by chaostic on Jan. 16 2008,08:53Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, no?
Posted by lucky13 on Jan. 16 2008,12:37jpeters
Huh? You're kidding. If it uses Linux then it's not BSD at all. Did you do uname -a and get that? I only skimmed the site but presumed they were using FreeBSD bootstrap and a reduced FreeBSD kernel.
I didn't want to say any more, but I think there could be a bigger problem than just imitation.
Suppose you wanted to develop a new cola. You come up with a standard cola flavor profile, then decide to package it in red cans with white stripes and call it Coca Kola. Is that a flattering imitation? Or does it cross lines involving existing trademarks, etc.?
IMO, it's a bit more than an imitator. And I know Coca Cola would feel even more strongly about something like that. Taking nearly identical goals and packages and using the primary trademarked name of an existing company or project crosses the line.
This is as unacceptable as when "Lindows" was infringing Microsoft's trademark, and as wrong as it would be for a BSD project to come along and use a trademarked name like "Red Hat BSD" or "SlackBSD."
Posted by jpeters on Jan. 16 2008,14:45
Linux Mini Blog Entries // Blog Post Tag Search // BlogCatalog
DSBSD comes with everything you need in a b read more ... It have also switched to a newer 184.108.40.206 kernel while it wait the final release of 2.6.24 that E ...
Damn Small BSD (DSBSD) is a small (50mb or less) FreeBSD live-CD desktop ... Kernel 2.6.24, X.org 7.3, GNOME 2.21.4, PulseAudio, OpenOffice.org 2.3.0, ...
Linux Mini: January 2008
DSBSD comes with everything you need in a basic desktop environment. ... Comes with 220.127.116.11 kernel, Alsa 1.0.15 and a very basic KDE 3.5.8 desktop. ...
Distrowatch Weekly 234 - LinuxWiki - a Wikia wiki
Comprende il kernel Linux 18.104.22.168, KDE 3.5.8, X.Org 7.2, .... Damn Small BSD (DSBSD) Ť un piccolo liveCD (50MB o meno) basato su FreeBSD, ...
Latest Linux Downloads - Softpedia
Damn Small BSD (DSBSD) is a small FreeBSD live-CD desktop environment geared .... Linux Kernel 2.6.23.... Super Grub Disk 0.96... Skype 22.214.171.124 / 2. ..
Posted by lucky13 on Jan. 16 2008,15:22Did you look at the actual links to see if all of that information (X, Gnome, KDE, Skype, Linux 2.6, etc.) was related to "DSBSD" or to other projects in the news at the same time as their announcement? When I looked at the Linux Mini Blog post and Softpedia, neither had anything about a Linux kernel, etc.
< http://linuxmini.blogspot.com/2008/01/damn-small-bsd-is-available.html >
< http://linux.softpedia.com/get....0.shtml >
Posted by jpeters on Jan. 16 2008,22:16
Damn, now I'm a true believer in that you can get anything you search for, even if it doesn't exist. Must be an added feature for google search, in that they'll string together a sentence including your search items even thought they're from different parts of the page. Oh well....a nice fantasy; the latest kernel, alsa, OO, all in under 50 mb.
Posted by lucky13 on Jan. 16 2008,22:45
That was a tip off to me. Maybe KDE 5 will be taken over by mikshaw's friends at suckless.org and come in at 10k lines of code or less. Not. Heh.
Posted by mikshaw on Jan. 17 2008,00:26=o)
Posted by chaostic on Jan. 17 2008,06:17
That's been a standard search "feature" in google results since google because google. Google.
Posted by chaostic on Jan. 17 2008,06:21
Considering the differences in BSD and Linux, its more like someone took a Sprite/Lemon-lime drink, and called it Coca Sprite.
But, sure, calling it Damn Small was probably a way to gain notoriety offa DSL's success. Maybe they should call it Really Small, Damn Tiny, F'ing Miniature, etc.
Posted by WDef on Jan. 18 2008,19:07Better still - they could approach Robert and John and look at the possibilty of porting some dsl features/scripts over to dsbsd (with acknowledgement, all disclaimers, and prior permission of course). My guess is it's way behind dsl. Why reinvent the wheel in an open source world?
Posted by faroutscience on Jan. 21 2008,15:54DSBSD is an interesting project. I do think they are stealing the Damn Small name. I sure hope DSL is Trademarked or Copyrighted. With over 777 thousand page access on the DSL wiki alone, they sure have a claim to prior use!
Posted by newby on Jan. 21 2008,16:03
Better yet, remember the wisdom of the Grateful Dead and let them copy.
Competition between DSL and DSBSD will be good for both and further promote the DS concept.
maybe even email@example.com will catch the DS spirit ................ Nah, Never!
Posted by lucky13 on Jan. 21 2008,16:42
Grateful Dead didn't release their work under GPLv2. DSL has. The BSD license doesn't have the same requirements/restrictions of GPL. I don't know what these guys are doing with anything from DSL -- if anything -- but they have some strict obligations if they're using any of the GPL code from the DSL project.
The Grateful Dead also may have had a lax policy with respect to recording concerts, but they don't let other people use their trademarked name in the distribution of it (i.e., if you compile a series of their live recordings to sell, you can't call your distribution company "Gateful Dead Recordings" or anything that infringes on their trademark unless they grant you license to do that). (Edit:) You also can't put together a cover band and use the name "Grateful Dead" in it. You're not the Grateful Dead and their trademark forbids anyone else from using that name without permission. That goes for ANY trademark.
I can't speak for John, who has a registered trademark for Damn Small Linux, but I'd protect that trademark diligently if it were mine -- a little due diligence goes a long way to keep more people from walking all over the trademark. That's not about freedom or competition, that's about what's legal. Those guys could've just as easily picked a name that doesn't infringe on anyone else's trademark. As it is now, they not only are robbing the name but making an identically-conceived product. (The other person's comment about "Coca Sprite" is beside the point because both products are Unix-based, 50MB, similar X environments, etc. -- cola to cola, apples to apples.)
As for "competition," that project doesn't present any. From looking at their documentation, it's still at a "proof of concept" stage.
Posted by WDef on Jan. 21 2008,23:46
Good point, Lucky. If they wanted to use GPL'd code they'd need to work out the licensing issues. And I wouldn't consider it competition either.
FreeBSD contains programs covered by the GPL, so I assume it is doable, in the same way you can mix GPL'd progs and progs under other licenses in the one distribution.
Not sure if it could be argued that "damn small" is infringed, that would only be part of the trademark and a non-unique part at that. But I'm not a lawyer.
I personally lean more toward the "imitation is the highest form of flattery" view, especially in the open source world.
Posted by chaostic on Jan. 22 2008,05:40Lucky, not all trademarks are definite. Some trademarks only work in some fields. Like Apple. You can't trademark "APPLE" for a apple producing company because its too generic/descriptive and would give one apple producer a huge advantage over the other. You also can't trademark Apple in a computer related product/company, because it would dilute Apple's claim on it. But I can make a bike and trademark Apple for bikes, or make a line of toy cars and call it Grateful Dead (As long as there is no mention of the band).
And the other type of trademark is a generic trademark, like Apple for apples, or Polaroid for instant-develop film, or linux for unix-like os's, or band-aid for bandages. At one point the terms were granted full trademark protections, but as the terms became generizied, they start losing their protection. Like will happen with ipod=mp3 player. Etc. Etc.
Posted by stupid_idiot on Jan. 22 2008,11:59"ibean" or "ipebble", things like that... But "ipod" will continue to be owned by Apple, I think.
Geez. I think it's possible that the DSBSD team think that "DSBSD" is a creative variation on "DSL", much like...
Posted by chaostic on Jan. 22 2008,12:28
Well, for the time being, yes, but as ipod gets used more and more as a general term for mp3 player, then Apple could lose it. How often do you hear people say bandages over band-aids now a day?
And the ds* vs *buntu, this is a bit different since, I assume, most of those are directly based off of ubuntu, but with different main packages (well, maybe not not-buntu )
Like kbuntu = ubuntu with kde instead of gnome, for the most part, no?
I wouldn't know much. I'm a dsl addict
Posted by mikshaw on Jan. 22 2008,13:01
On the subject of DSBSD, I'm in agreement with the Stupid Idiot.
I doubt there's anything sinister here, just a lack of sense.
Posted by lucky13 on Jan. 22 2008,16:20s_i:
Canonical restricts how the *buntu name is used and who uses it. One variation recently changed names to avoid issues with Canonical.
< http://opengeu.intilinux.com/News....EU.html >
It isn't creative to take someone else's name and goals and use both for your own purposes. If anything, it's the *opposite* of creativity.
No, you would run into a very big fight over the marketing arm of Grateful Dead Productions, Inc., and their agents (now Rhino Records). GDP, Inc., licenses the use of the name for marketing anything related to "Grateful Dead."
< http://inventors.about.com/od/tstartinventions/ss/dead_trademarks.htm >
< http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/10/business/media/10rhino.html >
"Damn Small Linux" isn't generic, and is trademarked. "Linux" isn't generic, either, and is trademarked. Torvalds set up a separate entity to protect his trademark. I don't know where you came up with the idea that "Linux" is generic and can be applied to other Unix-like operating systems, but that's patently (pardon the pun) false:
< http://www.linuxmark.org/ >
No, it isn't. Not when something is purported to be something it isn't -- e.g., a generic MP3 player isn't an iPod. You're not advertising for Apple if in an advertisement you were to call Rio players iPods, you're in effect diluting (and infringing) on Apple's IP because you're using their name (edit: trademark) to sell others' products.
Posted by jpeters on Jan. 22 2008,22:25First, using a word like "Damn" isn't generic to creating a small distro, so it's an obvious marketing ploy to capitalize off of DSL.
Second, their claims are absurd. Despite being in the preliminary stages of development, they claim to support "older machines as well as modern machines," cater to "developers, system administrators, and average users," and provide "everything you need" ....all with 50 megs.
Edit: Also, it's a "powerful work-horse capable of coping with massive work-loads while remaining fast, ultra-stabile & rock solid." †(...except that it's in its preliminary testing stage...with "no official release yet"..) †First pilot, 0.191 :"This version doesnít include any X system yet or any of the goals listed on the website"
Typical idiot response:
"Great to see this! Very best wishes to the Damn Small BSD team!"
I think it's fair to say that the developer has a problem(s)
Posted by mikshaw on Jan. 22 2008,22:54
I wasn't talking about a product advertising itself as a better known product, but simply the day-to-day usage of brand names by everyday people. Gelatin dessert is never called gelatin; it's jell-o. Around here all snowmobiles are called ski-doos. Flying discs are all frisbees. et cetera.
Just talking about free word-of-mouth advertising there, not marketing strategies.
Posted by chaostic on Jan. 25 2008,07:00
You misunderstand what I meant by Linux = unix-y OS.
Yes. Linux is a trademark. Yes it is protected. But it has become generic and is a generalized term for Unix-y OSs. When you talk to someone about DSL, do you say linux, or gnu/linux? Or unix? When people say OSx is based on BSD, how often do they go through the trouble of saying OpenBSD as compared to FreeBSD or just BSD?
Mik's frisbee and jell-o examples are perfect. When you buy the generic version of Frosted Shredded Wheats, you still call it Frosted Shredded Wheats, not Mini-frosted-spooners.
Nintendo (and SNES) has become synonymous with video game systems, so you hear people who don't care enough to make a differentiation say "my son has a nintendo" even though he probably has an xbox or ps3.
And trademark dilution is a case of WHO does it. The general public calling a mp3 player an ipod is actually a bonus to Apple, because when someone who doesn't have a mp3 player goes to buy one, iPod and Apple are the first to come to mind. When you go buy bandages, Band-aid and J&J are the ones you spot first because of the word association.
Posted by lucky13 on Jan. 25 2008,16:20I wasn't even going to bother responding because your arguments have gotten away from the issues here and are absurd. The ONLY thing you were correct about was this part: "Yes. Linux is a trademark. Yes it is protected."
You should've left it there. Alas, you didn't.
No. To this and every subsequent point. You should've stopped before disclaiming the point that Linux is trademarked and is NOT generic. It does NOT refer to any other Unix-like operating system -- BSDs aren't "linuxes" or even "distros," Minix isn't a "linux," etc. *Linux* is Linux, it is NOT diluted or generic. It's used only to refer to operating systems using the Linux kernel. The name Linux is trademarked. Its use is strictly controlled. The fact that various distros use it in their names does NOT dilute it -- their use is in accordance with the terms of Linux Mark, and in certain cases is licensed accordingly.
*I* don't pay any homage to Stallman (especially after his latest blunders when he showed up on the OpenBSD lists and stupidly accused Theo of including binary blobs) and use "GNU" before everything I say. That's especially true with DSL which uses busybox instead of GNU utilities. Do *you* say "Damn Small Linux," "Damn Small GNU-Linux," or "Damn Small busybox-Linux"? I call it by its trademarked name and acronym: "Damn Small Linux," "DSL."
They sure as heck don't call it "linux" which shows your original point was wrong. And fwiw, it's not based on FreeBSD; it's a hybrid OS. It uses FreeBSD (5.x) system accounting, processes, etc., beneath a Mach kernel. Throw Mach into your muddling of the issue. Mach isn't Linux, either.
< http://www.kernelthread.com/mac/osx/arch_xnu.html >
And while I'm casting pearls and beating dead horses, Unix isn't a generic or diluted trademark, either. You cannot just call yourself a Unix. You can say you're UNIX-like, but its trademark is also closely restricted:
< http://www.unix.org/ >
< http://www.macnn.com/articles/07/08/02/leopard.unix.certified/ >
No, it isn't. It's only beneficial to a trademark owner if the use of the mark *directly* results in sales of their own products, not sales of copycats misidentified as being the same thing. It HURTS Apple when you buy a generic player irrespective if you (wrongly) call it an iPod. The value of their mark is reduced by misassociating other products with it. It may be something of an honor to be considered the paradigm of MP3 players, but it is detrimental to Apple when their mark is used generically.
I don't understand this ethically bankrupt concept where people think they're doing others a favor by infringing on trademarks or violating copyrights -- whether it's in the theft of a trademarked name for a VERY similar if not identical project (back on topic!) or by pirating music or movies and suggesting that unlawful distribution *might* lead to more sales. It's nobody else's right to do that if the rightful owner doesn't expressly permit it. And the only question here is, Does John expressly approve of another project using his name on a similarly/identically conceived project? If not, they've infringed and are *NOT* benefiting John and/or his trademark.
And the irony here is that I actually prefer BSD -- operating system AND license -- to Linux (and GPL)...
Posted by jpeters on Jan. 25 2008,18:17
Interesting bit of trivia:
BSD soon found itself in legal trouble with AT&T's Unix System Laboratories subsidiary, then the owners of the System V copyright and the Unix trademark. The USL v. BSD lawsuit was filed in 1992 and led to an injunction on the distribution of Net/2 until the validity of USL's copyright claims on the source could be determined.
The lawsuit slowed development of the free-software descendants of BSD for nearly two years while their legal status was in question, and as a result systems based on the Linux kernel, which did not have such legal ambiguity, gained greater support. Linux and 386BSD began development at about the same time, and Linus Torvalds has said that if 386BSD had been available at the time, he would probably not have created Linux.
source: < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkeley_Software_Distribution >
Posted by stupid_idiot on Jan. 26 2008,02:29Hi guys:
There is no doubt in my mind that DSBSD will ask permission from Robert to use the "DS-" name ASAP (i.e. as soon as DSBSD is ready for release).
Very few users would gladly support a product that uses another product's name without permission.
I think the concept may be similar to plagarism (passing someone else's work off as your own).
This is a very basic issue.
If they had gone to all the trouble of making DSBSD, they would have thought about it.
Of course, I know I am stating the obvious here.
Posted by jpeters on Jan. 26 2008,08:05
Ha Ha....very funny I suppose you're trying to justify your name, right?
Despite all the PR they've put out already using the name, it must be because the beta release is called "first pilot" they haven't considered any need......
Posted by stupid_idiot on Jan. 26 2008,12:26deleted
I got angry, made what I thought was a witty comeback, then realized it wasn't as funny as I thought it would be.
Posted by chaostic on Jan. 26 2008,13:26
Few points, if it were to go to court, "Damn Small" would stand a very damn small chance of being recognized as a valid trademark. And if it's not a valid trademark, there is no ethical dilemma.
Also, what *YOU* think, and what Linus wants people to think about the Linux trademark is different what the majority of the public think about "Linux". Plus, when you said you won't recognize a trademark like "GNU/Linux", you just showed your own ethical bankruptcy, following trademarks when its convenient to you.
And yes, "Linux" has become very generic, it just hasn't been taken to court and declared official generic.
Finally, from the very articles you quote:
// "Mac users, realize that qualifying for UNIX is no small feat, especially for an open source, BSD-based OS," Infoworld's Tom Yager wrote.//
//XNU's (Mac Os X Kernel) BSD component uses FreeBSD as the primary reference codebase (although some code might be traced to other BSDs). Darwin 7.x (Mac OS X 10.3.x) uses FreeBSD 5.x. As mentioned before, BSD runs not as an external (or user-level) server, but is part of the kernel itself.//
Hence OSx IS based on BSD. Oh, and you might want to look up the definition of "based" sometime, cause that and a little reading comprehension work a long way.
Posted by stupid_idiot on Jan. 26 2008,14:17I disagree with this point:
-- A lack of resources (money, personnel, time).
-- The ethical dilemma is too generic and too minor, in which case it may be preferable that e.g. parties reach a settlement out of court, etc.
Or, to put it more simply:
Ethical conflicts are independent of the legal instrument (the law) that is used to settle them.
Posted by lucky13 on Jan. 26 2008,14:54
You're still repeating yourself, and still making inaccuracies -- "GNU/Linux" isn't a trademark, "Linux" is. Stallman adds the "GNU" part of it, implicitly signifying the failure of his own kernel (HURD) to make progress to the point where it could be part of a useful OS. Your saying that Linux is generic doesn't make it so, particularly where the law is concerned and where facts matter (i.e., it doesn't relate to any other Unix-like OS).
< http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1000000121,39215183,00.htm >
Posted by chaostic on Jan. 26 2008,15:11
One, that's Australia, not US law.
Second, nothing in that article makes any mention of "The Law" and Linux's position in it. Its just says The Linux Mark group is ASKING others to give up their right to the Linux trademark.
Third, GNU/Linux is a trademark. Give me one reason it isn't.
Posted by lucky13 on Jan. 26 2008,15:29Show me where it's registered.
< http://bleedingedgeopensource.blogspot.com/2007....on.html >
Posted by stupid_idiot on Jan. 26 2008,16:10
That being said, here's my view (completely unauthoritative, of course):
Assuming if a certain party infringes on the name "GNU/Linux", we could expect the LMI to sue that party over the word "Linux".
We certainly wouldn't expect the FSF to sue that party over the word "Linux".
My guess is that if Torvalds wants to trademark "GNU/Linux", then he would have to get a license from the FSF to use "GNU" in his trademark, specifically in the form of "GNU/Linux". What I mean is, I think it is illegal to use another party's trademark inside your own trademark unless you have a legal agreement with the other party to do so.
Actually, I think the chances of "GNU/Linux" being registered as a trademark are very unlikely, because I think it would be totally unnecessary from a legal standpoint. Reason being, Torvalds can already sue anyone over the improper use of "Linux", which covers "GNU/Linux" as well. That would make "GNU/Linux" a redundant trademark, IMO.
Posted by jpeters on Jan. 26 2008,17:47Getting back to basics (I'm not a lawyer)
John and Robert took an idea and spent years developing it to the point where it's finally getting some notoriety within the linux community. In fact, it's a hot idea that is likely to take off. So some guy comes along, steals both the name and the entire concept for himself, and posts a lot of false PR as if it's a novel idea that he's come up with; all before he even has ANY product.
It's likely that he figures John and Robert are too small time to get a lawyer, and if they do, he'll make concessions (and apologies) as necessary.
Posted by lucky13 on Jan. 26 2008,19:06
Re-using ideas isn't novel. DSL is (was) based on Knoppix is (still) based on Debian. Debian was the first (or best earliest) attempt at distributing Linux with a binary packaging system. Nearly every other distro today uses a similar system, some like Ubuntu and Mepis tracing their roots through the same Debian-Knoppix lineage as DSL. And though many have continued to use apt-get/dpkg for distributing binary packages, they don't use Debian's (trademarked!) name in theirs.
Others have made similar small Linux-based distros, some using DSL as a base and/or stripping down Knoppix or others on their own. But to my knowledge they've not co-opted DSL's name for their own projects.
Nexenta is a hybrid OpenSolaris project that uses Debian binary packaging. Did they call it Sun-Debian? DebianSolaris? No, they chose an original name for their project even though it leverages things from several different projects.
This small BSD project should've done the same or contacted any of the people behind similar stalled attempts at small BSDs to see if they could use those names and move any of those projects ahead with different and more modern goals. Even if those goals are similar or identical to DSL. But they didn't. They chose instead to leverage someone else's ideas -- no problem with that at all -- and also leverage their name. *THAT* is wrong.
Posted by lucky13 on Jan. 26 2008,19:14
Why sue? I think the clearest sign of disapproval of that extended name is that Linus doesn't even call it GNU/Linux himself, lol.
Posted by jpeters on Jan. 26 2008,19:26
I haven't seen anything but phony hype and a stolen name. The claim is a distro for everyone that supports everything in 50M.
Posted by curaga on Jan. 26 2008,19:27I wonder if they know of this thread?
Posted by chaostic on Jan. 26 2008,19:32
Show me where it needs to be registered to be a valid trademark.
Posted by WDef on Jan. 26 2008,19:40ds-bsd is not getting through the boot process for me yet, which is a bit sad on an HP laptop. Switching off acpi made no difference, some error I don't recognize.
Doesn't even look like a SysV init, but I'm not familiar with BSD.
I can get to a commandline.
There's nothing as sophisticated as a forum I gather. Might try irc.
Posted by jpeters on Jan. 26 2008,20:40
"it doesn't have an X system yet" .."or any of the features listed on their website"
Posted by WDef on Jan. 26 2008,21:45You're kidding! That explains that. I was expecting it to boot into X. How gauche of me.
And, you know what I thought were boot errors, looking like:
turns out these AREN'T significant at all - the FreeBSD boot is just "noisy" and prints dozens of errors reading from cdrom that mean nothing at all. So why print them out?
It's unlikely to have any appeal for me without X. Perhaps it will improve.
Posted by stupid_idiot on Jan. 27 2008,02:17
I just read
< http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trademark#Maintaining_trademark_rights >
and it says:
Posted by lucky13 on Jan. 27 2008,03:23
The problem in the silly example offered is Linux is already registered. "GNU/Linux" is an attempt by a third party to conjoin or even co-opt an existing mark owned by Linus Torvalds and managed by Linux Mark.
In a way, this insistence of abusing the Linux trademark by conjoining the other project's name to it is similar to the example I gave about Nexenta. Nexenta doesn't append anyone else's name to their own project. They can't use the "Sun" mark in their name because they're a derivative of it; they can't use the Solaris mark in their name because Sun diligently protects their trademarks. You also couldn't put together "Damn Small OpenSolaris" because you would infringe on their trademark for OpenSolaris as well as John's for DSL. You can't print out things that bear the trademarks of Sun. "Without a trademark license, you may not use Solaris or OpenSolaris in the name of your distribution, or any product, service or company name." OpenSolaris-related projects: Nexenta, Belenix, SchilliX.
< http://opensolaris.org/os/trademark/ >
Maybe someone thinks Solaris is somehow "generic" like Linux is. Sun doesn't think so. And Linux Mark exists for the *same* reason: to keep Linux from being or becoming generic.
It's Linus' and Linux Mark's decision what to permit and not permit with respect to his mark. Their mark is NOT diluted and they -- against objections of the primary proponent (RMS) of making people say "GNU/Linux" instead of "Linux" -- enforce compliance of the trademark. It's also noteworthy that Linus calls the OS "Linux" and not "GNU/Linux." But it doesn't seem to matter to some people.
Posted by stupid_idiot on Jan. 27 2008,04:43To clarify:
I quoted the wikipedia article to highlight the fact that although, as far as I know, "Damn Small" hasn't been registered as a trademark, it can still receive a certain degree of protection under the law.
Quote from the article:
I agree that deciding whether a name is generic, or not, isn't a black-and-white question, since different people may form different opinions.
It may be useful to read this section, which explains how the law determines whether or not a trademark has acquired "distinctiveness" (as opposed to being "generic"):
< http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trademark#Acquired_distinctiveness >
I think there are sufficient other ways to describe a "generic" product in the same class as DSL, all of which would have a more descriptive effect to 'the layman' than "Damn Small Linux".
Mini Linux distro
Small-sized LiveCD distro
So, I disagree with the argument that the term "Damn Small" has become genericized when referring to Linux distros.
Posted by lucky13 on Jan. 27 2008,14:40
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.
Posted by chaostic on Jan. 29 2008,23:51
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.
Posted by stupid_idiot on Jan. 30 2008,09:16I think I get your point.
Should DSL's control of the name 'Damn Small' extend to what is virtually an entirely different operating system?
Regarding the name 'DSBSD', I think that's probably okay...
Certainly though, there are friendlier ways to go about it.
Posted by lucky13 on Jan. 30 2008,17:07
"Apple" is generic, "computer" is generic. According to your sloppy syllogism, "Apple Computer" would be too generic to trademark. THE CONTEXT OF THE PRODUCT AND NAME IS WHAT IS GERMANE WHEN IT COMES TO ASSIGNING VALUE TO A MARK, NOT THE GENERICITY OF EACH FREAKING WORD ON ITS OWN.
You've already lost this argument. Like, last week. Why do you continue to waste your time on it?
EDIT: Here are more generic terms that have been combined into marks:
International Business Machines
The only difference in all of this is Linux is trademarked -- not generic. The name "Damn Small" in combination with Linux constitutes a separate and unique mark. The BSD-based project is infringing on that mark because it's using the name and goals of Damn Small Linux. Moreover, as of last week when I last looked at their site, they had yet to offer any disclaimer that they're not affiliated with any other project.
But your syllogism about the genericity of words outside the context of a trademark is your weakest and sloppiest argument yet.
Posted by spark-o-matic on Jan. 31 2008,05:17This actualy all boils down to the economics. (Althought we have more productive things to do).
Is the potential loss in income in excess of the legal cost. Or would the court battle last longer then DSBSD.
What may be moraly right may not always be the letter of the law, and the letter of the law may not always be moraly right.
Other then that, this is a very interesting and thought provoking thread.
Posted by spark-o-matic on Feb. 03 2008,09:23I will put in one more two cents worth, and it might only be worth that two cents.
In my experience, crosslinking. Take the high road. Tell your compitition 'If you link to me i will link to you". When the consumer is given multiple options, it causes healthy compitition. The end user will choose which product is most useful to them and it will prosper. The inferior products will dissapear into obscurity.
I have a very specific instance that may or may not apply to this. I started a web-site for a rural community that relied on tourism for a large part of it's income. A large part of this site was photos I took on my digital camera. As I understand it, I have substantial rights to these photos even if i do not place a copyright notice on them. I did place copyright notices on the pages they were presented on. without my knowlege, another person started a website proomoting tourism in the same community. He took my original photos from my site to start his site with out even telling me untill a month later. He then called me up and said 'I hope you don't mind that I used your photos'. Do you, at his point, see where i could have, very reasonably, pursued my ip rights, have taken him for everyting he owed, will ever own, and any future income? Instead, we came to an agreement,in less then 5 minutes, the photos he used would bear my copyright and link to my site and we would cross-link on our homepages. And the supperior product prevailed. Even though he stole my intelecual property,I always came out higher in search engine rankngs and traffic.
This might or might not apply to the situation at hand. Its my 2 cents worth.
Posted by lucky13 on Feb. 03 2008,15:33
At this point, that would benefit the interloping project at the expense of the trademarked project. These guys are still tripping over themselves trying to get their "pilot" working -- why link to something that doesn't even work?
No, you *might* do that for an equivalent but dissimilar project that parallels your own, but not for hobbyists who are (a) stealing your name and (b) using your concept. We've already given them more than their obligatory fifteen minutes. Let them choose their own unique name and get a working concept before we give them any creditability or legitimacy. They've already chosen to piggyback on the goodwill DSL has established by stealing the Damn Small name and using a nearly identical concept. DSL owes thieves nothing.
Posted by roberts on Feb. 03 2008,16:01I also find it curious that Distrowatch gave them an announcment, which started this thread. Yet Distrowatch has not posted an announcement of the last several releases of DSL. Perhaps it is more important to announce features than to actually have them.
Posted by curaga on Feb. 03 2008,16:05Perhaps DSL evolves too quickly for the folks at Distrowatch? For DSL there might be a new release every two weeks, with biggies like Ubuntu it's six months..
Posted by roberts on Feb. 03 2008,16:37Actually, I have received hate mail (not from Distrowatch) that DSL should not be listed as it has a 2.4 kernel. Apparently, they felt that unless you are updating the kernel, libs, and all that latest apps, you don't deserve the spot that you are currently occupying. It is just interesting that the two events were timed so closely.
Posted by curaga on Feb. 03 2008,16:50Slackware didn't move to 2.6 until recently. Wonder if mr. Volkering also got the same.
It is certainly worrisome. Did they have any reasonable arguments, or just "because"?
Posted by spark-o-matic on Feb. 03 2008,17:21
Are you missing my point of a link back here?
Edit: As I understand it, open source is about cooperation. No one developer going it alone and for the purpose of the good of humanity. If these are reasonable people, opening a dialog could benefit the world.
I agree. Moraly, they should have contacted the trademark holder before using 'Damn Small'. If this had have been done, it could have turned into a cooperative effort.
I am going to further edit this. I am not finding the correct words.
Posted by WDef on Feb. 04 2008,01:40
Only a fool or a deranged poisonous troll would bother sending Robert hate mail over which version of the kernel dsl uses. It's unpleasant static though. I guess attracting nutters is part of the cost of dsl actually having a high profile now.
Unlike ds-bsd, which, if it doesn't hurry up and actually offer something usable, will soon be relegated to the large and growing pile of Forgotten OSs In The Sky.
Actually I wish they would get their act together. There's plenty of room for a micro bsd distro, a totally different space to linux anyway in my view and so not a competitor at all. The more the merrier.
BSD is for a different type of user anyway. Linux has better hardware (especially laptop) and desktop support from what I can see and has outstripped the original unices in popularity for good reasons. And the linux kernel has been said to have surpassed the unix kernels technologically.
Re: Slackware - while it is true that until recently the stable kernel was 2.4.xx, I believe they have offered an option to use 2.6.xx instead for quite a while?
Posted by mikshaw on Feb. 04 2008,02:05
Posted by spark-o-matic on Feb. 04 2008,02:26About hate mail:
I have gotten hate mail over the years. Some of it can be very upsetting. This is the advice I have been given. Hate mail is an an honor and sign of success. You have so distinguished yourself that people will waste their valuable time to compose and send hate mail to you.
Posted by stupid_idiot on Feb. 04 2008,10:39Comparing hate mail and ramen
Spicyness, volume, texture
Hate mail is junk food of FOSS
Posted by faroutscience on Feb. 18 2008,19:35I saw "Damn Small Solaris" on Distrowatch today.
Is this another DSL encroachment?
< http://www.sunhelp.ru/archive....ru.html >
Posted by lucky13 on Feb. 19 2008,18:43I also saw this yesterday.
Yes, and it likely is also infringing on Sun's trademark since they're restrictive about use of the name Solaris. Maybe Sun has given permission to use their trademark. I doubt it.
Earlier in this thread I noted that OpenSolaris derivatives use unique names and that Sun expressly forbids the use of Solaris without their permission. I don't know if John has taken or will take action with this kind of thing, but I know for a fact Sun has a big legal department. Could get very interesting.
Posted by clivesay on Feb. 19 2008,19:57You think these people could be a little original in their naming instead of trying to ride on DSL's coattails. John may have to look into this.
Posted by lucky13 on Feb. 19 2008,22:49
They admit as much on their site, even though it's in Russian. They're using DSL as a model from JWM through the applications (beaver, emelfm, etc.).
They put out an appeal on the OpenSolaris forums but nobody's replied to the thread:
< http://opensolaris.org/jive/thread.jspa?messageID=202671&tstart=0 >
Posted by WDef on Mar. 05 2008,17:52Does anyone know if this d/s solaris has X and actually runs the apps it says it does, or is it like that other PoS with no X?
Posted by lucky13 on Mar. 05 2008,20:04It's no longer known by that name. I don't know if John contacted them, but I'm willing to be Sun did. As far as concept, afaict they took the apps straight from DSL (Solaris and BSDs have Linux 2.4 compatibility). FWIW, their screenshots still show JWM booting with a "DSS" labeled menu.
Their new site:
< http://milax.org/ >
EDIT: Bingo. From the new site: "I tried to make its as much as possible similar on DSL and have transferred therefrom some programs."
Posted by lucky13 on June 17 2008,12:48Reviving this thread to show what happens when "damn small" gets "damn bigger." This is how milax is "evolving":
Bigger apps. Bigger size. Bigger resource demands. Etc. See, not damn small.
Posted by clivesay on June 17 2008,14:44Yeah, the look of this one tricked me on DW. I put the iso in VBOX set at 128mb because I thought it was "light"......
I was wrong.
Posted by Scioneer on Dec. 03 2009,03:45Its not bad though. the worse thing I see is its RAM requirements, however Solaris might just need more RAM and is difficult to optimize in that department. I was hoping though the RAM wasn't too much, I've been considering a Thin Client conversion using Solaris on a WYSE 9455xl once I get mine fixed ( needs new PSU board). The WYSE might can do it, but my Evos are out of the question.