Bonum Certa Men Certa

Ian.Community Should be Safer From Trademark Censorship

posted by Roy Schestowitz on May 20, 2024


THE domains that contain "debian" in them will soon be confiscated by corrupt WIPO - not ICANN or some legitimate forum - on behalf of the Microsoft-sponsored SPI.

We wish to discuss this matter very quickly. At the moment those domains remain under the control of Daniel Pocock, who redirects requests to pages such as this.

Pocock recently told me that "their Swiss lawyer wrote I am "illegally" distributing a copy of Debian GNU/Linux."

Actually, people are free to create mirrors of GNU/Linux. Look at the licence. If I wanted to make an ISO of Fedora downloadable from this site, I could (trademarks notwithstanding). Pocock did not distribute malware; it was the real thing. It was in or and it was maintained by a person who had developed parts of Debian GNU/Linux.

The words matter here. As Pocock explains: "It does make a big difference: Debian GNU/Linux (.org) is the full title of the copyrighted work, it is written like that in the license text I found too."

"Debian Project (.org) is the name of the unincorporated association, that is how they write it in the constitution."

It is important to note that the word "Debian" is short for Deb and Ian. Deb.Ian.Community is now controlled by Pocock. SPI does not own "Deb" or "Ian". Nor does it control Murdock.Ian.Community.

If one believes SPI, one might leap to the false conclusion of "bad faith". Whose? What are they trying so hard to hide? Are they attempting to cover up for the likes of Mark Shuttleworth, who profited from modern slavery after he had left South Africa? After some suicides he may be legally liable, even criminally liable. There's precedence in France.

I asked some people for a second opinion on this. Am I biased? Maybe. But those other people reached the same conclusions on their own. My wife read almost the whole thing too (the legal defence), so she's not reluctant say that SPI is acting in "bad faith". The goal is to censor and to demonise the messenger, who is himself a victim of modern slavery. They basically attack the victims.

"There are so many issues they want to cover up," Pocock explained to me. "The FSF/FSFE thing. The underage girl. The suicide cluster."

"But what is the issue that gets them most upset? I suspect I already know the answer."

It helps to test the waters and see what irritates them the most, then do more of the same...

We suspect there's an even bigger scandal hiding beneath the surface, for example the funding of the legal work leveraged against Pocock. Who's funding all this? Google/Microsoft? Mark Shuttleworth? They can funnel the money through proxies, not limited to SPI.

As Pocock puts it: "If my goal was to annoy them that would be a good strategy. My goal is simply to make it a healthier environment so we can continue to have 100% free software like Debian founders envisaged it."

"Nonetheless, with them spending $120k to get me, the question of what gets under their skin so much becomes relevant."

He estimates they've already spent about $120k in legal bills and we're being targeted by a similarly frivolous campaign of censorship.

Rianne and I will illuminate those issue and publish some original commentary on those issues.

Does Pocock make a difference? Has he changed people's views on these issues?


Why else spend $120k trying to silence this one person?

I've noticed that in some IRC networks it became common knowledge that DD (Debian Developer) might mean "sleeping with someone". Those IRC networks have nothing to do with ours. So the ideas expressed by Pocock have become widely accepted, if not expressed openly in Web sites, then at least in IRC networks.

A lot of the informational impact isn't widely or publicly recognised. It was the same when I ran "BOYCOTT NOVELL". People told me it was me who destroyed Novell (distros developers told me this), but Novell kept quiet. Years later the last CEO of Novell sent his attorneys after me, trying to censor me because he could no longer find a job (he blamed things I had written about Novell).

They also try to pretend that nobody pays attention or that the views expressed are outlandish, limited to just one person. They punish and censor people who express similar ideas. They try to crush these ideas by crushing every person who expresses them.

That's not to say that every view expressed is 100% true or "the truth". Mistakes (honest mistakes; factual errors) can happen, but they can be corrected. They do get corrected.

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