[tor-dev] Tor trademark (was Embedding tor in an application and using tor) without opening a port

wac waldoalvarez00 at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 16 03:50:18 UTC 2013

Hi Roger:

On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 01:04 EDT Roger Dingledine wrote:

>>  I changed from libTor to libtor as Tor is a registered trademark but
>>lowercase tor is not.
>I'm afraid that's not how trademark works. The trademark is infringed by
>any name that might confuse users into thinking that it is, represents,
>or is endorsed by the Tor Project.

 The confusion argument is not based in any facts for instance like statistics. I can also think a zillion words that have tor as part of their names. Fine is there a name I could use to reference Tor network and nothing else but that network without using the name Tor or any other "trademark"?

>> I already paid for the domain and to make sure people knows is a library
>>to use the Tor network.
>I would be happy to paypal (or whatever) you some money to register a
>different domain -- e.g. libonion.org -- before you get too established
>in your brand.

 Well is not a wrench thrown like before. Thanks I appreciate it. In any case is not a brand just a name. I would however redirect in such case libtor.org explaining this change to such new domain as some people already knows it. A change has benefits as gives me more freedom to operate. At least removes the commercial exploitation lock.

>(Many generic Tor-related projects use the community-oriented word
>'onion', which we have intentionally left out of all our trademarks.)

 IMHO onion is far from specific and is confusing. It could be anything. I mean what would someone who have no idea of what is Tor or onion *routing* would think it is?

>>  This is also non-profit and I clarified at the website what is Tor and
>>that carries no guarantee from the Tor Project about quality, suitability
>>or anything else.
>Thanks -- that is a good first step.

>> The guidelines also say that being non-profit I could
>>even use a modified Tor logo.
>Actually, that's not what the guidelines say. They say "Please don't
>modify the design or colors of the logo." Can you point to the sentence(s)
>that confused you, so we can clean them up?

I double checked, yes. This one "If you're making non-commercial use of Tor software, you may also use the Tor onion logo"

The confusion source seems to be the first clarification inside the parenthesis as the meaning changes when you remove it.

"If you're making non-commercial use of Tor software, you may also use the Tor onion logo. Please don't modify the design or colors of the logo. You can use items that look like the Tor onion logo to illustrate a point, so long as they're not used as logos in ways that would confuse people."

 What I interpret here now is that I can use it if I am non-commercial as long as I don't modify design or colors. "Confuse people" is subject to open interpretation too.

>>  This is in any case not a trademark, is just a name so people knows
>>what they are getting that comes out almost naturally. A library to
>>connect to the Tor network.
>You're making modifications to Tor, 


>and then telling people what they're
>getting is Tor. 

Where? No, never claimed that.

>I'd say that's a clear opportunity for confusion.

There is absolutely no intention of causing confusion.

>> I do not pretend to sell anything. But I
>>made it lowercase however in order to reduce any possible tension.
>I understand, and that's why it would be best to resolve the confusion
>early before users start to associate your software with this name.

Ok looking forward to remove the "source of confusion". I still don't think it is.

>In fact, I'd love to have an officially associated project, called
>something like libtor, that is a library version of the Tor software,
>endorsed and maintained by Tor (including maintained by you as a Tor
>project core member). But the way to get there is to become a part
>of the Tor community and establish a history of doing development and

 What would be the exact measurement parameter/s to make this move? And what would this mean? I would not like to be changing names back and forth so I would like to keep it. Changing it is problematic to users and the project itself as would take established users away.

 Basically what I am looking is to satisfy my own needs and maybe get help from the community. So I would like it to be used. I would like to innovate at some point in the future too. I have some ideas in several aspects.

>maintenance of libonion the right way, 

What is the precise meaning of "right way" here? Sorry is not clear to me.

>rather than to start out with a confusing name

 So far no visitors have showed any sign of confusion. They all know is a modification of Tor.

>and hope everything works out from there.

 I will find roadblocks for sure. Well I've being getting some already. I am not the kind who steps back easily in front of them. Things will work. I've being developing/fixing bugs in software for years:


I know nobody knows me here but assuming that anybody new around is going to provide something broken or low quality doesn't seems to me a good approach. Fine I do not pretend to be trusted right away or change ppl way of doing things. This is something I want to use myself. I am not looking to blow my own feet. Fine I could do it unintentionally as everybody can make mistakes. That's why I am looking to open it and looking to get it used because of the peer review.

>> Is
>>not that I have to obey any law from the USA as they don't apply to me.
>I'm afraid that part isn't true either in this case -- you got your
>domain from a US-based TLD, and through an ICANN-accredited registrar,
>so both US trademark law and the UDRP apply. Do a web search for 'icann
>udrp' for the gritty details.

 I have not waved any fist. Yes I used a USA owned TLD in order to follow the netiquette. As a matters of fact is the most non-profit way I could do it. I am not looking for any trouble, but this kind of things... well. I feel tension. In any case all that could happen here is ICANN cancelling the domain at some point maybe which doesn't stops me from using the name per se. In front of litigation a judge from the USA would fail in favor of anything US based no matter what. Ok as I said earlier I am not looking to cause any confusion or any tension. I am not looking to use that precise name or infringe any trademark. And still think is fair use. In any case I would really like to use a precise and descriptive name for the library if you feel uncomfortable with that one.


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