The World IP Authority granted ownership of the domain name “debian.community” to the Debian GNU/Linux project and decided that it should be transferred to the community’s Linux distribution.
A statement from the project, which filed a complaint about the domain name, said the decision was made by the World Intellectual Property Organization as part of its domain name dispute resolution policy.
The panel that issued the decision said it had concluded that “the disputed domain name is identical to a trademark to which the plaintiff has rights”.
The project, an association of free software developers that produces the Debian distribution, has stated that it is committed to using its trademarks and would take action in the event of a violation of its policy.
She added that the content of the debian.community website had been replaced by a page explaining what had happened.
In his decisionthe committee noted that the disputed domain name was identical to the Debian brand, which carried a high risk of implicit affiliation with the plaintiff.
“Since Complainant clearly describes Debian on its homepage as a ‘community’ and not just an operating system, [the.community] suffix actually reinforces that the disputed domain name will resolve to a site operated or endorsed by [Debian]”, he added. “The disputed domain name does not contain any critical or other terms to dispel or qualify this false impression.
The panel also said evidence submitted by the plaintiff showed that some posts featured the Debian brand with information about a notorious sex cult, notorious sex offenders, and female slavery, and one post displayed photographs of allegedly physical marks. on the victim’s genital skin. .
“The transitions between complainant information and this type of information are artificial and the breadth of this information is not merely incidental to the website,” the panel noted.
“In the opinion of the panel, these messages are deliberately intended to create a false association between the Debian brand and offensive phenomena and thereby tarnish the brand.”
In conclusion, the panel stated that “nothing in the Debian Social Contract or elsewhere indicates that Complainant ever consented to the type of false associations with its mark published by Respondent on its website.
“Defendant points out that the Debian trademark is only registered with respect to software. messages use the mark in combination with the disputed item domain name in a manner that intentionally seeks to create false associations with the mark itself.”
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