Markdown as genericized

Dennis E. Hamilton dennis.hamilton at
Fri Jul 11 14:05:12 EDT 2014

I was looking at the license which is shown as applicable to all Gruber versions at
There is a license condition involving the name, although it is difficult to know when it applies.  Certainly violating the condition is a breach of the license.  This peculiarity also makes the required propagation of the license text tricky since the text must be included “as is”:
*         Neither the name “Markdown” nor the names of its contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permission.
The safe thing, of course, is to not use the name “Markdown” on a derivative work.  I also note that the specifications and other on-line documents, such as they are, have copyright notices and no indication of license.
I doubt that there has been much attention to this quirk and I, for one, am not going to go around to see what other so-called Markdown implementations have done with respect to honoring this license.
-- Dennis E. Hamilton
     <mailto:dennis.hamilton at> dennis.hamilton at    +1-206-779-9430
     <>  PGP F96E 89FF D456 628A
From: Markdown-Discuss [mailto:markdown-discuss-bounces at] On Behalf Of Jeff McNeill
Sent: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 18:20
To: markdown-discuss at
Subject: Markdown as genericized
Markdown has become genericized (and was never registered or defended as intellectual property). See

The idea that Gruber has to (or even ever would) sign off on anything is counter to his behavior and stated opinion on the matter. His historical involvement and contemporary non-involvement should not become an impediment or even an issue for markdown-related development.
Jeff McNeill 
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