Home > Open Source > Stallman: “Linux’ Trademark Doesn’t Matter”Stallman: “Linux’ Trademark Doesn’t Matter” Thom Holwerda 2005-08-27 Open Source 176 CommentsRichard Stallman, chair of the Free Software Foundation, said on Thursday that the Linux trademark fracas in Australia has distracted attention away from the real issue – that of freedom to distribute and change software. About The Author Thom HolwerdaFollow me on Twitter @thomholwerda 176 Comments 2005-08-27 7:47 pm Lumbergh“Most of the time, when people call something ‘Linux’, it’s the GNU system with Linux as the kernel. Maybe this policy will encourage people to call it GNU,” Stallman told the Sydney MorningHere we go again. Stallman is just a bitter, old man who can’t accept that people just call it Linux and that he doesn’t have a viable kernel he can control. Now he’s hoping people just call it GNU. Hilarious. 2005-08-27 7:59 pm You mean he actually wants credit for all the good work he has done? Bastard. And he’s not even threatening lawsuit like the rest of the world. Bitter, old man bastard! 2005-08-27 9:07 pm orestesWhen the GNU/Linux OS exists in a unified form with a single definite point of control I’ll agree to call it by that name. Until then I’ll continue to regard each distro as an independent OS that draws from a shared pool of software. 2005-08-27 11:51 pm rattaroDo what you want. It’s free code.RMS is simply ASKING that we call it GNU/Linux. He’s not suing anyone. One of his points is that people ARE being threatened for using the term “Linux,” but you are free to use the term GNU as long as it contains GNU software. Seems reasonable to me. 2005-08-27 11:58 pm orestesAs has been pointed out many, many times before, Linus legally has to enforce his trademark or lose it. 2005-08-28 12:02 am orestes…and the licensing fees are only for those who using word Linux as part of their product name. 2005-08-28 2:41 am rattaroYes, I know. This has nothing to do with the context of my post though. 2005-08-27 10:26 pm japailUnless someone has retroactively changed mailing list, Usenet, changelog, and whatever other archives you happen to fancy, no one is denying Richard Stallman any credit for the work that he’s done during any dispute as to whether an arbitrary collection of software using the Linux (or really any other) kernel and GNU software should be affixed with GNU. 2005-08-27 8:37 pm segedunumStallman is just a bitter, old man who can’t accept that people just call it Linux and that he doesn’t have a viable kernel he can control. Now he’s hoping people just call it GNU. Hilarious.Have to agree there, unfortunately. I accept that the GPL is a good, working license for what it was designed for, but with other aspects of GNU Stallman does come out with some strange stuff at times.Yes, we all know Linux distributions use GNU software, but honestly, is that not enough? How about we name every single piece of software in the system, like Linux/GNU/Gnome or Linux/GNU/KDE etc.?“I prefer to say GNU/Linux’ so as to give the kernel’s developer a share of the credit.”Well that’s extremely nice of him I must say. 2005-08-27 8:48 pm Varg VikernesWell, I don’t see any KDE developers raging about calling it Qt/Linux I wish he’d just lay it off. Today Linux is established trademark and changing it now to GNU/Linux would gain absolutely nothing but confusion. 2005-08-27 9:39 pm mike hessYou’re both missing the issue:The argument being put forth by most people is that Linus is making Linux less Free by enforcing the trademark on “Linux”. Stallman is basically saying“The code is Free, who cares what you call it?”Its sort of an interesting precedent in the F/OSS world because Stallman is the most militant Free Software advocate out there, and if he feels this doesn’t infringe on anyone’s freedoms, then maybe people are making too big a deal about this. 2005-08-27 10:34 pm japailDon’t forget that this comes from someone that becomes a regular magnet for flames because of his position regarding naming. If anything the article writer puts RMS in a position of appearing to “miss the point” by further kicking the dead horse of the trademark licensing confusion while placing his comments alongside in a way that makes little sense. For instance, if someone were to assume for some reason that they could not use the Linux trademark without licensing it, how precisely is using “GNU/Linux” instead going to change anything for this hypothetical person? It isn’t. 2005-08-28 1:49 am ma_dDo you think Linux would be what it is today without gcc and the gpl? 2005-08-28 4:13 am bootsWhat antics? He says that the discussion (trademark) is irrelevant to the real issues (copyright/patent) and he is 100% correct.Trademarks are exclusive names (which is what “Linux ™” is) used in commerce as an identifying mark to denote a particular item/product from a particular source. They have an intrinsic value separate from the product they name because they have recognition and reputation associated with them. All this is true and it if Linus wants to maintain that brand in trade then law dictates that he must protect that brand — just as he is doing. Otherwise, some yoodle can release their own hackneyed-patchworked-shoddy version of an OS/kernel (even if it containted no code from the linux kernel project) and call it “Linux” and nobody would be able to say boo. That would be bad. It doesn’t matter if your product is FOSS or proprietary — the rules are the same. If you want to use the name exclusively, then you must protect its usage.Of course, the point that RMS was making was that instead of getting ourselves in a knot over that trade issue which has no particular bearing on the FOSS world, we should return our focus to the real issues that are threatening our FOSS: copyright and patent.While we are at it maybe we will also learn a little bit more about computers so we don’t go calling an entire system by the cutesy name of the kernel it runs on. If you had a performance car and someone asked you what it was, no doubt you would be rattling off the many different components that made it up — you wouldn’t say “GM” or some single brand. If I asked someone what kind of computer OS they had and all they could answer was something like, “Its a Mac” or “I don’t know–Microsoft”, then I’d imagine that that person doesn’t have the slightest concern for issues surrounding FOSS.Which is fine — not everyone has to care — but it is important for everyone that at least some people care. Stallman deeply cares and despite any bad comments made about him, his worked has helped *everyone*. Amazingly, the only thing he has asked in return for his enormous contribution is that the project that he has put so work into — which doesn’t in any way bear his name — gets fairly acknowledged. 2005-08-28 9:30 am Ringheims Auto“How about we name every single piece of software in the system, like Linux/GNU/Gnome or Linux/GNU/KDE etc.? ”Well, in fact that’s what they say:“If you feel that X11 deserves credit in the system’s name, and you want to call the system GNU/X11/Linux, please do. If you feel that Perl simply cries out for mention, and you want to write GNU/Linux/Perl, go ahead.”http://www.gnu.org/gnu/gnu-linux-faq.htmlTo me I would call it something like “GNUx”, this slash-business really isn’t practical for names (what do you do about URLs etc).Anyways, it IS strange naming a whole OS after the kernel, no one else does or has ever done. It also makes it uncertain wether you talk about the OS or the kernel when you say “Linux”. 2005-08-27 8:48 pm >Stallman … can’t accept that people just call it Linux and that he doesn’t have a viable kernel he can control.It sounded to me like he was saying he won’t enforce the use “GNUnix” (or similar moniker as an alternative to “Linux”).How important is the trademark (and protection) of the name “Linux?” What’s Torvalds trying to accomplish? Is he worried someone will use the name with a variant system (Win98 or DOS)? There’s already variations of Linux systems. No distro is the same as another. Isn’t it an implication of Open Source that there will be variations? What are the objective criteria for what’s too variant (and violative of the trademark name “Linux”)? If that criteria could be established, couldn’t it be stipulated as part of the Linux licsence that the name “Linux” can be used if those criteria are adhered to?This trademark thing sounds a little over the top to me. But, maybe I don’t understand something.Mark 2005-08-28 12:38 pm Let’s say that I want to write an OS kernel from scratch for mass distribution. But I don’t do a good job. The kernel is full of bugs and insecure parts. I may even design it to have some *naughty* parts that send usage statistics or something else over the internet back to me without the user’s consent.Now I bundle this up with KDE/GNOME or something else and call the whole thing “Linux Pro”. Do you see the problem? Linus is not concerned with people using his code or deriving other products from his. He is concerned that companies will ship a product that is *very* different from his own but they will still call it “Linux” for the buzzword effect. If that happened, people would associate their crap product with the Linux name and that would be A Bad Thing. 2005-08-29 5:15 pm rcsteinerin 1996, the name “Linux” was trademarked by someone who was not affiliated with the kernel or with the open source community at all (William R Della Croce, Jr).Using this new trademark, Della Croce attempted to extort money from various prominent groups in the Linux community by taking them to court over their use of the name “Linux” in their publications and distributions.One of the results of that lawsuit (which Della Croce ended up losing) was the assigning of the “Linux” trademark to Linus for safekeeping.One of the things Linux is trying to accomplish is to make sure that such a thing never happens again. 2005-08-27 9:05 pm rm6990I know. Just what in the hell is this man thinking wanting credit for his own work? He obviously doesn’t deserve it. I mean, Linux wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for GNU, but clearly this man hasn’t had any influence on the Linux OS. Everyone who wants credit for their hard work should be banished from the earth I say!!!!![/sarcasm]Hey Lumbergh…you should try putting yourself in his shoes…although it would be hard because you most likely haven’t done a thing in your life to contribute to the technology industry. 2005-08-27 9:22 pm >Everyone who wants credit for their hard work should be banished from the earth I say!!!!!No, they should be credited. But one thing is giving the mancredit for his work, something else is giving him credit for Linux.You say that Linux would exist without GNU. Then again, would GNU exist without Linux? I think I’ll demand that software such as GNUutils from here on is named GNU-Linuxutils… 2005-08-28 2:32 am rm6990I would assume so, since GNU was launched 7 years before Linux was. Don’t know what planet you’ve been living on. 2005-08-27 9:46 pm LumberghI know. Just what in the hell is this man thinking wanting credit for his own work? He obviously doesn’t deserve it. Yeah, I guess I should be calling it Gnome/XWindow/GNU/Ubuntu/Linux. Obviously, if it’s just about “freedom” then he shouldn’t care, but anyone that’s not blind can see that’s it’s more about freedom.Supposedly, the name doesn’t “linux” doesn’t mean much to him, but GNU does. He suggests that people can call it just GNU now. The guy is a megalomaniac, hypocrite. And you’re just one of his cult followers. Oh…and Emacs sucks:) 2005-08-27 10:36 pm Lumbergh… You’re ranting as usual Sit down in a corner and shame on you!dylansmrjoneskristian AT herkild DOT dk 2005-08-28 1:52 am ma_dYou didn’t address what he said. He said Linux wouldn’t exist without GNU; you have to disprove that or prove that XWindows and KDE were necessary for Linux to exist for your “joke” to make any sense (at least any sense to someone who thinks twice).Richard Stallman is many things. He has a bit of an ego I think, a much deserved one at that. But in the end, the man hates people who try and tell him what to do. He hates people who sell out. Like that, hate that, whatever you want; but a man has the right to strongly held beliefs and unless you can show him to be what you’re calling him you have no right.Frankly, you’re out of line. Keep your feelings of hate to yourself and keep it to the facts … sir. 2005-08-28 9:18 am kmariusBSD has managed to survice without GNU. Linux would probably have shared some of their tools. 2005-08-28 1:12 pm dagwBut even the BSDs use gcc 2005-08-28 6:37 pm ma_dI thought they used gcc these days? 2005-08-27 10:40 pm japailYou wouldn’t exist without a lot of things that expand into history in an endless tedium. It’s an unconvincing argument in my book. Further while I too frequently wonder if Lumbergh actively contributes at all to open source software, least of all in any significant way, what you’re doing is little more than attacking the messenger.Most importantly of all, this is a pretty off-topic discussion. Let’s all attempt to keep the discussion topical and not resort to bickering over hackneyed topics. 2005-08-27 11:05 pm LumberghFurther while I too frequently wonder if Lumbergh actively contributes at all to open source software, least of all in any significant way, Haha, when did I ever claim that I contributed to open source software, why would I, and you might as well ask “I wonder if Lumbergh has walked his down down the street”, because that has about much relevance to what I’m saying than what you said.The fact is that it’s entirely evident that Stallman doesn’t really care about the Linux name (because it’s all about “free software”), but he then goes on to hope that people just start calling it straight GNU. So does a name matter or what? 2005-08-27 11:59 pm japailYou should read my comment before replying to it. While frequently turgid, it’s remarkably clear in that instance. At least it seems that you have not properly understood what I have written, but it’s difficult for me to reliably parse your first paragraph. 2005-08-28 12:07 am LumberghYou should read my comment before replying to it. It’s totally clear. You “frequently wondered” if I contribute to open source and I asked you what that has to do with anything. It’s like asking “I wonder if Lumbergh drives a blue car”. It’s irrelevant to the conversation unless in some twisted bizarro world you have to contribute to open source to comment on it.And to answer your question. No, I use the open source stack as a platform for proprietary software. 2005-08-28 12:43 am japailI’m honestly making every effort to be patient with you, but you are having a difficult time reading my writing. My point, which I thought was fairly clear, is that while I share the original poster’s disbelief that you have any meaningful contributions, it’s irrelevant. His stating it is merely attacking you personally, rather the content of your comment (not that there was much there, with you mostly continuing some argument you’ve had previously rather than addressing the article’s content with any seriousness). 2005-08-28 1:25 pm StephenBeDoperI know. Just what in the hell is this man thinking wanting credit for his own work? He obviously doesn’t deserve it. I mean, Linux wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for GNU, but clearly this man hasn’t had any influence on the Linux OS.Sounds like the GNU tools have some serious issues with being glory hound-encumbered. Perhap it should be ditched in favour of BSD software.The XF86 people should have learned from Stallman. If you *demand* credit in a license, people will tell you to piss off – but if you whine it about it incessantly for a decade, you can still be a respected and taken seriously in OSS. Go figure. 2005-08-28 1:47 am ma_dWhy do you hate Richard Stallman? 2005-08-27 8:02 pm How can you associate the fact that you *must* do something (ex: distribute the source code of your binaries in case of the GPL for ex.) with *freedom* ?I must have missed something… But this is not what I am calling “reedom”. 2005-08-27 8:12 pm klynchYes, but the original author has the choice of choosing a license, and anyone who wants to use portions of that or modify it, have the freedom of choosing to modify it or not.The second author simply doesn’t have the choice of changing the license of an existing product. 2005-08-27 8:26 pm But in fairness, the second author didn’t have to write the product from the ground up; they’re working off the first programmer’s product.Yeah, it’s not totally free for them, but I think that’s the way the argument goes. 2005-08-27 8:15 pm If by your misunderstanding of “freedom” you actually meant anarchy, then no, it most definitely is not. 2005-08-27 8:24 pm John NilssonThere is nothing forcing you to anythin under the GPL, you perfectly FREE to use other software, use the same software under a diffrent license or use the software under the terms of the GPL in a way that permits you to keep the derived work private.It works like this.0. You are free to use the software.1. You are free to study the software.2. You are free to distribute the software.3. You are free to improve the software.4. Anyone receiving a copy of the software (verbatim or “improved”) has the same freedom.If you exercise freedom 2 and 3 it logicaly follows that you must distribute your improvements for 4 to be true.A simple logical consequence of your freedom. 2005-08-27 11:09 pm Why can’t you start your list from “1” like normal people? Zero isn’t a normal number, it is a representation of the absence of what you are counting. So logically I could assume that the item you listed as “0” has no value and should be ignored. 2005-08-27 11:21 pm mike hessYou != Programmer 2005-08-28 12:00 am japailWhat everyone wants to know, is what’s the result of your comparison? Is he a programmer or isn’t he? The suspense is killing me. 2005-08-28 3:13 am John NilssonFALSE 2005-08-28 12:11 am English isn’t a programming language. And for the record, I have created some basic programs, so technically I am a programmer. 2005-08-28 2:06 am John NilssonI’m so sorry 2005-08-28 2:37 am rm6990And you damn well should be, doing such a horrible thing such as starting a list from 0. Shame on you!!!! 😛 2005-08-28 1:20 pm dagwSo by your logic point three is three times as important as point one, and point four is twice as important as point two. 2005-08-29 2:41 pm lpetrazickisZero isn’t a “normal” ordinal number, but once you try using it as a cardinal number, you find that it’s much more natural to start at zeroth than at first. 2005-08-28 12:31 am Your freedom stops where the other people’s start. In life, as in FREE software. Moron. There are countries where people are free. In those same countries, no-one has the freedom to make you his slave. This is what most inteligent people call true freedom. 2005-08-28 2:45 am It’s the freedom not to step on other peoples freedom and keep the code free. Or do you prefer the freedom to shut people down? 2005-08-28 9:36 am jesstaI’d say the GNU GPL isn’t freedom although it’s close.Freedom also includes the ability to be an arsehole and not share.BSD is freedom.But both are free software, so in a world of free software there is no difference.I like stallman.He makes good points. 2005-08-29 12:33 am “How can you associate the fact that you *must* do something (ex: distribute the source code of your binaries in case of the GPL for ex.) with *freedom* ?”With the same argument as yours…“How can you associate the fact that you *must* not hurt another human being when walking down the street in a *free* country?”Clearly, to give freedom, you must have certain limitations. Indeed there is much academic discussion on this. 2005-08-27 8:08 pm No we should all be free to rip off other peoples hard work that was freely contributed, and sell it as our own for a profit. Only a filthy open source pinko commie subversive would disagree.Still a lot of Mr Stallmans ideas do seem like wishful thinking. 2005-08-27 8:22 pm I personally don’t see how that distracts from the issue- they’re completely different topics, and where they intersect it’s good for the GNU Foundation as well. Richard Stallman wants software to be unencumbered, Linus Torvalds wants software to be what it calls itself.If Linux isn’t protected and starts becoming generic and unmaintainable, that would end up discrediting Linux, and therefore the GNU software that Stallman continues to point out is mistakenly associated with Linux.I’m sure the GNU Foundation protects the GNU trademark so that someone can’t use it against them; why is it distracting when Linux Mark Internation protects itself? Unless he’s referring to all of the hoopla and misunderstandings surrounding the event, I don’t think he’s being fair.I do agree with him that GNU and Linux aren’t necessarily the same. Debian has a GNU/Hurd project, Gentoo has ports to run software on FreeBSD and OS X, and different user toolkits… And I bet if you really wanted (ignoring licensing issues) you could have a functional Solaris toolkit running on the Linux kernel. Or, maybe even the tools in the Microsoft SFU pack… Think about it: MS/Linux… wierd… (though from what I hear they’re fairly useless such that you generally have to add GNU tools)That still doesn’t explain how protecting the Linux trademark isn’t important to the free software movement. You remove Linux, and the community WILL suffer. It’s good for GNU to make sure its largest (and most misunderstood) packager stays coherent. 2005-08-27 8:44 pm LumberghThere’s nothing about a trademark that can protect linux from becoming “generic and unmaintainable”.That still doesn’t explain how protecting the Linux trademark isn’t important to the free software movement. You remove Linux, and the community WILL suffer.Wrong. You can use linux and don’t have to call it linux , or you can pay to use the linux trademark, but either way it has nothing to do with “community” suffering.It’s good for GNU to make sure its largest (and most misunderstood) packager stays coherent.GNU has nothing to do with the Linux kernel. They can’t make sure of anything. 2005-08-28 2:52 am Well, protecting the trademark will ensure that what’s Linux is really Linux… It HELPS.I meant the statement about the community this way: Linux is a fairly sizeable portion of the free software community. If Linux were tarnished or destroyed or, I don’t know, eaten by wolves because of unscrupulous people misusing the name Linux, it would have a serious impact on the Linux community, which would make the general free software community suffer too.I doubt that would destroy free software especially if it happened slowly… I guess everyone would flock to the next new thing or the Chosen Successor to Linux and start anew, but I doubt that would be good for the community. 2005-08-27 8:30 pm John NilssonSeriously, even if one could argure that Linx is a strong trade mark. What does it mean?Is GNOME Linux? Is GNU? Is a product based on GNU and GNOME a Linux? If it is, could it have a bsdkernel and still be a Linux? 2005-08-27 8:34 pm morhekilWhat’s the point of your questions? Linux as the trademark is everything that contains word “Linux” in it’s name. Compare: “RedHat Linux” and “GNOME”. See the difference? 2005-08-27 8:50 pm John NilssonThe point is that a trade mark should be better defined than Linux is. Don’t get me wrong, Linux as a name on most of the OSS movment is working fine, if it would be defined as such it would be even better.A simple trade mark matter: I give a friend an Ubuntu disc, he installs it and the comes back “Linux sucks nothing works…”, does it? Is it Linux, Gnu, Gnome, Debian, or Ubuntu that sucks. As it is now, Linux sucks because for Joe Sixpac you can call it Debian,RedHat or Ubuntu it’s still Linux.Me on the other hand would be more inclined to say that Ubuntu sucks. If they fail to deliver a product that works one shouldn’t blame Linux it’s simply a semi-manufacture article that Canonical has used in their product.So is Ubuntu a Linux or does Ubuntu build on Linux? 2005-08-28 2:00 am ma_dThat’s the point of restricting the trademark! If everyone were selling badly made distributions branded Linux it’s all the more likely that people would get the idea that “Linux” sucks. If they can only write “Based on Linux” then a smaller, allbeit still a majority, number of people would think it sucks.It’s all about making sure that the name is protected from being used by everyone and their brother.But, I think it is an entirely seperate issue from Free as in Freedom. We’re talking about marketing basically, where as Free is a political movement!I think RMS is complaining because he’s sick of people wasting there time fighting over this. What he doesn’t realize is that *normal* people waste large amounts of time . 2005-08-28 2:40 am John NilssonI gave an Ubutu disc to another friend. “What that?” he asks, “Linux” I said. “What’s Linux?”What should I say? Was I stupid for calling it Linux in the first place? As I understand it Linux(TM) is roughly 400 implementations of a UNIX like operating system based on Linux and GNU, most of them bundled with GNOME or KDE and a few thousand other applications.It’s just that the “UNIX like operating system” that they implement is en extremley abstract idea, and it takes quit a few years living with it before you begin to grasp it.I just simply can’t go around saying that now can I? At the same time it feels wrong to just say, “An operating system, diffrent to Windows”.What is the idea I should be selling when somone asks, “what is Linux?”.One guy I gave a disc to had a funny idéa of it all. “It’s Linux” I said, “Ah Linux I’ve seen that. Does it have this cool thing where you can see your files? X I think it’s called. Or is it just the text?”. 2005-08-28 2:48 am rm6990And you understand wrong. Linux is an Operating System Kernel, and that is all. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing in between and nothing on top or underneath. It is the part of an OS that handles hardware functions, memory management and other similar things. Why is this so hard for people to understand?Gnome is a Desktop Environment, nothing more nothing less.GNU is a collection of utilities that sit on top of a kernel (Linux, FreeBSD, etc.) It includes compilers and text editors and other things. It is nothing more, nothing less.KDE, like Gnome, is a Desktop Environment, nothing more nothing less.Ubuntu is a bundle of all of these utilities into an easy to install format, nothing more nothing less.So to answer your question, call it whatever you damn well please. The proper name, however, is Ubuntu Linux. 2005-08-28 3:23 am John NilssonI’m sorry, you are wrong.RedHat Enterprice Linux is most certainly not a kernel.Remeber we are talking about the trademark not the kernel. 2005-08-28 5:16 am archiesteelSo to answer your question, call it whatever you damn well please. The proper name, however, is Ubuntu Linux.Actually, the proper name is “Ubuntu”, not “Ubuntu Linux”. 2005-08-28 1:32 pm So to answer your question, call it whatever you damn well please. The proper name, however, is Ubuntu Linux.Actually, the proper name is “Ubuntu”, not “Ubuntu Linux”.So why does the website ubuntulinux.com go to ubuntu? Why is there no (R) or (TM) after Ubuntu on the logo? Why is the first word on their website home page Linux???Shuttleworth needs to follow proper business procedures. Those Ubuntu zealots are a cancer. They hire all the Debian programmers and leave Debian deprecated. There is $20M US put into Ubuntu, and the maintainers are called “Masters of the Universe.”It’s easy to say all software should be available free of charge and another to actually implement it. 2005-08-28 6:25 pm John NilssonActually, Master of the Universe or MOTU isn’t Cononical employed Ubuntu maintainers they are volunteers responsible for the universe teams. Universe is where unsupported ubuntu packages are maintained. 2005-08-28 8:44 pm archiesteelSo why does the website ubuntulinux.com go to ubuntu? Why is there no (R) or (TM) after Ubuntu on the logo? Why is the first word on their website home page Linux???*Sigh* Here we go again:A web adress is not a trademark. Remember how the guy who had bought the cocacola.com domain sold it back at a hefty price to the Coca-Cola company? Since you can’t trademark an URL, the fact that ubuntulinux.com points to the Ubuntu website is irrelevant.There is no (R) or (TM) after Ubuntu’s logo, that is correct, however if you go to the bottom of the Ubuntu home page, you’ll find this small print:“Ubuntu and Canonical are registered trademarks of Canonical Ltd.”Notice that it doesn’t say “Ubuntu Linux”…And as for the first word of the page being “Linux” (as part of the sentence “Linux for Human Beings”), that’s also completely irrelevant. That sentence isn’t trademarked, and therefore there’s no need to purchase a license. 2005-08-28 6:42 pm ma_dThe last guys is onto having some clue. You should say:“Ubuntu is a user-friendly operating system that’s based on Linux and all the programs that often come with Linux. If that sounds complex, don’t worry about it. Just remember you’re using ‘Ubuntu’ and technical people will know what that is! And when someone asks if that’s Linux you can say yes.”I understand that the idea of a kernel is beyond most people. But, the idea of Linux being a computer operating system and not an end user environment is actually something that most can grasp: Especially if you don’t say “end user environment.” Most people are able to understand the difference between a shell and the thing that’s actually making their computer useful; you just have to be patient with them.Unfortunately, Linux has already started to be abused. I think that’s largely encouraged; for the reason of Linus being “constructively” lazy . 2005-08-27 10:46 pm japailLinux has been used for a long time to refer to entire base systems, rather than the kernel itself. I’ve seen people even use the term as generically as others might UNIX. The point of his question is to highlight that the word Linux has been used thusly. 2005-08-27 10:38 pm No, it is only linux if it has the Linux kernel, the rest of it is the GNU bit… 2005-08-27 8:48 pm saterdaiesPersonally, I think that trying to license the ‘Linux’ name is a bad thing. It just makes the IP waters murkier. It’s also been revealed recently that Linus has been amassing tons of patents. What’s to stop him from demanding royalty payments for those patents that are used in Linux? NOTHING! Unfortunately, the GPL doesn’t have a patent grant in it which means that Linus can stop anyone using the Linux kernel from using it through patent enforcement.I hope that most distributions will stop using the ‘Linux’ name over this. 2005-08-27 10:35 pm It’s not been “revealed recently that Linus has been amassing tons of patents” … It’s been known for years and is unproblematic, since the software is released as GPL. He can’t charge for patents he himself has used in GPL’ed software … He’s doing it to protect ideas against malicious companies.The idea of licensing the name Linux is to protect it against malicious use. Like Microsoft creating a online magazine called “Linux For Real” where it’s spreading FUD about linux.It’s incredible how fast people are to forget the most simple elements of the FOSS-movement…Kristian Poul Herkildkristian AT herkild DOT dk 2005-08-27 11:41 pm >The idea of licensing the name Linux is to protect it against malicious use. Like Microsoft creating a online magazine called “Linux For Real” …But, this trademark/license issue seems to be impacting those who support Linux and aren’t harming its reputation.What if distributions used the term something like “Ubuntu” (followed by a small text “A Linux(tm)-based OS”). Wouldn’t this be enough to eliminate the licensing requirement? They aren’t claiming to be “Linux.” Just claiming to use Linux the way the GPL allows?If everyone began doing this it would take the wind out of Torvald’s plan. Seems like he would welcome it too since he said they’re losing money asserting their trademark scheme. (He’d have less people to lose money trying to assert the license against?).Mark 2005-08-28 2:43 am rm6990Yes, read the couple thousand comments (not for real, but damn close) on the last couple Linux trademark articles for about 700 answers to your question, all saying the same thing. 2005-08-28 2:18 am Actually, Linus could charge for patents used in GPL software he uses and distributes. The GPL is a copyright license that means that he cannot charge a copyright license fee. He can charge a patent license fee.This was one of the reasons that Sun stated for creating the CDDL (or whatever they called it). It’s a flaw in the GPL. It hasn’t been exploited yet and it will probably be closed in the GPL version 3, but there’s nothing stopping Linus from enforcing his patents.He might not enforce them. Then again, he might. The fate of free Linux rests with him. At any time, he can decide that he wants money. I hope he doesn’t go that route, but it would be nice to have a new GPL that would guarantee that he couldn’t go that route.Also, you don’t have to charge a trademark fee to protect the mark. If Microsoft came out with a ‘Linux for Real’, Linus could use the trademark status against them. He doesn’t have to go around charging everyone a Linux trademark fee unless he wants to gain a little money – not necesserally for himself; he might want it for the OSDL so that they can hire more developers or more legal council or something great like that.The whole thing might be nothing. It might be an omen of terrible things for the Linux community. We’ll just have to wait and see. 2005-08-28 3:01 am rm6990Actually, Linus could charge for patents used in GPL software he uses and distributes. The GPL is a copyright license that means that he cannot charge a copyright license fee. He can charge a patent license fee.Great, yet another uninformed moron. Here is section 7 of the GPL:7. If, as a consequence of a court judgment or allegation of patent infringement or for any other reason (not limited to patent issues),conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not excuse you from the conditions of this License. If you cannot distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this License and any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you may not distribute the Program at all. For example, if a patent license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to refrain entirely from distribution of the Program.So, if Linus attempted this, he would be barred from distributing all of the kernel except for the whopping 2% or so he owns the copyrights on. Why do people always bring this up when the text of the GPL clearly proves this false? Sure, Linus could charge for a patent license, but it would mean he could never distribute the kernel again. Wouldn’t be very smart of him.He might not enforce them. Then again, he might. The fate of free Linux rests with him. At any time, he can decide that he wants money. I hope he doesn’t go that route, but it would be nice to have a new GPL that would guarantee that he couldn’t go that route.A license is not a contract. A license cannot prevent anyone from asserting patent rights against anyone else. A license can, however, prevent you from redistributing the copyrighted work if you do so. This is the same as the GPL not being able to force you to open source your code. Sure, you could be forced to caese distribution of the code in question for not complying with the licensing requirements, but you wouldn’t be forced to open source your code.Also, you don’t have to charge a trademark fee to protect the mark. If Microsoft came out with a ‘Linux for Real’, Linus could use the trademark status against them. He doesn’t have to go around charging everyone a Linux trademark fee unless he wants to gain a little money – not necesserally for himself; he might want it for the OSDL so that they can hire more developers or more legal council or something great like that. Quit being selfish. Also read the last articles on this, including the one where Linus says he never touches the money and he cannot legally touch the money. By wanting Linux protected so companies can make money off of the name, but expecting Linus to foot the bill, you are being selfish. Do you think you stick source code under your pillow and wake up the next day with a trademark? The LMI has already sunk over $300,000 in administering the trademark, and you are mad because they want a little restribution. That’s what I call selfish.Quit trolling and learn to read while you are at it. 2005-08-28 4:43 am mabhatterThe whole trouble with trademark is it’s a use it or loose it thing… there’s no “common-law” rulings for trademarks… It’s why Coca-Cola has lot of commercials to reinforce it’s mark so the sugary beverages don’t all become “coke”…. or why the Rollerblade people are so finicky about using the generic “inline skates”. Even UNIX is trademarked… hence NOBODY can call all the clones blah-blah unix.. or the Open Group will come after you.It seems how quickly people forget why Linus had to get at trademark in the first place!! here in the US, some other company was actually going to swipe the trademark from under the community… Linus had to sue to get the mark BACK in his name…when he created it!!! Linus has to follow the laws… so that means paperwork and lawyers.. and money!!! …or he looses the trademark and bill g sends the MS lawyers to claim it!!! 2005-08-27 9:09 pm How can you associate the fact that you *must* do something (ex: distribute the source code of your binaries in case of the GPL for ex.) with *freedom* ?Don’t you realize that you have to compare this with the default situation for releasing works, which is that nobody is allowed to even distribute the work in verbatim without getting explicit approval of the copyright holder? Contrast this with what the GPL allows anyone to do with the work: Use it, Distribute it, Change it, Distribute modified versions…You see, you get many freedoms if you choose to use GPL software. So with regard to this, associating GPL software with freedom makes sense. 2005-08-27 10:01 pm Many of the people who bash Stallman with words like “old man” and “hippy” are the same who either don’t understand the gnu philosophy, and/or people who have never invested more than a few minutes learning what philosophy is all about. They’ve been too busy feeding their ego with new noise, toys, gadgets, food, and other misc. trinkets.The sheep culture of today wants it wrapped up in a pretty commercial package, without having to think. If you threaten the pretty design and make them think, they’ll just hate you, like they hate people who share the free gnu philosophy.I, for one, believe the world needs more people who sare philosophies like GNU’s and try to speak out about it and bring people together under true free visionary type of projects.But instead, the fools of today would rather blog about how they spent hundreds of hours in some online game, or some other useless, stupid shit. Because they’ve been brainwashed that one person cannot change the world, so they let the corrupt corporations shape it for them instead. 2005-08-27 10:30 pm Many of the people who bash Stallman with words like “old man” and “hippy” are the same who either don’t understand the gnu philosophy, and/or people who have never invested more than a few minutes learning what philosophy is all about. They’ve been too busy feeding their ego with new noise, toys, gadgets, food, and other misc. trinkets. Translation: Anyone who doesn’t agree with what I say is obviously too stupid to have an opinion worth listening too. If they are stupid enough I can morally make their decisions for them.Fortunately that ancient argument can be used both ways.When RMS leads you to the mothership, remember to drink the whole cup. 2005-08-28 3:07 am rm6990Translation: Anyone who doesn’t agree with what I say is obviously too stupid to have an opinion worth listening too. If they are stupid enough I can morally make their decisions for them.Fortunately that ancient argument can be used both ways.When RMS leads you to the mothership, remember to drink the whole cup.Well RMS doesn’t refer to you as a pathetic, low-life, internet troll who hasn’t done a useful thing in his entire life, which is why he spends all of his time online annoying people, sort of like a fly. He doesn’t do this because it would discredit him, much like you calling him an old man or hippy does for you.Of course I don’t think of you like that, just making a point 2005-08-28 12:07 am morgothYou got it in one.Dave 2005-08-27 10:20 pm j-s-hHe said the the fact the software is free is more important than what you call the software. Which isn’t that the Linux trademark doesn’t matter, as the news.com.com and OSNews’s titles are. 2005-08-27 10:35 pm Quote: “If by your misunderstanding of “freedom” you actually meant anarchy, then no, it most definitely is not.”Do you even know what anarchy is? No hierarchy (=anarchy) doesn’t mean no organisation ! It only means that all are equal. 2005-08-27 10:40 pm Yeah… but… Anarchy doesn’t not give any protection. Everybody has the right to do everything – INCLUDING oppressing all the weaker ones.GPL can be compared with democracy. It’s not completely free, but you can do anything you want as long as you don’t use that freedom to limit the freedoms of others.dylansmrjoneskristian AT herkild DOT dk 2005-08-27 10:57 pm japailThat isn’t comparable to democracy. For one, democracy involves voting. Secondly, the purpose of democracy is to regulate the behavior of others without any innate concern for equality in such regulation. People use “democracy,” and “democratic” far too frequently to mean “warm fuzzy thing.” 2005-08-27 11:11 pm Lumbergh“Free software means you’re free to run it, study it, change it, redistribute it, and distribute modified versions — the way cooks do with recipes. What names you’re allowed to call a program is a side issue.”Ok, fine. So it doesn’t matter what it’s called. The name Linux doesn’t matter.Then later on…. it’s the GNU system with Linux as the kernel. Maybe this policy will encourage people to call it GNU,” Stallman told the Sydney Morning Herald.Oh…wait. But I thought the name didn’t matter. Why would he want people to be “encouraged” to *just* call it GNU now?so he contradicts himself within one interview. I guess his sheeple will overlook such glaring hypocrisy. 2005-08-28 12:21 am japailHow to read three short quotes correctly:“Free software means you’re free to run it, study it, change it, redistribute it, and distribute modified versions — the way cooks do with recipes. What names you’re allowed to call a program is a side issue.”“Most of the time, when people call something ‘Linux’, it’s the GNU system with Linux as the kernel. Maybe this policy will encourage people to call it GNU”“I prefer to say GNU/Linux’ so as to give the kernel’s developer a share of the credit.”1. The most important matter for free software is freedom as it’s defined by the FSF.2. What names can be legally used to refer to software is an issue separate from whether software may be classified as free software.3. When people usually use the term Linux they do so to refer to the whole system which is a collection of GNU software bundled with the Linux kernel.4. This trademark policy may encourage people to refer to the system as GNU, because the FSF has no such licensing policy.5. But I like GNU/Linux just fine.Note that 2 doesn’t contradict 5, and definitely doesn’t contradict 4 even a little. It doesn’t say that there is no importance in naming. It doesn’t even imply it except to the author of that article and you, apparently.I’m left wondering: “Did Lumbergh really misread these quotes so egregiously, or does he really have nothing better to do than post flamebait?”Oh and of course a much less retarded source for the quotes than the linked-to article is the place where the quotes were taken from for writing a more inciteful one:http://smh.com.au/articles/2005/08/25/1124562965358.html 2005-08-28 8:34 am LumberghWell I know Stallman apologists will try to spin his comments so that once again he doesn’t look like a bitter, old fool that hates that people don’t call it GNU/Linux but let’s take one of your quotes.“I prefer to say GNU/Linux’ so as to give the kernel’s developer a share of the credit.” Translation: GNU is the more important than Linux…notice the “give the kernel developer’s a share of the credit”, as if the kernel is just an afterthought.Maybe this policy will encourage people to call it GNU,” Stallman told the Sydney Morning So obviously the GNU name is not some “side” issue because he actively wants people to call it GNU.Listen, it’s common knowledge that Stallman throws tantrums and refuses to even speak to people unless they address it as GNU/Linux. So it’s much more than just “free software” to him.Of course Stallman is slightly subtle enough to allow wiggle room for him and his sheeple, but any rational person, especially outside the whole “free software” enthusiast clubhouse, knows exactly what he means.Ask Ulrich Drepper (glibc maintainer and pretty vocal “free software” advocate) about Stallmanhttp://slashdot.org/articles/01/08/19/2039211.shtmlor how about these choice comments about proprietary developers and how he compares them to murderers and perjuring cops http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/my_doom.htmlBottom line is that Stallman is all about control, contrary to all this freedom business he spews. If you can’t see that then that’s your problem.The good news is that the open source philosophy is totally different from Stallman’s “free software” philosophy. 2005-08-28 9:22 am archiesteelAsk Ulrich Drepper (glibc maintainer and pretty vocal “free software” advocate) about Stallman 2005-08-28 2:00 pm hobgoblinhttp://web.archive.org/web/20010917225141/ 2005-08-28 5:52 pm japailUlrich Drepper is no less controversial to the people that actually know him than Richard Stallman; his commentary is simply disseminated to the broader audience much less. A good deal of the “brand names” in the free software world are, well, unmarketable.http://groups.google.com/group/gnu.glibc.bug/browse_frm/thread/7850…Heh, or you could always just read his livejournal sometime.The release notes aren’t exactly obscure:http://sources.redhat.com/ml/libc-announce/2001/msg00000.htmlBut I can see how one might forget about them, if their day doesn’t focus around flaming RMS.Interested parties about that topic should do some mailing list searches to obtain more context than just Ulrich’s position. Since the entire subject is unrelated I don’t really have the motivation to find sources. 2005-08-28 10:00 am “Bottom line is that Stallman is all about control, contrary to all this freedom business he spews. If you can’t see that then that’s your problem.”Well, then you are lost. I am sorry for you my friend. 2005-08-28 4:54 pm japailBeing able to read at an adult level => Stallman apologist> Listen, it’s common knowledgeIt’s common knowledge that you like rambling about straw men and engaging in ad hominem. Your interpretation of his quotes was just plain absurd. There was no contradiction in them, despite them being taken grossly out of context by the author of the submitted article. They were so easy to comprehend, that I didn’t even read the original article before writing my reply. Your whole comment is nothing but a pointless distraction. What does Ulrich Drepper have to do with the subject of the linked article? What does Stallman’s opinion regarding the importance of the software part of the GNU project have to do with the article in question, or your interpretation of it? Nothing. 2005-08-27 11:12 pm elsewhereWith all the Linus bashing, nobody has brought up the fact that he is legally required (in many jurisdictions, including Australia) to enforce the trademark otherwise he forfeits rights to it and they can be controlled by someone else. He’s pointed this out, legal experts have pointed it out, other companies and organizations face this as well.As amusing as it can be to watch sometimes, I’ll never understand the compulsion to find conspiracies everywhere. 2005-08-27 11:48 pm > he is legally required … to enforce the trademark otherwise he forfeits rights to itWhich is it? He’s required by the State to do something he doesn’t want to do? Or, he’s trying to prevent misuse, something he does want to do?He can enforce the trademark just by requiring that Linux contain the (TM) symbol. (He doesn’t need $5k in return.).He can stop variants (which are pretty much all distros, as far as I can tell) from claiming to be “Linux” just by asking them to claim to be “Linux(tm) based.”What problem is he trying to solve? So far, it seems like it’s being solved in a strange way (leading to concerns from enthusiasts).Mark 2005-08-28 3:12 am rm6990And again, I ask, where the fuck is the money for administering the trademark supposed to come from? There is no trademark fairy or lawyer fairy, and volunteer trademark lawyers are a little hard to come by.Or do you propose Linus is supposed to pull the money out of his ass? 2005-08-28 12:23 am morgothQuote: “nobody has brought up the fact that he is legally required (in many jurisdictions, including Australia) to enforce the trademark otherwise he forfeits rights to it and they can be controlled by someone else.”Actually, others have stated this. There’s a difference between protecting your copyright, and charging like is intended. Why not a license on the word “Linux” that allows free usage for distros etc, but gives Linus the right to veto usage of the word/term/copyright that he feels is appropriate. That could easily be an enforceable license term I reckon.Dave 2005-08-28 2:09 am ma_dHe’s not making money off it.It’s a non-profit that doesn’t report back to him.It’s not Linus managing it.Please, please, please, never suggest again that the maintainer of the Linux kernel, who has 2 children and a wife, and a full time job (he still does right?); please never suggest again that he waste time managing the trademark!According to Linus, the institute has historically lost money. 2005-08-28 9:24 pm morgothah yes, many others have a wife and children as well. And they’re expected to pay these “fees”. Yeah right.Whether or not Linus makes money from this, is irrelevant. I simply do not believe that it is appropriate to start charging extortionate amounts of money to use the trademarked term “Linux”. I think the world would be a lot better a place without bullshit like trademarks, copyrights and patents. It’s only the mentality of the rich, powerful and corrupt that are forcing this on the rest of the population, with zero benefit to us I might add. These so called necessities only benefit the rich, powerful and corrupt. Funny that, eh?Dave 2005-08-28 2:54 am John NilssonEhm, it’s called trademark right, copyright is an _entierly_ diffrent thing, an don’t you let any IP babbling marketing people tell you otherwise. 2005-08-28 9:25 pm morgothYou are of course, correct. I made the post in a hurry (was doing a whole heap of things around the house at the same time), so I wasn’t really concentrating 100%. Copyright and trademark are two different things. My previous post was a brainfart 😉Dave 2005-08-27 11:15 pm Why don’t free software pundits have the same attitude about books and music? For example, if you buy a book (esp a technical one), shouldn’t you be able to add to/rewrite it and then distribute your changes? I mean, where’s the freedom?Same with music – shouldn’t artists provide samples for individual instruments so that you could change, remix, add to, whatever and then redistribute the changes?Why is software singled out here? Hell, as long as we feel we have the God-given right to do whatever we want with stuff that was never ours to begin with, why can’t we have it all? 2005-08-27 11:21 pm LumberghWhy don’t free software pundits have the same attitude about books and music? For example, if you buy a book (esp a technical one), shouldn’t you be able to add to/rewrite it and then distribute your changes? I mean, where’s the freedom? The hypocrisy is so blatant, but the kool-aid drinkers have a hard time being logical. 2005-08-28 3:16 am rm6990http://creativecommons.org/Lumbergh, I used to find your comments kind of funny, now they are just getting annoying. Please get a life. 2005-08-28 8:13 am LumberghOnce you own OSNews you’ll be able to dictate what comments are posted, until then… 2005-08-27 11:32 pm WrawratWell, first of all, books and music are not software…Not that I disagree with you, but you just can’t take a rule and try to apply it on everything. 2005-08-27 11:54 pm LumberghWell, first of all, books and music are not software…Why are the bits that make up a pdf or .mp3 any different than “the other kind” of software? 2005-08-28 2:22 am archiesteelWhy are the bits that make up a pdf or .mp3 any different than “the other kind” of software?Uh, because the bits making up a PDF or a mp3 are not actually software, but data?BTW, there is something akin to the GPL for literary/artistic works. It’s called the “Creative Commons License”. 2005-08-28 8:39 am LumberghUh, because the bits making up a PDF or a mp3 are not actually software, but data? No anun he moos, because it’s not just raw data. There are instructions on how to decode that data. In any case, if the argument is that it doesn’t contain machine code then you have to bring up bytecode languages like Java and .NET. 2005-08-28 9:19 am archiesteelNo anun he moos, it’s not just raw data. There are instructions on how to decode that data.Are you arguing that the instructions to decode that data are contained within the file? So you can just execute the file and the data will be accessible?So the data is formatted in a certain way. It’s still data. If you reproduce a mp3 and illegally distribute it, the copyright violation isn’t about the formatting tags and such, it’s about the actual content, the music, the performance – i.e. the data.In any case, if the argument is that it doesn’t contain machine code then you have to bring up bytecode languages like Java and .NET.They’re still code, even if they’re not machine code. They’re programs. If you can’t distinguish between executable code and data, really I don’t know what you’re doing reading OSNews. Oh, that’s right, you’re just waiting for an article mentioning Stallman so you can give in to your obsession.Anyway, you’ve already been informed that there’s an equivalent to the GPL for artistic works, called the Creative Commons license. The very existence of this license makes your original point moot. Now let’s try to stick to the issue at hand, shall we?(Those scratching their heads and wondering why Lumbergh calls me a nun, he moos can just take a look at my profile. You’ll see that he’s an even bigger loser than he appears.) 2005-08-28 3:08 am Well, there are pdfs and mp3s available for free… For documentation there’s something called Creative Commons which I think is a sort of free-use-within-reason sort of thing. There are also mp3s and pdfs that are NOT free, just like there’s software that’s not free.I’d offer the distinction that pdfs and mp3s are ‘created works’, whereas software is generally used to create works. (I could give examples of software I’d consider ‘created works’- see http://www.scene.org) Software has a purpose to create and assist in technological endeavors, pdfs and mp3s have a purpose of existing as they’ve been created so they can be enjoyed.It’s worth noting that RMS and the GNU GPL don’t seem to prohibit you making money off your program, they just require you to give out the source code to whomever gets a copy of your program. And I’m not sure how you’d distribute source code to a novel, and mp3s could be tricky (sheet music? Lyrics? A MOD/Midi file and collection of samples?) 2005-08-28 2:11 am ma_dActually, Eric S Raymond does. Ever read “The Art of Unix Programming” or “The Cathedral and the Bazaar?”Try researching things, or actually getting to know the people you’re calling hypocrites. 2005-08-28 2:15 am ma_dAlso, I thought I’d add this. To some extent, every book for the last half century has been semi-open. Most good authors offer a “finders fee” for people who find errors in the book. Now, you won’t see a lot of people writing in features, but yes they certainly send them bug fixes.This attitude has also been popular in the scientific community. Without peer review something is not considered valid or true. OSS is simply an extention of peer review, and it’s probably one of the biggest linkesses between computer programming and science (impericism and logic).As far as music? Well, at the time `ed` was written there weren’t many good audio editing programs or audio editing hardware anyone could afford. It wasn’t really an issue, and it barely is today. But you may very well see this come into effect. It probably won’t be too long before you see musicians attempt to conspire across the internet! Trying to patch their recordings together from across the globe and even shipping the recordings in their base parts instead of their conglomerated whole! 2005-08-28 2:57 am John NilssonEver heard of Hip Hop? 2005-08-28 3:25 am rm6990Lol…..funniest thing I’ve read all day. I normally don’t mod up comments that are off-topic, but this post really did deserve it. Thx for that! 2005-08-28 6:36 pm ma_dYes, I consider it to be an abomination. 2005-08-28 12:22 am > he is legally required … to enforce the trademark otherwise he forfeits rights to itThis is true. But he could enforce the trademark by charging nominal fees. $5000 per year is nothing for the likes of Red Hat; but it could put many small distributions or resellers out of business – particularly if they are already running at a loss because they are motivated by idealism instead of cash.What the smaller and non-commercial distributions will have to do is choose a new name for their kernel – just as CentOS cannot use the name Red Hat, we might find that Knoppix, Debian, CentOS, DamnSmall, Gentoo and so on, will not pay for the right to call their kernel Linux, and will have to settle for a different name.Maybe GNU/EL (environment libre); or, if GNU/Hurd will relinquish that name, so that “GNU” is unambiguous as the name of an OS kernel, we could call the rebadged Linux just GNU.RMS could not persuade most people to rename Linux to GNU/Linux, let alone GNU; it is pretty sad that Linus himself may force us to change the name, through a well-meaning but misguided use of trademark law. 2005-08-28 12:31 am orestesThe pricing is on a sliding scale. The $5000 a year is for companies that make over a million a year.–>http://www.linuxmark.org/fees.html 2005-08-28 3:31 am rm6990Repeat after me.ahem *cough cough* ahemYOU DO NOT NEED A LICENSE TO CALL THE LINUX KERNEL LINUX.YOU DO NOT NEED A LICENSE TO SAY YOUR PRODUCT CONTAINS LINUXYOU DO NOT NEED A LICENSE TO SAY YOUR PRODUCT IS BASED ON LINUXYOU DO NEED A LICENSE TO USE THE WORD LINUX IN YOUR PRODUCT NAME.Is this really so hard to understand people?Linspire is legally sound right now. They do not use Linux in their product name or company name. Novell needs a license since they use Linux in their product name (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server).Now please get this through your skull before commenting again. 2005-08-28 4:26 am The idea of charging for the trade mark in a name is kinda silly when they say its due to quality control.1) Sometimes poor college kids that got together can make a better distro than a big company2) If they say… “BLAB OS – a Linux(TM) distrubution” and “BLAB LINUX OS” doesn’t it really make no difference?ohwell i think ill stop carring about this issue now 2005-08-28 4:51 am rm6990Yeah, and those poor college kids can contact LMI and negotiate the fees. For a group such as this, LMI would most likely waive the license fees period. For a company like Red Hat or Novell, they wouldn’t be so leniant. 2005-08-28 4:53 am rm6990Also, to comment again, that group of college kids could simply *gasp* not use Linux in the product name. They could name it collegix and they wouldn’t have to pay the fees. What a concept eh? 2005-08-28 4:54 am DigitalAxisOr they could just not try to trademark the name, if they’re poor. It’d save them even more money 2005-08-28 5:33 am archiesteelActually, even if they don’t register a trademark but use in as part of a product or comapny name (name only, not tagline or description) they would still have to get a license if they distribute their product. 2005-08-28 12:54 am eKstremeWill we see distros with about pages like this one?Welcome to Distro. Distro is an operating system based on a kernel we cannot even tell you the name of. It’s stable and great, because it’s based on that thing we cannot name.My point is, what are the ‘rules’ for using the trademark? Will anyone be able to use it but stick TM at the end? Will only those that pay be allowed to use it? How much?Until these questions are answered clearly, I will withold judgement about the impact of this trademark. 2005-08-28 12:58 am oresteshttp://www.linuxmark.org/who_needs.htmlandhttp://www.linuxmark.org/attribution.html 2005-08-28 2:28 am archiesteelYou only need to buy a trademark license (which will cost between nothing and 5000$, depending on the type of company involved) if Linux appears in the name of your product or company. So, for something likeRed Hat Linuxyou would need to purchase a license, while forUbuntuA Linux(tm) Distributionyou would not need to purchase a license (though you would have to print “Linux is a trademark of Linux Torvalds” in small characters at the bottom).I hope this clarifies it for you. Too many people have been repeating FUD about this, it almost seems like…nah, I won’t say it or japail will bring me back to order, and I’m having too much fun seeing him run circles around Lumbergh… 2005-08-28 2:39 am >Ubuntu (A Linux(tm) Distribution)>>would not need to purchase a licenseAre you sure about that. I read the “who needs” page from linuxmark.org.“Trademarks: use requiring a license: if you plan to market a Linux – based product … using a trademark that includes the element ‘Linux,’ … you are required to apply for and obtain a low-cost sublicense from LMI.”It sounds to me like Torvalds is adding an addendum to the GPL via trademark. If you rely upon GPL to use Linux, and provide attribution (such as “a linux-based OS”), he expects you to license your reference/use of the name.To look at it another way, the section “Examples of Fair Use” does not list distrubtions as examples of fair use. Only journalists and t-shirts.Mark 2005-08-28 3:10 am archiesteelAre you sure about that. I read the “who needs” page from linuxmark.org.Yes I’m sure. Let’s read the extract you supplied (though you really shouldn’t edit legalese if you want to understand what it means): “Trademarks: use requiring a license: if you plan to market a Linux – based product … using a trademark that includes the element ‘Linux,’ … you are required to apply for and obtain a low-cost sublicense from LMI.”Now let’s look at the second example I supplied: “Ubuntu (A Linux(tm) Distribution)”. Now, the only word that Canonical could (and did) trademark in this sentence is “Ubuntu”. In other words. the actual name of the product is Ubuntu. So, it does not fit in the context of the “who needs” excerpt above (i.e. the product is not using a trademark that includes the element ‘Linux’).The case of “Red Hat Linux” is different. The trademarked name of the product contains the Linux word, and therefore a license must be bought. 2005-08-28 4:38 am > “Ubuntu (A Linux(tm) Distribution)”. The only word that Canonical could (and did) trademark in this sentence is “Ubuntu”.That’s not what the “linuxmark” page says. It says linux-based systems must license their use of the name “linux.” The examples (on that same page) for when you don’t have to license have nothing even remotely similar to your example.>The case of “Red Hat Linux” is different.I agree. The word “Linux” is part of their name. That’s different than distros claiming to be “Linux based.” The linux mark page refers to “linux based” systems only in the section requiring licenses. As I said above, the section for not requiring licenses has nothing to do at all with distros.I still wonder why the Tux/Penguin creater isn’t preoccupied with misuse as Torvalds appears to be. Or, why creators/contributors to other Open Source products seem to not care.Something smells fishy to me about it. Mainly because nobody can say whether he’s required by law to do this (when nobody else seems to be), or is averting misuse (when nobody else seems to worry about it).Mark 2005-08-28 5:29 am archiesteel> “Ubuntu (A Linux(tm) Distribution)”. The only word that Canonical could (and did) trademark in this sentence is “Ubuntu”. That’s not what the “linuxmark” page says. It says linux-based systems must license their use of the name “linux.” The examples (on that same page) for when you don’t have to license have nothing even remotely similar to your example.It does matter if my examples are dissimilar to what they wrote. Both the LMI and I are correct. This is what the page says (emphasis mine):“On the other hand, if you plan to market a Linux – based product or service to the public using a trademark that includes the element “Linux,” such as “Super Dooper Linux” or “Real Time Linux Consultants” you are required to apply for and obtain a low-cost sublicense from LMI. This is true whether or not you apply to register your trademark with a government.”Canonical’s name (trademarked, I assume) for its Linux distribution is “Ubuntu”, not “Ubuntu Linux”. That said, there’s no law against writing a sentence like “Ubuntu – a Linux(tm) distribution” – as long as Canonical doesn’t try to trademark the whole sentence (at which point they would have to pay a fee).It’s not about what your write, it’s what you want to trademark. There’s nothing preventing me from putting out a product called “FooBar” and write on the box that it is “The essential system tool for Windows XP(tm)” with the appropriate trademark small print on the packaging somewhere. I can’t, however call my product “FooBar for Windows” without paying some kind of fee to Microsoft (unless FooBar happens to be some kind of blue cleaning fluid).This is really quite simple. 2005-08-28 10:05 pm >That said, there’s no law against writing a sentence like “Ubuntu – a Linux(tm) distribution” –It would be nice if the linuxmark page provided such an example in their section “examples of fair use.” There’s *no* example of a distribution’s non-licenseable use in that section.>It’s not about what your write, it’s what you want to trademark.That’s not true (in the U.S. at least). I can infringe another person’s trademark without trying to trademark a variation of the name. From Bitlaw:“In a nutshell, a plaintiff in a trademark case has the burden of proving that the defendant’s use of a mark has created a likelihood-of-confusion about the origin of the defendant’s goods or services. … The confusion created can be that the defendant’s products are the same as that of the plaintiff, or that the defendant is somehow associated, affiliated, connected, approved, authorized or sponsored by plaintiff.”Claiming to be “A Linux(tm) based OS” (parenthetically near the distro name) could satisfy the “confusion” criteria. The whole point of Torvald’s trademark effort is to prevent such confusion. If he were a commercial entity (like an automobile manufacturer) I suspect he’d claim that such a use leads to confusion. Just as a custom car company might use “A Chevrolet(tm) based customizer” would probably be in hot water with General Motors.I don’t know where the precise lines are. But, it would be nice if the “when you do, and do not” examples were more explanatory.I still wonder why the Tux/Penguin creator isn’t losing sleep over this, but Torvalds is. It sounds fishy to me. The entire point of Open Source is that someone can take something like “net::ftp,” change it and do whatever they want with it. As far as I can tell, there’s just one participant acting out of character in this regard.Mark 2005-08-28 10:45 pm archiesteelThat’s not true (in the U.S. at least). I can infringe another person’s trademark without trying to trademark a variation of the name.Well, that’s true in the sense that if you name a product with a trademarked name in it, you don’t need to trademark it to be infringing. The key concept here, however, is that we’re talking about the name of the product, not its description or marketing tagline.Claiming to be “A Linux(tm) based OS” (parenthetically near the distro name) could satisfy the “confusion” criteria.I disagree. There is no confusion because the “Linux” has the correct trademark attribution, also it is not the actual name of the product but rather a descriptive tagline. I still wonder why the Tux/Penguin creator isn’t losing sleep over this, but Torvalds is.Because there hasn’t been a precedent where the Tux logo was abused, whereas there is a precedent where Linux was misused because the trademark hadn’t been protected. Linus had to go to court to prevent a third party (who had not created Linux nor come up with the name) from extorting huge amounts of money from everyone using the name linux.The entire point of Open Source is that someone can take something like “net::ftp,” change it and do whatever they want with it. As far as I can tell, there’s just one participant acting out of character in this regard.Well, you said it yourself: Open Source. A trademark isn’t source code. You can still take the Linux kernel and fork it if you want.I agree it’s out of character for Linus to do this, because I’m sure he has better things to do. However, as history has shown us already, if he doesn’t protect the Linux trademark someone else will abuse it. 2005-08-28 2:56 am eKstremeQuote from http://www.linuxmark.org/who_needs.htmlTrademarks: Use Requiring A Sublicense.On the other hand, if you plan to market a Linux – based product or service to the public using a trademark that includes the element “Linux,” such as “Super Dooper Linux” or “Real Time Linux Consultants” you are required to apply for and obtain a low-cost sublicense from LMI. This is true whether or not you apply to register your trademark with a government.This sounds like all distribition will need to buy a licence.According to http://www.linuxmark.org/fees.html , there is the “Grandfather” clause, which is the only one that’s priced at $0. What does it apply to? It doesn’t actually explain it?Further, for non-profit, the licence is $200.Sorry to be pushy, but I want to make sure I understand this completely before I make judgement… 2005-08-28 3:33 am archiesteelQuote from http://www.linuxmark.org/who_needs.html Trademarks: Use Requiring A Sublicense. On the other hand, if you plan to market a Linux – based product or service to the public using a trademark that includes the element “Linux,” such as “Super Dooper Linux” or “Real Time Linux Consultants” you are required to apply for and obtain a low-cost sublicense from LMI. This is true whether or not you apply to register your trademark with a government. This sounds like all distribition will need to buy a licence.That’s incorrect. A distribution such as “Ubuntu” would not need a license, because its name doesn’t include linux.According to http://www.linuxmark.org/fees.html , there is the “Grandfather” clause, which is the only one that’s priced at $0. What does it apply to? It doesn’t actually explain it?Well, it would apply to Red Hat Linux, because the name has existed since the date set forth in the grandfather clause.Further, for non-profit, the licence is $200.Non-profit projects can write the LMI if they want a lower fee. I guess for hobby projects the cost will be even lower (i.e. $0), if the use of the trademark is deemed acceptable of course.Sorry to be pushy, but I want to make sure I understand this completely before I make judgement…No problem, although it been extensively discussed already in the comments to previous articles on the subject. 2005-08-28 3:44 am To me it looks like the issue with trademarking and paying only comes up if you try to trademark the name of your Linux distribution anyway.So, if I wanted to distribute my own customized distro of Linux called “Peter’s Linux” (why, I don’t know, since my name isn’t Peter), but didn’t bother to trademark it (and thus try to lay claim to the name) I wouldn’t need to bother paying Linux Mark money to formalize that they indeed own the ‘Linux’ name.That is, if I understand it correctly. I’m not a lawyer. 2005-08-28 11:40 am eKstreme[/i]According to http://www.linuxmark.org/fees.html , there is the “Grandfather” clause, which is the only one that’s priced at $0. What does it apply to? It doesn’t actually explain it?Well, it would apply to Red Hat Linux, because the name has existed since the date set forth in the grandfather clause.[/i]Well then the trademark is not that strong. Because already, we have the word Linux referring to a whole operating system distro (Red Hat et al), but now it is supposed to refer to just the kernel. As I understand it, a trademark needs to be very specific about what it describes. It will get confusing if Red Hat Linux refers to the OS but Ubuntu is only “Linux based”.Further, for non-profit, the licence is $200.Non-profit projects can write the LMI if they want a lower fee. I guess for hobby projects the cost will be even lower (i.e. $0), if the use of the trademark is deemed acceptable of course.I wouldn’t make that claim until we have specific proof that this is their policy. 2005-08-28 8:35 pm archiesteelWell then the trademark is not that strong. Because already, we have the word Linux referring to a whole operating system distro (Red Hat et al), but now it is supposed to refer to just the kernel. As I understand it, a trademark needs to be very specific about what it describes.No, you’ve got it all wrong. The word “Linux”, trademarked by Linus, refers to the kernel, but if a company wants to release an OS with the word “Linux” in its name, it’s perfectly legal as long as they buy a license or they had already registered the name prior to the date set forth in the grandfather clause.It will get confusing if Red Hat Linux refers to the OS but Ubuntu is only “Linux based”.Confusing how? They’re both Linux distributions, but one has the word “Linux” in its registered name, while the other one doesn’t.I wouldn’t make that claim until we have specific proof that this is their policy.Which is why I said “I guess”. If you have a hobby project with the word “Linux” in its name (not the tagline or the description), you’re free to contact the LMI to see if you can arrange for them to waive the fee. Understand, though, that it will still cost them money to do the legal paperwork granting you the license.It’s really quite simple…I don’t want to suggest that you’re not in good faith, but why do you expect the worst when all of this is perfectly sensible with regards to Trademark law. 2005-08-28 10:13 pm >Understand, though, that it will still cost them money to do the legal paperwork granting you the license.That’s only because they choose to be rather (IMO) “anal” about the name. Unlike the Tux/Penguin creator, etc.I really don’t buy the reasoning that Torvalds must maintain control or someone will create cigarette lighers with the Linux logo that blow up in your face. The examples of when you don’t need a license extend to the cigarette lighter use. Also, someone could create X/11 that formats your hard drive. Or, an obscene Tux image.Why is nobody else so frantic as Torvalds seems to be?Mark 2005-08-28 10:54 pm archiesteelThat’s only because they choose to be rather (IMO) “anal” about the name. Unlike the Tux/Penguin creator, etc.That’s because a logo isn’t the same thing as a name. It’s not used the same way, and not target to abuse in the same manner. Also, the Tux logo is “less valuable” for a would-be abuser than the name “Linux”.I really don’t buy the reasoning that Torvalds must maintain control or someone will create cigarette lighers with the Linux logo that blow up in your face.AFAIK that argument hasn’t been made. Even if it was, it’d be wrong because it’s not Linus that holds the trademark to the Linux logo.Why is nobody else so frantic as Torvalds seems to be?You are aware that the name Linux was already abused in the past, right? Linus doesn’t do this because he wants to, be because he has to.“In 1996, Linux vendors (including us) started receiving letters from an attorney representing Mr. William Della Croce, Jr. requesting royalties for our use of his trademark.”http://www2.linuxjournal.com/article/2425Now, unless this issue specifically affects you, can we finally put this issue to rest? 2005-08-29 12:33 am >> someone will create cigarette lighers with the Linux logo that blow up in your face.>>AFAIK that argument hasn’t been made.Sorry. I have based some of my examples upon reasons given in this forum for why Torvalds is aggressivley enforcing the trademark. The example I referred to was made in this thread.It’s difficult to discuss the matter when there are so many claims about why he’s doing it.>You are aware that the name Linux was already abused in the past… In 1996, Linux vendors (including us) started receiving letters from an attorney…”Let’s say that this is the reason. It sounds like he’s enforcing the trademark because the law (in the U.S. at least) says you lose your trademark if you fail to enforce it. But, copyright is the same way. It’s the GPL that defines the parameters by which users may use the work without receiving explicit permission. The copyright holder is only required to enforce the copyright against the exceptions which violate the license. Not everyone who’s operating within the license.Why can’t the trademark be treated similarly?>Now, unless this issue specifically affects you, can we finally put this issue to rest?Sorry if I’m being a pest.Mark 2005-08-29 3:00 am archiesteelLet’s say that this is the reason. It sounds like he’s enforcing the trademark because the law (in the U.S. at least) says you lose your trademark if you fail to enforce it. But, copyright is the same way.Actually, it isn’t. Failure to enforce a copyright doesn’t mean you are forfeiting that copyright. Even though they’re both part of IP law, trademarks and copyrights are treated quite differently in this respect.Why can’t the trademark be treated similarly?Because the laws governing trademarks and those governing copyrights are different. If you fail to enforce your trademark, you can lose it. If you fail to enforce copyrights, you still get to keep them. 2005-08-29 5:34 am >>copyright is the same way.>>Actually, it isn’t. Failure to enforce a copyright doesn’t mean you are forfeiting that copyright.Has the law changed? It definitely was true a decade ago that failure to enforce one’s copyright within 2 years of *reasonably* being expected to be aware of an infringement resulted in the unenforceability of the copyright. As I recall, the reasoning behind this was to protect innocent infringers who may find a market for a copyrighted work (which the author has let fall into disuse), only to have the market taken after the infringer has done all the hard work.I’ll have to check into it. But, if this is still the case, then it means that the GPL modifies copyright such that anyone can use the copyrighted product without license (or fear that the copyright owner let her right fall into disuse). Only exceptional violations would require assertion of the right. If that’s true, I’d wonder why trademark can’t be handled by the same broad license.Mark 2005-08-29 5:51 am >Failure to enforce a copyright doesn’t mean you are forfeiting that copyright.I did a quick search after replying to you. See Section 507 of Title 17 (Limitations on actins.). It seems there is a 3-year limit to bring action against an infringement. About a decade ago I read a book which said it was 2 years.http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.htmlSo, I’m not clear why Torvalds is persuing his trademark claim so stridently. Under copyright nobody seems to be suffering from a *broad* interpretation of fair use. They don’t seem to feel the need to license every single use (because the GPL defines the terms of broad licensing). I’m not sure why, just in this one case, Torvalds is required to license the use of “Linux” when it comes to anything other than he describes as fair use (which doesn’t seem to extend to distributions of the OS, according to the linuxmark page).Mark 2005-08-29 12:39 pm archiesteelI did a quick search after replying to you. See Section 507 of Title 17 (Limitations on actins.). It seems there is a 3-year limit to bring action against an infringement. About a decade ago I read a book which said it was 2 years.Yes, there is a limit on how long you can wait before taking action against a specific case of copyright infringement. However, failure to do so does not mean you lose the copyright – it simply means you cannot sue for that specific infringement case anymore.Failure to protect a trademark can mean that you acutally lose the trademark. As I mentioned above, trademark law and copyright law are different in that regard.Under copyright nobody seems to be suffering from a *broad* interpretation of fair use. They don’t seem to feel the need to license every single use (because the GPL defines the terms of broad licensing).Actually, they do. When you receive a GPLed program it is always included with the program, and as such it defines what you can do with it (i.e. how you can redistribute it and so on). There is another important difference: if you create a literary/artistic/software piece of work, you automatically have a copyright over it. You do not need to register it (although you should put a copyright notice on it, but even that’s not required IIRC). A trademark is quite different: if you don’t register it, you don’t have it – as Linus learned the hard way.Your confusion stems from the fact that you seem to believe that trademark and copyright laws are similar, when in fact they are quite different. 2005-08-29 9:04 pm >Yes, there is a limit on how long you can wait before taking action against a specific case of copyright infringement. However, failure to do so does not mean you lose the copyright – it simply means you cannot sue for that specific infringement case anymore.I don’t see the difference. If I end up owning your copyrighted material because you fail to enforce your copyright (after having a reasonable expectation of knowing it is being infringed) I can do anything I want to with it. If someone wants your creation all they have to do is ask me for it. I could start releasing it as public domain. My copy is mine, not yours.>Failure to protect a trademark can mean that you acutally lose the trademark. As I mentioned above, trademark law and copyright law are different in that regard.We’re saying the same thing. What I’m saying is: why can’t a GPL-like license be extended to the trademark permitting a “license” for use, itemizing the various expectations for its use under this broad grant. This way, instead of requiring everyone using it for purposes he supposedly doesn’t have any problem with (all the people required to register via linuxmark), he’d only require the more formal registration process for those who fall outside the parameters of the broad GPL-like license.He’s sort of doing this already with the linuxmark page which gives examples of who must and must not apply for approval of the license. Novelty makers are granted a pass on the use of the name “Linux.” Everyone else is not. What I’m saying is, why couldn’t this be formalized and the pass broadened so that only those who would be denied a license are required to apply?I didn’t intend to belabor the point. You can have the last word. Mark 2005-08-29 11:00 pm archiesteelI don’t see the difference. If I end up owning your copyrighted material because you fail to enforce your copyright (after having a reasonable expectation of knowing it is being infringed) I can do anything I want to with it.That’s not exactly how it works. Let’s say you commit a copyright infringement, i.e. you redistribute a copy of my hit song “Baby Baby”. I have a certain amount of time to sue you for copyright infringement (for the sake of argument, let’s say 3 years). After three years and one day, I can no longer sue you for that particular infringement that took place three years and one day ago. However, I still own the rights to the song. If you happened to also redistribute it a week ago, I can sue you for that particular infringement, or any preceding infringement that took place less than 3 years ago, or any subsequent infringement. I did not forfeit my copyright on the song because I did not enforce my copyright on the original infringement – I can very well sue you for other infringements (i.e. unauthorized redistributions) that took place after that one.If someone wants your creation all they have to do is ask me for it. I could start releasing it as public domain. My copy is mine, not yours.Nope. I still own the copyrights. If you were to distribute it again you could be sued for that “new” infringement, even though you’re safe regarding the one that took place three years and one day ago.Think about it: if it worked like the way you described, then all the songs copied more than three years ago by someone who hasn’t been sued by the RIAA would fall into the public domain. I can guarantee you 100% that this is definitely not the case. In other words, failure to enforce a copyright does not mean that you can lose that copyright. Your interpretation of copyright law as you described it is incorrect.We’re saying the same thing. What I’m saying is: why can’t a GPL-like license be extended to the trademark permitting a “license” for use, itemizing the various expectations for its use under this broad grant. This way, instead of requiring everyone using it for purposes he supposedly doesn’t have any problem with (all the people required to register via linuxmark), he’d only require the more formal registration process for those who fall outside the parameters of the broad GPL-like license.The problem is that you can’t do this with trademarks. The GPL is based on copyright law, not trademark law, and the two laws are different enough that a GPL-like solution is unfeasible. Either you trademark your product/company name or you don’t – and if you don’t, someone may very well trademark it in your place. This is what happened before with Della Croce, and that’s why Linus registered the Linux trademark (in order to protect distro makers and others from would-be extortionists).The difference is based on the fact that a trademark must be registered in order to be valid, while a copyright doesn’t. This post, for example, is my property (as indicated in the small print at the bottom of the page). I don’t need to register it with the copyright office, copyright attribution is automatic, and even if someone infringes and I choose not to sue (or am not aware of the infringement), I’ll still retain the copyright on it until it expires (which I think is now 95 years).He’s sort of doing this already with the linuxmark page which gives examples of who must and must not apply for approval of the license. Novelty makers are granted a pass on the use of the name “Linux.” Everyone else is not. What I’m saying is, why couldn’t this be formalized and the pass broadened so that only those who would be denied a license are required to apply?That would require rewriting the trademark laws and expanding fair use of the term. Of course this would never happen – basically every company out there would be opposed to it.Believe me, if there was another way Linus and LMI would have taken it, seeing as LMI is actually losing money due to the required paperwork. 2005-08-28 3:40 am rm6990Yes, it sure does cover all distros. Because, you know, Knoppix, Xandros, Ubuntu, Linspire and Lycoris all contain the word Linux. Please try to comprehend the words you’ve read before speaking 2005-08-28 1:03 am Orestes, thanks for that link. I expect most non-profits will find the $200.It’s still a bit tough on the hacker who creates a new distribution in his bedroom. 2005-08-28 1:07 am >I expect most non-profits will find the $200.Why is the penguin logo not subject to the same edificial treatment of trademark? The guy who created it should have the same concerns that it might be misused. He doesn’t seem to care — just as authors of Open Source software don’t seem to care if their contributions are misused.I’m still not convinced by the explanations why Torvalds “has to” do this. Or, that it’s not hurting anyone. Or, that anyone can afford a paltry $200.Mark 2005-08-28 2:19 am ma_dLinus doesn’t, TMK, own the Tux logo.It’s been said, time and again, if he doesn’t keep active control of the trademark in Australia he is no longer considered the owner. It’s also been said, time and again, that the trademark institute is non-profit and often in the red. It’s also common knowledge that lawyers are ridiculously expensive; especially competent ones.You can’t hack the law. 2005-08-28 2:29 am archiesteelIndeed, Linus doesn’t own the Tux logo. 2005-08-28 2:43 am >It’s been said, time and again, if he doesn’t keep active control of the trademark in Australia he is no longer considered the owner.Why does it matter to him, but not the Tux/Penguin creater?>the trademark institute is non-profit and often in the red.Isn’t that all the more reason to abandon this edificial trademark enforcement? Someone could misuse the penguin. The owner doesn’t care. Someone could misuse any of the OSS software in distributions. The authors/contributers didn’t care. Why should anyone care if the name “Linux” is misued? So much that they’d operate at a loss doing so?Mark 2005-08-28 3:02 am John NilssonBecause Linux is a very strong Brand, while we here know all about GNU and GNOME and RHEL and what have you.Out ther in the worl Linux is the only thing that comes through. Right now it’s the only “mark” that has any meaning…But even the penguin should have some protection… 2005-08-28 1:04 am A bedroom-based distributor need not call his distribution “SOMETHING OR OTHER LINUX”. 🙂 2005-08-28 1:07 am I tried to install Linux once, and it crashed. 2005-08-28 2:54 am apparently they gotta make money somehow.but linus will be a very rich guy soon and will probably retire.. i sure would. life is too short 2005-08-28 4:56 am rm6990Lol, what a moron you are. Read the last articles on this subject. Specifically, the reply from Linus where he states that he doesn’t get a single, red penny from LMI for the license fees. Also, read the end of that reply where he states that LMI has always lost money on administering the trademark. Yep, losing $300,000 is sure a way to make a lot of money and retire early. And Linus, the master schemer of them all, has the most genious plan ever. Sublicense the mark to LMI for no fee whatsoever and then retire early.God, this site is infested with trolls lately. 2005-08-28 3:28 am Stallman thinks the issue of naming the product is not so clear cut. “Most of the time, when people call something ‘Linux’, it’s the GNU system with Linux as the kernel. Maybe this policy will encourage people to call it GNU,” Stallman told the Sydney Morning Herald. “I prefer to say GNU/Linux’ so as to give the kernel’s developer a share of the credit.”Yup, I agree with him if it was not for GNU system the Linux kernel would of been nothing. 2005-08-28 3:47 am lets call start calling the linux kernel HURD and how about red hat GNU/HURD. 2005-08-28 4:00 am Smartpatrol“Free software means you’re free to run it, study it, change it, redistribute it, and distribute modified versions — the way cooks do with recipes. What names you’re allowed to call a program is a side issue.”No…No…No Linus is free to do what he wants with his creation at the least get recognition for his efforts. What its called is extremely important otherwise some one could call Minix Linux….imagine the confusion. RMS is a relic and should be shelved like canned beets. 2005-08-28 11:18 am “RMS is a relic and should be shelved like canned beets.”Now there is a thought I can fully agree with. 2005-08-28 6:40 am The Linux trademark is just a extension of the GPL.The distros can use the name as they please.Just not the buisinesses who don’t give a shit about culture,roots and most important quality and high standards.Linux is getting popular and this attracts a lot of sharks who smell the money they think to make on the merits of other peoples work.So what’s in a name? A good name is to be protected right in the essence of the GPL that’s all. 2005-08-28 6:58 am hey you young men who bash Stallman , you’d better shut up instead of talking about things you don’t know. Else you will look like a fool or a troll.It’s quite sad the way today slashdot and osnews are populated by these sort of person. 2005-08-28 7:21 am Does thisalso 2005-08-28 7:23 am Why does GNU has its own trademark?http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=64udvh.3.10 2005-08-28 7:52 am Quote: “Yeah… but… Anarchy doesn’t not give any protection. Everybody has the right to do everything INCLUDING oppressing all the weaker ones.GPL can be compared with democracy. It’s not completely free, but you can do anything you want as long as you don’t use that freedom to limit the freedoms of others.dylansmrjoneskristian AT herkild DOT dk”Not true. GPL like licenses can perfectly fit in an anarchist model of society. In many anarchist organisations there are rules. Not every anarchist is a punk who only wants chaos. And not all punks want chaos…Democracy can fit in an anarchist model perfectly as well. Actually anarchist organisations are the most democratic I know.Anarchy is often misused to mean chaos. But the very well known anarchist symbol, an O around an A, means “anarchism is order”.Democracy is often misused to mean the current state of society in the EU, the USA, etc. But I would call that false democracy where people get the impression that they make any difference but actually it’s mostly the rich capitalists who get their will.“When injustice becomes law, resistance is duty.”I end saying the GPL restriction of freedom (no freedom to take the freedom of others away) perfectly fits in an anarchist model.It would be an illusion to think otherwhise. 2005-08-28 10:42 am The trademark is just a GPL extension.It doesn’t affect freedom in whatever way.What if some lunatic manufacturer makes Linux lighters which explode right in your face.This would would still drag everything called Linux in it’s drag by the majority of people associating the lighter with the OS.My take is the trademark is just an extention of the GPL in order the good name of Linux.What’s wrong with that? 2005-08-28 10:44 am +to protect 2005-08-28 1:03 pm For $DEITY’s sake, can someone get this hippie to SHUT UP? Every single time a topic arises concerning Linux, we have to listen to him spout his “free software is the real issue” mantra…. AGAIN.Man! It is 2005. Get a haircut, trim your beard, stop wearing corduroy, and join the rest of us that live in the present.You did a good job. We all know it by now, you’ve told us *repeatedly*. Stop whining. And please, please, do not sing that crappy song. [ http://www.gnu.org/music/free-software-song.html ] 2005-08-28 4:11 pm DigitalAxisOk, so I still think Stallman’s right about the GNU/Linux thing inasmuch as:You can run Linux without GNUYou can run GNU without LinuxLinux alone isn’t very usefulIf Linux with GNU tools behaves differently from Linux with, say, BSD tools, then the distinction would be a very good idea (especially if BSD/Linux took off)But I also think that he’s being needlessly bent out of shape about the whole deal- he’s right, a lot of the critical system IS GNU- but everyone decently in the know KNOWS Linux as a general rule uses GNU software. He definitely gets more exposure as a result.RMS does seem to be dangerous and annoying, especially in his disregard for Linux (evidenced here- trying to call it just GNU?), his attempts to foist his name all over it even though Linux was the component that made it all possible, and an apparent willingness to shoot himself in the foot and destroy the Linux name and harm the free software, just because it’s not giving him enough credit. (note my anonymous comment about things harming the community, on the first page)I hope the HURD is never finished, we might suddenly find the new versions of GNU tools won’t work on anything other than the HURD. 2005-08-28 4:49 pm hobgoblin“I hope the HURD is never finished, we might suddenly find the new versions of GNU tools won’t work on anything other than the HURD.”if so happens there is allways the bsd set…still, do that and people could only run away with the code and fix the compatiblity 2005-08-28 5:13 pm actually in germany it would most likely be possible if you sign a contract saying so 2005-08-28 5:49 pm rm6990I think OSNews is the only site I’ve read where a troll comment can sidetrack the whole conversation onto an entirely different issue. Does everyone here have ADD or something?The article is discussing the Linux trademark, not the GNU/Linux controversy. 2005-08-28 6:32 pm John NilssonMabey a feature to mod whole threads… would be great to hide offtopic threads.