[sclug] Cheap'n'nasty Tesco Linux machines

Tom Carbert-Allen tom at randominter.net
Wed Apr 9 10:51:46 UTC 2008

I meant trademark, reading US patent office made me type patent by 
mistake, my bad

I am all up for simplifying groups of licence agreements under a common 
term so I don't have to read everyone, but just "open source" is not the 
right term for a trademark, that is a description. Maybe "OSI approved 
licence" is what the rubber stamp should say.

As a side note, I do wonder why people on this LUG always jump into 
action when debating legal and licence issues but don't want to enter my 
competition about how powerful and diverse linux is? The reason I like 
the free software movement is because I DON'T have to talk about legal 
nonsense all the time, I can just get on with doing cool things with 
cheap boxen. For this reason I will now stay out of legal/licence debate 
on the list because at the end of the day it bores me and doesn't 
provide me any benefit. I want more threads about using linux for cool 


Alex Butcher wrote:
> Oh boy, where to begin...
> On Wed, 9 Apr 2008, Tom Carbert-Allen wrote:
>> My point was that 'open source' purely means something to which the
>> internal construction is available freely, not the name of a bunch of 
>> guys
>> who started a foundation. I now find myself in the very rare and
>> un-comfortable place of saying the US patent office seems to have done
>> something correctly by refusing the patent.
> In case that wasn't just a thinko, it was a *trademark* was applied 
> for, not
> a patent. The two are quite different things.
>> In my mind the terms open source/free source/public domain code etc all
>> mean pretty much the same and represent a catagrory not a method or
>> product,
> Yes; Open Source as defined by ESR et al has a pretty wide definition, 
> and
> so is a superset of FSF-defined Free Software, BSD software, Mozilla 
> Public
> License'd software, Sun Public License'd software and so on (see
> <http://www.opensource.org/licenses/alphabetical> for the complete 
> list). It
> doesn't include *everything* though; any license which seeks OSI approval
> needs to meet their defintion - <http://www.opensource.org/docs/osd>.
> Obviously, this excludes source-free Freeware (i.e. gratis software, like
> Microsoft Internet Explorer, say) is most certainly not Open Source, but
> would also exclude something that was licensed under a 
> slightly-tweaked GPL
> that specifically disallowed armaments companies from using and/or
> distributing it.
>> so to put the ownership of one of them to a group of guys, no
>> matter how good there intentions, seems incorrect. I have no objections
>> with them promoting the good name of the cause, but to claim 
>> ownership of
>> any term unless it's a new name they have come up with for software they
>> have written then it seems a little weak.
> But the problem is that without trademark protection, *anyone* can call
> their software 'open source' if they want to, regardless of whether it 
> meets
> the OSI's definition or not. By seeking trademark protection, the OSI 
> could
> have decided who was allowed to call their software 'Open Source(TM)' or
> not. Use of the trademark would probably have been licensed freely to 
> anyone
> who met the OSI's definition, or they might have been legally 
> compelled to
> require a peppercorn consideration in order for the licensing of the
> trademark to be legally valid. My views are more in line with the FSF 
> than
> the OSI, but even I don't perceive them as attempting to set up a
> profit-making 'Open Source tollbooth'.
>> TCA
> Best Regards,
> Alex.

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