[sclug] Cheap'n'nasty Tesco Linux machines

David Given dg at cowlark.com
Wed Apr 9 11:33:00 UTC 2008

Simon Champion wrote:
> The point of attempting to get the trademark on "Open Source" was to prevent others from using the phrase for products that aren't actually open source (eg those that provide source code to customers, but not a license to modify or redistribute it). Fortunately, this hasn't happened to any great extent...

Counterexample: QNX Software Systems recently released the source code 
for their QNX operating system (which is deeply cool, BTW, and worth 
checking out if you're at all interested in embedded systems) under a 
look-but-don't-touch license... but in all their press releases said it 
was being open sourced.

I suspect that was more incompetence than maliciousness, though; they 
did a really lousy publicity job, and didn't, for example, tell anyone 
about the QNX live-cd, or that the top-level API is a pretty decent 
Unixoid that any Linux hacker would feel at home in, or that the system 
is entirely self-hosted and even runs Eclipse...

/me mutters darkly.

> On the other hand, the term is generic and the meaning is well established, so the trademark authority were probably correct in not granting it.

Also, 'Open Source' has an alternative meaning in the intelligence 
community, where it refers to an information source that's publicly 
available such as a newspaper or journal. (I assume as opposed to 
information sources that come on microfilm taken by miniature cameras 
wielded by suave gentlemen in tuxedos, while in the upper room of some 
Soviet Bloc embassy.)

David Given
dg at cowlark.com

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