protecting trademarks and branding

Bruce Perens bruce at
Tue Jun 1 18:16:19 UTC 1999

From: "Forrest J. Cavalier III" <mibsoft at>
> One or two of the open source business models described
> by Mr. Hecker at Netscape rely on trademarks and branding.
> I did not find an existing open source license which best
> supported this model, even though the model is mentioned at

This is because the trademark license should be _separate_ from the software

> I have written an easily read/understood license which restricts only the
> naming of distributions.

Could you try to make this trademark license work as a _separate_document_
in parallel with one of the existing software licenses? You could use the X
license on your software and attach the trademark license to the end of that.
That seems to fit your intent, and would get you out of the
license-proliferation problem.

>  4. The electronic and printed documentation external to the source
> code shall not be distributed.

It's best to just put a separate license on the documentation, then, rather
than make this provision part of an Open Source license, becuase it would
probably get certified this way. You aren't trying to prevent someone else
from writing free documentation for your product, are you?


	Bruce Perens

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