trademarked logos and GPL

Lawrence E. Rosen lrosen at
Tue Jan 23 23:25:06 UTC 2001

Dear Rodent,

I'm sorry that my comments rubbed you the wrong way.  My concern was that
the particular question I was commenting on dealt not specifically with
licenses but with trademarks, a topic about which I have already discovered
much naivete on the part of the open source community.  For example, it was
because of mistakes made early in the game that the open source community
lost all opportunity to obtain a trademark on "open source."  I wanted to
make sure that this particular questioner did not get equally bad advice
about how to protect his trademark.  And quite frankly, the few responses
I've already seen indicate that the advice he's getting is not helpful.

The license-discuss list is intended to be a forum for the discussion of
licenses.  Certainly there will not be any attempt by me to censor the
emails or to prevent anyone who wishes to to comment fully on any proposed
open source license.  But please be careful.  Those of you who are lawyers
should refrain from giving specific legal advice to non-clients over the
Internet, and those of you who are non-lawyers should refrain from advising
people specifically about their legal rights.  (Earlier this afternoon I was
privately reminded -- by someone with perhaps an excess of protectionist
tendencies -- of the California statute that provides that "Any person . . .
practicing law who is not an active member of the State Bar is guilty of a

My email was intended as a gentle reminder of what should be the
self-imposed limitations of this forum.  Please don't take it as more than
that.  Say what you wish, but please try to avoid answering specific
questions that could affect a person's (or company's) rights to their
trademarks or other intellectual property.

/Larry Rosen

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rodent of Unusual Size [mailto:Ken.Coar at Golux.Com]
> Sent: Tuesday, January 23, 2001 1:35 PM
> To: Lawrence E. Rosen
> Cc: bart at; license-discuss at; dan at
> Subject: Re: trademarked logos and GPL
> "Lawrence E. Rosen" wrote:
> >
> > I want to discourage license-discuss participants from
> answering questions
> > like this one.
> 	:
> > But non-lawyers have to avoid giving legal advice
> Sorry, but this really rubs me the wrong way.  In a word, BS.
> People should be cautious of following legal advice from
> others not skilled/conversant with the law, but DON'T try
> to put a gag instruction on non-lawyers.  I'm not the least
> bit interested in furthering the legal closed-shop
> environment, and I personally would encourage the opposite --
> anyone with an opinion should feel free to express it,
> with the usual 'IANAL' caveat.
> --
> #ken    P-)}
> Ken Coar                    <http://Golux.Com/coar/>
> Apache Software Foundation  <>
> "Apache Server for Dummies" <http://Apache-Server.Com/>
> "Apache Server Unleashed"   <http://ApacheUnleashed.Com/>

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