Legal soundness comes to open source distribution

Rick Moen rick at
Wed Aug 14 18:45:41 UTC 2002

Quoting Lawrence E. Rosen (lrosen at

> Of course, that makes it even more important for the OSD to be precise,
> and for the OSI board to be rigorous and not arbitrary in its review of
> licenses.  That's another reason why I don't like Rick Moen's suggestion
> that OSI merely apply the "rule of reason" to its license approval
> process.  I have informed the OSI board that, under trademark law, they
> cannot be arbitrary and capricious and still retain ownership of the
> certification mark.

I was unaware of that concern, when I made the suggestion.  (In fact, I 
hadn't known it involved any sort of legal question.)  Perhaps you, or
one of OSI's other attorney friends, have some notion how much
discretion trademark caselaw suggests is permissible.

"Is it not the beauty of an asynchronous form of discussion that one can go and 
make cups of tea, floss the cat, fluff the geraniums, open the kitchen window 
and scream out it with operatic force, volume, and decorum, and then return to 
the vexed glowing letters calmer of mind and soul?" -- The Cube,
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