APL license - What about the enforced logos?

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at gatech.edu
Tue Nov 14 23:24:32 UTC 2006

Ajeet Narayan wrote:

> I understand that APL is not a valid Open Source
> license approved by the OSI. Can you please confirm that my
> understanding is valid?

That's correct, though it might be better to rephrase it as simply "APL
is not a OSI-certified license."  They are certainly not approved, and
it is debatable whether they meet the OSD; IMHO, it is unlikely that the
license will be approved.

>It is obvious that many people may decide to use ALFRESCO just because
it is presented wrongly
> as an Open Source Software.

Unfortunately, those who popularized the term Open Source failed to
protect it as a trademark; the same is true of "Free Software" (which
was also a poor choice of terminology for the FSF's ideals).  Now, there
is no way to enforce a particular meaning.  That is why "OSI Certified"
(and its associated graphics) were trademarked.  So, if someone used OSI
Certified to refer to a product that wasn't under an OSI-approved
license, OSI could pressure (and eventually sue) them.  But they really
can't do anything about an objectionable use of the phrase "open source".

Matthew Flaschen

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