APL license - What about the enforced logos?

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Nov 30 00:19:45 UTC 2006

Quoting Matthew Flaschen (matthew.flaschen at gatech.edu):

> Well, I'm definitely interested in it in general.

I'll try to make sure my article doesn't suck.  ;->  

My first section, of necessity, has to be the part that explains
Unauthorised Practice of Law statutes, accounting for why it's lawful for
me to write about generalities, about past real cases, and about
hypothetical cases such as the Suebob GNU/Linux distribution stupidly
agreeing that the Big Lizard Foundation has the power to force them to
rename the latter's Earthbadger Web browser, when it plainly lacks that
power, and when there are perfectly obvious ways to disarm claims of
trademark infringement in advance, in such cases.[1]

And I hope Scarlet Sombrero, Inc. won't take amiss the comments I have to
make about CentralOS ignominiously wimping out upon the latter's receipt
of a particularly feeble and laughable trademark demand letter.  ;->

> > OSI can point it out, and the rest of us can and will support them
> > strongly.
> I will support them as well, but ultimately public opinion is a a very
> shaky judge.

It's not the _public_ at large I spoke of, but rather the open source
community, which has significant strength, not to mention an obvious
claim of right.

> If they only understand that OSI is in charge, they will be forced to
> check the website for each license.  This isn't reasonable, or likely in
> practice.

That's exactly why there's an "OSI Certified" certification mark: 
http://www.opensource.org/docs/certification_mark.php   Please do remind
people about it!

[1] E.g. a prominent statement like this on the browser splash screen, and
in the docs:  "This program is not produced or endorsed by Big Lizard
Foundation, but rather by Suebob GNU/Linux.  Earthbadger and its
associated logo are registered trademarks of Big Lizard Foundation."
Big Lizard could then not credibly claim that its customers are likely
to be confused on brand identity, the key required element for trademark
infringement or dilution.

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