OSI enforcement? (Was Re: Microsoft use of the term "Open Source")

Philippe Verdy verdy_p at wanadoo.fr
Tue Jan 8 01:39:14 UTC 2008

> De : Matthew Flaschen [mailto:matthew.flaschen at gatech.edu]
> Can you give an example of such a group with active monitoring?

Look for trademark protection organisms, most of them lead by private groups
of lawyers. They offer service to lots of companies worldwide to help them
protect their trademarks or legal usage of trademarks. They also help them
defend their position or create lobbies to fight against (or for) the
adoption of some laws in various countries. And they have lot of money to do
that. I won't cite any of them because I won't give them free advertising.
But they are very easy to find in many places on the Internet speaking about
trademark protection, patents, and so on (follow the ads on these websites).

Also try registering any domain name, you'll soon get commercial offers to
protect it against counter registrations in other well known registries. 

These are the same kind of companies and groups of lawyers providing
professional surveys of trademark use, for smaller companies that can't be
present in every part of the world. Additionally they will collect
information about changes in legislations.

This is generally viewed as "commercial spying" and perfectly legal (and
sometimes this is encouraged by national authorities that have established
national agencies to help protect their national economical interests: I'll
start by USA whose agencies are extremely active in this domain, but this
happens also with lots of other countries, with various regimes; sometimes
those agencies are hidden behind a national news agency: China, North Korea,
Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Lybia, and even now again in Russia. When there are
independent news agencies, it is also well known that they also include
staff doubly-employed, secretly, by national authorities to monitor and
sometime filter out some informations...

If you are not convinced, look at how information is maintained secret very
long to the public for very important international events such as the
consequences of Tchernobyl explosion, the initial spread of VIH with blood
transfusions, or the huge volume of false information that has bombarded the
public and international organisms after September 11th. As soon as a news
agency is important enough to have some influence on the public, the
governments are trying to infiltrate them. It's really hard to be completely
neutral, and only the diversification of independent sources is a viable
defence (but it requires lots of money to maintain these sources).

May be you think you are living in a world of "Bisounours" (Kissybears?)
where such thing never happens.

More information about the License-discuss mailing list