Re: Apple claims "Open Source" trademark

From: "Ean R (dot) Schuessler" <ean(at)novare(dot)net>
To: Tor Slettnes <tor(at)slett(dot)net>
Cc: spi-general(at)lists(dot)debian(dot)org, Russell Brady <brady2(at)apple(dot)com>, Sara Winge <sara(at)oreilly(dot)com>, Mark Jacobsen <markj(at)oreilly(dot)com>
Subject: Re: Apple claims "Open Source" trademark
Date: 1999-03-19 00:17:09
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On Wed, Mar 17, 1999 at 02:13:35PM -0800, Tor Slettnes wrote:
> Thanks for pointing this out - that is a good relief.
> The trademark is still subject of a dispute between SPI (which had it
> registered), and OSI (which claims to have obtained it from SPI).
> Eric Raymond is the president/primadonna of OSI. The one person who
> may have the most influence in dealing with this trademark legally is
> Bruce Perens, who has publicly pointed out a couple of (minor)
> problems with the ASPL.

Take care in this matter. The truth of the matter is that the Debian
Free Software Guidelines were created by the combined efforts and
discussions of Debian developers over the several years that Debian
has conducted its effort to build an "all Free Software" operating
system. Via a series of discussions and on-line editing sessions these
best practices were condensed into a single document. While Bruce was
a useful note taker and editor in these events I find his self attribution
of "principal author" a bit self serving.

A particularly illustrative situation is the IBM Jikes license. Bruce
was called in by IBM to analyze their license before it was ever presented
to the public. Bruce declared the license to be Open Source and it was
subsequently released to the public. Many people took issue with the
patent clause, the termination clause, and other key elements. After
the negative public reaction, Bruce's claim was that IBM had shown him
a version of the license without these items. This is certainly curious
considering that the objectionable material constitutes almost half
of the material in the license. If IBM did show Bruce a different license
it was almost the same one. It seems to me that if a pack of IBM lawyers
were going to call in a subject matter expert that they would not be
inclined to show him an almost completely different license from the
one they intend to release.

In no way should the opinions of a single person be taken as bona-fide
"Open Source" attribution at this time. Anyone who tells you that they
can grant such is almost certainly lying. Both Eric and Bruce have
attempted to bestow the Open Source status on various licenses that
were found wanting in the eyes of the community. The single best
barometer of Open Sourceness at this juncture would be a period of
public review and feedback from OSI and SPI that states the opinion
of their informed parties. I realize that this is, at best, a slow
and inexact process but the issues are complex and relatively new.

Ean Schuessler An oderless programmer work-a-like
Novare International Inc. Silent and motionless
*** WARNING: This signature may contain jokes.

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