Re: [DRAFT 3]: Charter for the Open Source Committee

From: "Ean R (dot) Schuessler" <ean(at)novare(dot)net>
To: Russell Nelson <nelson(at)crynwr(dot)com>
Cc: spi-general(at)lists(dot)spi-inc(dot)org
Subject: Re: [DRAFT 3]: Charter for the Open Source Committee
Date: 1999-11-09 08:12:02
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On Mon, Nov 08, 1999 at 08:54:56PM -0500, Russell Nelson wrote:
> Please consider that we also have had a serious board turn-over since
> then. Of that initial board to which you refer, only one (1) person
> is still a member (Ian) -- and he's the person whom you supposedly
> respect. We've added Chip, Brian, Peter, and myself, and in the
> meantime, SPI has sat on its duff and done nothing to promote Open
> Source while we've done all the work. We're the ones who figured out
> that "Open Source" isn't protectable. We're the ones who've certified
> licenses. We're the ones who have been telling people about the
> benefits of Open Source certification.

Well, I would have to get legal council involved to make any kind of
definative statement but I'm dubious of what exactly you have "figured
out". If Progressive Networks can trademark the word "Real" for
streaming audio software (which has about 4000 marks similar to it)
I frankly can't see what would stop someone from trademarking Open
Source. Especially when you consider that even "Linux" is trademarked
with its completely vauge enforcement policy. The simple fact that
companies are committing millions of dollars of intellectual property
to the Open Source brand is probably a good indicator that they would
like the term to have an enforcable and consistent meaning.

In that sense, OSI has probably single handedly struck the most
damaging blow possible to the effort of making the Open Source term a
meaningful tool for the community. As to our duff, it has been busily
fabricating a control structure geared towards a membership oriented
organization. When it hasn't been doing that, it has been hosting
projects and contructing the second largest Linux distribution in the
world. Unfortunalty, this has left us precious little time to assist
in the effort of convincing Richard Stallman that he has got it all
wrong on "license-discuss".

> At this point, SPI looks to me like the usurper of our good name and
> work. I don't see how your proposed palace coup is fair to those of
> us who are not responsible for this debacle. But as you say, what you
> see depends on where you sit. If someone were to ask me what the
> proper course of action is, given your and my attitude (not that our
> respective boards necessarily agree with us), I'd say that it should
> go to an independent arbitrator. The alternative would seem to be
> more of the same bickering and strife.

The usurper of the usurped cries "usurper!", this is superb.

Perhaps you should have asked a few questions about the precise
relationship between the non-existent OSI corporation and SPI when you
hopped on board this moving train. But I do honestly empathize with
you in this most dubious and embarrasing of situations. All of your
names are well known and there is respect for your reputations in
other matters if not in this particular one. I know that this new
effort will be an open one and all of you will need to be consulted
on how we can make it productive.

Ean Schuessler A guy running Linux
Novare International Inc. A company running Linux
--- Some or all of the above signature may be a joke


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