Subject: Re: new licensing model
From: (Matthew Seth Flaschen)
Date: Mon, 19 Dec 2005 14:57:33 +0000

John Cowan said:

> In fact, trademarks *are* monopolies, though fairly harmless ones,
> because if "Phoenix" and "Firebird" turn out to be trademarked, you can
> always rename your product "Firefox".

Trademarks can help a company achieve a monopoly, but they are not monopolies themselves.
 Exxon's trademark of that word gives it a monopoly on selling Exxon gas.  However,
the word "Exxon" is not itself a monopoly.  Because OSI sells nothing (except for the
little cafe-press offshoot), its trademarks couldn't even help it achive one.

> "Open Source", however, is *not* a trademark of the OSI or anyone else,
> at least not in the U.S., for the same reason that "Apple" would be
> unusable as a trademark for apples (though perfectly good for both music
> and computers).  The OSI trademark is "OSI Certified".

I would argue they have used it as a trademark, just not a registered one.  It also
might not be successful, but that's a different one.

> Finally, using "open source" in a non-standard way doesn't help anyone;
> it leads to nothing but confusion and annoyance.

Agreed.  That's the important thing.