Subject: [OT] Fee-based certification of open source, was Re: For Approval: Boost Software License - Version 1.0 - August 17th, 2003
From: "Chris Travers" <chris.travers@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2007 09:17:24 -0700
Thu, 11 Oct 2007 09:17:24 -0700
On 10/11/07, Shriramana Sharma <samjnaa@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
> I seriously object to making a business out of this.


I have no problem with people making a business out of this provided that it
doesn't preclude small community projects.

Suppose you have the opensource-approval.com, The Open Source Certification
Corporation (OSCC).  Suppose the OSCC merely owns the trademark "OSCC
Certified Open Source" and they provide paid reviews to certify that
software sold is accurately marketed as open source.

Licenses not
> OSI-approved even if OSD-compliant will not be allowed to be called
> "open source" and the process of making your license OSI-approved
> carries a fee.


IANAL, but I am going to disagree with a number of people here and say that
I don't think that the OSI even has a defensible trademark on the term "open
source" as applied to computer software.  The term has been used long before
the OSI was founded both commerically and noncommerically and therefore is
arguably generic.

Secondly, if I understand trademark law correctly, unauthorized use of a
trademark dilutes its effect.  I suspect it is arguably too late to start
trying to enforce the trademark now.

Which is probably why "OSI Approved" is the only trademark that there is any
real effort at maintaining.

Best Wishes,
Chris Travers

USD 50 is INR 2000, Mr Terekhov -- that's not a small sum
> for me, Mr Terekhov if I want to get my license OSI-approved. Often
> people writing OSS are enthusiasts and not necessary professional
> programmers who earn a lot.
>
> Shriramana Sharma.
>




On 10/11/07, Shriramana Sharma <samjnaa@gmail.com> wrote:

I seriously object to making a business out of this.

I have no problem with people making a business out of this provided that it doesn't preclude small community projects.

Suppose you have the opensource-approval.com, The Open Source Certification Corporation (OSCC).  Suppose the OSCC merely owns the trademark "OSCC Certified Open Source" and they provide paid reviews to certify that software sold is accurately marketed as open source. 

Licenses not
OSI-approved even if OSD-compliant will not be allowed to be called
"open source" and the process of making your license OSI-approved
carries a fee.

IANAL, but I am going to disagree with a number of people here and say that I don't think that the OSI even has a defensible trademark on the term "open source" as applied to computer software.  The term has been used long before the OSI was founded both commerically and noncommerically and therefore is arguably generic.

Secondly, if I understand trademark law correctly, unauthorized use of a trademark dilutes its effect.  I suspect it is arguably too late to start trying to enforce the trademark now.

Which is probably why "OSI Approved" is the only trademark that there is any real effort at maintaining.

Best Wishes,
Chris Travers

USD 50 is INR 2000, Mr Terekhov -- that's not a small sum
for me, Mr Terekhov if I want to get my license OSI-approved. Often
people writing OSS are enthusiasts and not necessary professional
programmers who earn a lot.

Shriramana Sharma.