Subject: Re: GPL and trademarks and brandnames...
From: Brian Bartholomew <>
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 1998 23:41:14 -0500

> I think you're missing the source of the value that Redhat creates.
> They let people know that Redhat products exist, by advertising as
> much.

I agree this is the source of their value.  I really do value that
advertising, because of the legitimacy and raised profile it has
brought to Linux and free software.  Of course, for the same price
they could advertise Cheapbytes, but as Bob says the listeners may not
be receptive, even if it true.

I thought about advertising as freely distributed IP, and how to fund
it, and I always ended up at a proprietary chargeback mechanism.  You
can push the proprietary piece around between the source code, the
brand, the advertising, or the run-time rights.  But wherever it ends
up there is something that could be copied cheaply but is prohibited.
The copying could be explicitly prohibited, or the possibility of
copying hidden by a lie.

Maybe I should discard the libre model, as great for volunteers but
fundamentally incompatible with business.

Perhaps cheap unlimited copying is incompatible with all known
economics.  Economics is predicated on the choices made under
scarcity.  Cheap copying is predicated on having eliminated scarcity.

League for Programming Freedom (LPF)
Brian Bartholomew - - - Working Version, Cambridge, MA