Subject: Re: How Microsoft Thinks
From: kragen@pobox.com (Kragen)
Date: Fri, 6 Nov 1998 16:47:36 -0500 (EST)

On Fri, 6 Nov 1998, Ben Laurie wrote:
> Russell Nelson wrote:
> > Please note that Open Source is a trademark controlled by Eric
> > Raymond.
> 
> Y'know, in the UK you can't trademark things that mean something...
> besides, I think there's a difference between open source and Open
> Source.

In the US, you can't trademark things that mean something, but you can
give meaning to things you've trademarked.  That's what ESR did.  The
term "open-source" was not used for software before about March of this
year, when he coined the term and applied for a trademark.

It did have other meanings before that.  For example, in the spy
community, it meant information obtained from publicly-available
sources (as opposed to, say, tapping the phone system the way the NSA
has in Europe).  In circuit design, it referred to a condition in which
the power-source pin on a chip was not connected to anything.  None of
these meanings are relevant to software.

I suspect that "open source" is going to go the way of "escalator", though.

Kragen

-- 
<kragen@pobox.com>       Kragen Sitaker     <http://www.pobox.com/~kragen/>
Irony and sarcasm deflate seriousness, and when your seriousness becomes detum-
escent, you're not held responsible for your thoughts. Irony beats thinking like
rock beats scissors. -- http://www.hyperorg.com/backissues/joho-june2-98.html