Subject: Re: GPL and trademarks and brandnames...
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: 16 Nov 1998 03:48:36 -0000

Scott Goehring writes:
 > Brian> Suppose you recorded your knowledge of comic book trivia in
 > Brian> Latin, and then GPL'ed it.
 > The reason libre software works at all (and, as others have noted, it
 > only works in some areas) is that there are a lot of people who will
 > create software for personal reasons.

I'm not sure this is 100% true.  Have you read Eric Raymond's paper
"Homesteading the Noosphere"?  There's a link to it off of his home
page at  In it, he discusses what
motivates programmers to contribute to libre projects.

John Gilmore wrote a while ago that freed software functions by
reducing the transaction cost of contributing to a project.  Brian is
suggesting that increasing the transaction cost is going to translate
the benefits of freed software into a proprietary advantage.  I think
it is more likely to destroy the benefits of using freed software.  At
least, every scheme *I* can think of to create a proprietary benefit
using libre software, also destroys the benefit of the software being

-russ nelson <>
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