Subject: Re: GPL and trademarks and brandnames...
From: Ian Lance Taylor <ian@airs.com>
Date: 16 Nov 1998 18:17:54 -0500

   Date: Mon, 16 Nov 1998 14:27:37 -0500
   From: Scott Goehring <scott@poverty.bloomington.in.us>

   Ian> Avoiding hoarding only implies not hiding or preventing access to
   Ian> sources of information.  It does not require tutoring others in
   Ian> the uses of the information.

   I would contend that refusing access to an information store on the
   grounds that allowing such access would incur non-nominal costs to the
   owner of that store is not hoarding.  In other words, I am under no
   obligation to send you copies of information I happen to possess, when
   doing creates a substantial cost for me.  On the other hand, I should
   not refuse to do so if you agree to reasonably compensate me for doing
   so.

Yes, the information needs to be libre, but it does not need to be
gratis.  It's OK to charge appropriately for the transfer of libre
information.

I was trying to talk about cases where the information does not exist
in any transferable form.

   A parallel illustration from another field may be valuable.  (For
   those of you who do not already know, I am a law student.)  One of the
   major functions of a lawyer is to find the law.  Now, the law (in the
   United States) is all freely available.  I am writing this message
   from a computer situated in a publically-accessible repository of the
   law.  Access to the law is not the problem; anyone can use the library
   whenever it is open.  The problem is that there is so much law that
   only an expert can hope to find the _pertinent_ law in a reasonable
   time.  The same applies to every other field in which the expertise
   being purchased is the specialized knowledge of "where to look" that
   experienced practitioners have, and laypeople do not.

Yes, thanks, it's a better example, because more familiar.  At least
in the U.S., legal advice where no court case is involved is
essentially a free information service.  (I believe a court case
requires the lawyer to pass the bar exam; perhaps the bar exam is
required in other cases as well.)

Ian