Subject: Re: brands, trademarks, and the GPL
From: Crispin Cowan <crispin@cse.ogi.edu>
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 17:06:16 +0000

bruce@perens.com wrote:

> > Hmm.  I really hope there's not a problem here.  We've committed ourselves
> > to developing and releasing our products under the GPL, but need to do so in
> > ways which don't dilute the strength of our trademarks as they go through
> > the registration process.
>
> You are not required to accept the next version of the GPL and its changes.
> You may continue to use Version 2. You are also able to formulate yet another
> Open Source license that preserves trademark rights, if that's what is
> necessary.

So is GPL 3 proposed to be applied to existing, large projects, i.e. the Linux
Kernel and the GNOME?  If so, it's problematic, because it requires that all of
the contributing authors accept the new license, which is difficult when the
identity and location of these authors is not precisely known.  I have
traditionally regarded this as a strength of the Linux GPL:  not even Linus could
take the Linux kernel proprietary, because he would have to get distributed
agreement from too many people.

It seems to me that the existing license on projects with many, many authors is
stuck.

Crispin