Subject: Re: brands, trademarks, and the GPL
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 14:08:36 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "Paul" == Paul Rohr <paul@abisource.com> writes:

    >> You are also able to formulate yet another Open Source license
    >> that preserves trademark rights, if that's what is necessary.

    Paul> Sigh.  As someone who's drafted and abandoned YAOSL (the
    Paul> AbiSource Public License or AbiPL), I'd hate to see this
    Paul> happen.  Involving more lawyers to draft and review more
    Paul> licenses, no matter how well-crafted, seems like a net loss
    Paul> for the community.

Ah, this chestnut again.

It's a net loss to a homogeneous community.

It's a net gain to a heterogeneous community, if the various licenses
are well crafted and not proliferated excessively.  Optimal
proliferation will be increasing in heterogeneity, and decreasing in
transaction costs, including both writing and reading legal costs as
well as enforcement costs that accrue to the variety (and not the mere
existence) of licenses.

It's pretty clear to me that we need at least _three_ licenses for
this community:  non-copyleft free, copyleft free, and
whatever-the-author-thinks-will-make-him-enough-money-to-keep-it-up.

Although most things I write will be Copyleft, I can easily imagine
situations where I would non-copyleft license software (if I planned
to abandon it and didn't think anybody would do the scutwork left
undone if they couldn't monopolize it), and situations where I would
dual-license software, delayed-GPL and proprietary.

I don't need any others, but I can imagine some people will.  And some
people with more backbone vis-a-vis money than I will need only one,
ever, even in their wildest dreams.  :-)


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