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Linus Explains Linux Trademark Issues

CmdrTaco posted more than 14 years ago | from the two-ounces-of-clarification dept.

Linux 246

Normally I avoid posting direct comments from mailing lists here, but since Linus posted this on Kernel-dev and says that he hopes Slashdot picks it up, I think that's permission. This message addresses the recent rumors that have been floating around about Linus' lawyers going after domain squatters abusing the Linux Trademark. It's an interesting issue, and one that I'm sure will divide you guys: we've always hated it when domain names are taken from people by others, but this is our beloved Linux Trademark.

The following was written by Linus Torvalds and posted to kernel-dev

I've been getting tons of email about the trademark thing due to the
action of stopping the auctioning off of linux-related names, so instead
of just answering individually (which was how I started out), I'll just
send out a more generic email. And hope that slashdot etc pick it up so
that enough people will be reassured or at least understand the issues.

And hey, you may not end up agreeing with me, but with the transmeta
announcement tomorrow I won't have much time to argue about it until next
week ;)

Basically, the rules are fairly simple, and there really are just a few
simple basic issues involved:

- I (and obviously a lot of other people) do not want to have "Linux" as
a name associated with unacceptable (or borderline) behaviour, and it's
important that "Linux" doesn't get a name of being associated with
scams, cybersquatting, etc etc. I'd personally hate that, for rather
obvious reasons. I _like_ being proud of Linux, and what has been
achieved. I'd rather not have to apologize for it..

- Trademark law requires that the trademark owner police the use of the
trademark (unlike, for example, copyright law, where the copyright
owner is the copyright owner, always is, and always will be unless he
willingly relinquishes ownership, and even THEN he ends up having
rights).

This is nasty, because it means, for example, that a trademark owner
has to be shown as caring about even small infringements, because
otherwise the really bad guys can use as their defense that "hey, we
may have misused it, but look at those other cases that they didn't go
after, they obviously don't care.."

- Even with things that aren't scams or something like that, VALID uses
of "Linux" may be bad if they mean that other valid uses of "Linux" are
blocked.

Those are the kind of ground rules, I think everybody can pretty much
agree with them..

What the above leads to is

- I'm required to ask people to acknowledge the trademark. When you use
the term "Linux" in official marketing literature etc, you should
acknowledge it as a trademark owned by me. Not because I love seeing my
name in print, but simply because of the "policing" issue (#2) above.

(And no, that does NOT mean that you have to add that to normal,
everyday use of the term. Common sense rules the day, think of the
situations where you see the silly "xxxx is a trademark of yyyy", and
realize that yyyy may not really care except the legal issues force
them to ;)

- _Intent_ matters. It matters a lot.

If your intent is to use the word "linux" as part of a real Linux
project, that doesn't mean that you automatically absolutely have to
get permission from me. That's the LAST thing I want. I want "Linux" to
be as free as possible as a term, and the real reason for having a
trademark in the first place was to _protect_ it rather than use it as
some kind of legalistic enforcement thing.

But, for example, if your intent is to register "mylinux.com" (made up
example, I don't know if it is registered or not) only in the hopes of
selling the domain name for mucho dinero later, then that kind of
intent is not something I (or anybody else, I think) would find really
acceptable, because now the use of "linux" in this case has really been
a question of blocking somebody ELSE from using the term and using it
to get money.

This is where the cybersquatting laws come in, for example, allowing
the use of a trademark as a way to make sure that such squatting
activity does NOT happen.

- Being "specific" is _good_. Being specific largely avoids the problem
of many people/organizations wanting the same name. We had an example
long ago of somebody who would have wanted to register "Linux Expert"
as a servicemark, yet obviously that is a pretty generic term. Not
good, if it means that there will be confusion about who owns the term.

In contrast (to give some tangible examples), something like "VA Linux"
or "Red Hat Linux" oviously isn't a generic term: it's a very
_targeted_ term for something very specific. Those kinds of names do
not detract from other peoples ability to call _their_ Linux company
something else.

- Finally, you have to judge the "officialdom" and the importance of
the business side of your usage. Not because I or anybody else
really cares all that much, but more because of the "pain factor" if
the name is asked for by somebody else.

Basically, ask yourself the question: "What if somebody else had a
project, and happened to chose the same name for his project as I have
for mine, how strong a protection do I want for MY version of the
project?"

Also, ask yourself: "Would anybody ever have reason to question the
name, and do I need to make provisions for protecting this particular
instance of it" (and note that "anybody" may not be me as the trademark
owner myself, but it may be a competitor who wants to make life
uncomfortable for you)

If you decide that you want some official protection from the mark,
that probably means that you want to own your own version of the
trademark, ie a "service mark" or a "combination mark". There are
obvious cases where such a thing is wanted - you should not be
surprised to hear that various Linux companies own their own
combination marks, or have at the very least gotten that ownership
verbally approved by me pending getting the paperwork done.

So basically, in case the trademark issue comes up, you should make your
own judgement. If you read and understood the above, you know pretty much
what my motivation is - I hate the paperwork, and I think all of this is
frankly a waste of my time, but I need to do it so that in the future I
don't end up being in a position I like even less.

And I'm _not_ out to screw anybody. In order to cover the costs of
paperwork and the costs of just _tracking_ the trademark issues (and to
really make it a legally binding contract in the first place), if you end
up going the whole nine yards and think you need your own trademark
protection, there is a rather nominal fee(*) associated with combination
mark paperwork etc. That money actually goes to the Linux International
trademark fund, so it's not me scalping people if anybody really thought
that that might be the case ;)

I hope people understand what happened, and why it happened, and why it
really hasn't changed anything that we had to assert the trademark issue
publically for the first time this week. And I hope people feel more
comfortable about it.

And finally - I hope that people who decide due to this that what they
really want is trademark protection for their own Linux trademark, that
they could just wait a week or two, or contact maddog at Linux
International rather than me. We're finally getting the shroud of secrecy
lifted from transmeta (hey, we'll have a real web-site and zdtv is
supposed to webcast the announcement tomorrow), and I'd rather worry about
trademarks _next_ week.

Ok?

Linus

(*) "Nominal fee". What an ugly sentence. It's one of those things that
implies that if you have to ask, you can't afford it. In reality, it's
more a thing where both intent and the size of the project will make a
difference - and quite frankly it's also a way to slightly discourage
people who aren't really serious about it in the first place.

cancel ×

246 comments

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If only he could sensor LinuxOne (1)

bak6926 (124836) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359129)

If linus could sue LinuxOne, Theres no way they'd have enough money to have there little bogus IPO

Wow- Linus Know /. now (0)

shitface (121619) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359130)

If I remember, last year Linus did one of those internet interviews where the readers ask the questions and some one asked him if he read Slashdot. Linus simply replied that he had never heard of it!!! Moving on up boys.

What are the different marks? (1)

stx23 (14942) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359131)

>If you decide that you want some official protection from the mark,
>that probably means that you want to own your own version of the trademark, ie a "service mark" or a >"combination mark".

What are the differences?

Interesting, informative. (1)

dkh2 (29130) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359132)

Somebody moderate Linus up a couple of karma points. It's an interesting and informative piece.

That said, is there any chance of the Linux community banding together to retain an attorney or two to watch this type of stuff on our behalf? Set up some sort of tax-deductible, charitable endowment to be administered by (*maybe* Transmeta since Linus works there) that pays the legals and keeps things focused.
"For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong."

Re:If only he could sensor LinuxOne (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1359134)

If only he could sensor LinuxOne

Oops, I think you meant "censor."

Pretty Much What I Thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1359135)

This is pretty much what I thought was going on when I first heard about the dispute. Linus is able, and as copywrite holder, obligated, to protect the Linux name from squatters, and people trying to make a quick buck without being in any way related to the business. This is, at least in my opinion, the correct thing to do.

RJ

LinuxLover.com???? (1)

goader (125618) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359136)

I would have to totally agree with Linus on this one. Just think how you would feel if you found a link to a website named something linke linuxlover.com (or something else), only to find that it is yet another porn site just out to get your creditcard? We have already found this to be a problem with whitehouse.com, if Linus did not stop this now it is only a matter of time before someone else did the same.

What a bunch of sheep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1359137)

I'm not saying that Linus' behavior is wrong, exactly. But what really makes this any different from any other "cybersquatting" issue discussed here... surely it's not inconsistency on the part of the "Slashdot Community"?!

I didn't think so. Well, I guess we are at war with Eurasia. Come to think of it, we always have been! Yeah, I remember now...

I agree. (3)

kwsNI (133721) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359138)

I really have to agree with what he's doing. Being in-charge of the Linux trademark has to be a HUGE job. I think a lot of people, /.ers and all, really take advantage of Linux's good name. How many times have you gone to a web page just because the name of it matched something close to what you were looking for only to find it was completely off topic. Linus has the right to keep Linux domains on topic and I, for one, am glad he's doing this.

kwsNI

Linus Cannot "Censor" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1359139)

Tthe word "censor" can only be used in reference to Government activities of stopping speech. The term has nothing to do with private entities doing so.

It's always good... (2)

benasdf (83581) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359140)

...to explain yourself. That is really something I like about open source in general. Most of the time people are open and honest and do not try to hide anything.

Re:If only he could sensor LinuxOne (0)

shitface (121619) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359141)

I guess it is just up to us the public to censor linux one. I am sure that some one will jump on their band wagon though.

Where's the fun? (1)

SLOfuse (68448) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359142)

This used to be more fun. What happened?

Re:What are the different marks? (0)

JimStoner (93831) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359143)

*university flashback*

whoa...

"Valkerie shot the food"

Couldn't agree more; some additional thoughts (3)

dougman (908) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359144)

1) In general, I agree with Linus' statements.

2) It's unfortunate that protecting one's trademark inevitably forces (per current law) the trademark holder to go to great lengths (read: expense) to protect the trademark. Personally, I can't see why the owner of a registered trademark shouldn't be allowed to selectively decide who may or may not use the trademark for their own pursuits. To force the owner to treat everyone equally seems kind of odd IMHO.

3) As a small (hopefully not for long) business owner myself, I've just filed a few trademark applications and I must say, the process isn't so bad, but it's prohibitively expensive, especially the issue of trademark searches. As a free bonus, let me mention a site I found where you can do free searches of the US trademark and service mark databases - an INVALUABLE utility for those without deep pockets interested in this sort of thing: Marksonline [marksonline.com]

At least Linus explained the situation! (4)

dustpuppy (5260) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359145)

I used to run (well I guess I still do) a Calvin & Hobbes fan site which I started way back in 1994. Back then, Universal Press Syndicate (the owners of the rights to Calvin & Hobbes) went on a campaign to close every C&H fan site on the web.

Basically the reason behind their actions was the same as Linus' - to protect their trademark, they had to take action against any possible infringment of their copyright/trademark.

In the end, Universal Press Syndicate stopped pursuing fan sites for a number of reasons that one can only speculate - but I have always suspected that one of them was that there was no way that they could close sites faster than they were appearing.

Having read Linus' explanation, I have two observations:

  • First, it's great that Linus has taken the time to explain the situation - Universal Press Syndicate merely shot threatening lawyer letters to webmasters.
  • Second, will Linus' attempt to defend his trademark ultimately prove futile as more and more sites/companies/people start using the word Linux - I'm assuming that there is a strong possibility that the illegitimate use of the trademark Linux will outstrip Linus' ability to control it.

Re:LinuxLover.com???? (1)

Ravenfeather (21614) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359146)

Wow! What a great idea! Penguin pr0n! Or maybe even Petrified Penguin pr0n! Or maybe just penguin softcore, with penguins looking sexy in nothing but little sweaters [penguins.org.au] ...The possibilities are endless!

Somehow I just keep thinking of the time in Bloom County when Milo gets a phone bill for thousands of dollars to 1-800-HOT-PUFFIN and Opus is looking decidedly sheepish...

--Ravenfeather, off to register a domain name.

Might be good, might be a dud, (2)

Nodatadj (28279) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359147)

http://www.lynux.com
I think.
From accidently finding it about a year ago
(It was an accident, honest)
I can't check if it still is what it was then, because I'm sitting in a packed computer room so if it's changed into something acceptable, or doesn't exist anymore, sorry.

Speaking of trademarks and linux... (3)

anonymous loser (58627) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359148)

Has everyone seen www.microsfot.com [microsfot.com] ?

Re:Trademark protection organization (1)

Floris (21037) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359149)

If I'm not mistaken that already is Linux International's responsibility. - the man isn't referring to maddog at LI for no reason you know ;)

Floris

Re:Trademark law (1)

SPorter (83284) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359150)

Did you even read Linus' letter? He made this very clear.

--
sporter

Interesting (0)

shitface (121619) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359151)

Moderate the parent way up.

Unfortunately, he's right (5)

Our Man In Redmond (63094) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359152)

Under US trademark and copyright laws, if you own a trademark you have to defend every misuse of your product you find. Otherwise, your trademark can become genericized. Here's a glaringly simplified example:

Say I make a product called OMIR's Covert Coke, "the drink for infiltrating and subverting large software companies." It becomes a modest success on campus. Microsoft's legal team thinks it's funny so they don't do anything about it. Coca-Cola's lawyers say we're too small to worry about so they don't bother us either.

Now somebody like R. J. Reynolds makes a cola they call "Coke-A-Rama." Coca-Cola doesn't like their name being associated with a cigarette company, so they try to issue an injunction against RJR making and selling the product under that name. RJR's lawyers can argue to invalidate the trademark on the grounds that, since Coca-Cola knew about OMIR's Covert Coke and didn't do anything about it, they relinquished the rights to the "Coke" trademark. And they would have a very good chance of winning.

Considering how much money Coca-Cola makes off of selling T-shirts, refrigerator magnets, windbreakers and the like with their "Coke" trademark on them, they aren't going to let this happen. It means a lot of money to them.

This leads to things like companies writing in to magazines to inform them that "we enjoyed your article on why photocopiers should be banned, but we wanted to remind you that the word 'Xerox' is a trademark for our particular brand of photocopier and should not be used as a generic synonym for the verb 'to photocopy.'"

Linus is in the same position. In order to defend the Linux trademark, he has to "crack the whip," so to speak. My wife used to have to do this for a company she worked for. It's annoying and time-consuming, but if Linus ever lost the trademark and with it his ability to veto uses of it, he would be sorry he hadn't (probably every time he heard it used for something he wished it wasn't).
--

oh, man (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1359153)

I guess that blows my investing in LinuxOne....








NOT

Re:Linus Cannot "Censor" (1)

warghoul (139878) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359154)

What exactly is it called when a private entity stops/prohibits/interferes with speech? The word censor has no inherent relationship to government.

futile, indeed (1)

The Queen (56621) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359155)

Second, will Linus' attempt to defend his trademark ultimately prove futile as more and more sites/companies/people start using the word Linux

Yes, I believe so. Unless you send a surfing force of thousands out onto the net every day there's no way you can really keep your name safe. I do agree with you that it's great that Linus is taking the time to de-mystify the monster, but I really don't see a way to solve the problem (especially with the current growth of the web).

The Divine Creatrix in a Mortal Shell that stays Crunchy in Milk

Re:Might be good, might be a dud, (1)

CYberPhreak (5569) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359156)

Yes. It still exists. And if it was porn back then, it still is today. Honest! I am on a UNIX terminal using lynx!

Re:Speaking of trademarks and linux... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1359157)

Good idea... I think I'm gonna register lniux.com and have it point to www.be.com ;)

Re:Interesting, informative. (3)

orcrist (16312) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359158)

Somebody moderate Linus up a couple of karma points. It's an interesting and informative piece.

Are you kidding? If Linux ever decided to post personally on Slashdot (comments as opposed to this article posted by proxy) he could probably do nothing but troll all day long, and

1. Have his automatic +1 bonus within a couple of hours, surpassing Signal 11 by the end of the day; and

2. Prevent any other people from getting marked up; and

3. Probably even prevent trolls from getting marked down, with the exception of trolls responding to him ;-)

Chris

This is just buisness as usual. (2)

Munky_v2 (124274) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359159)

Come on folks. Now I know in this thread that most people supported Linus' decision to protect the name, but I want to speak seriously to those who think we are being a bunch of hypocrites. What Linus did by protecting the Linux trademark was a legitimate business move. Now don't get me wrong, I don't mean that Linux is a business at all. What I mean is that Linus and all of us who truly support Linux, heart and soul, have a vested interest in protecting our good name. Linus Torvalds, as the trademark owner, has the right to pay no mind to those who are using the Linux name in a serious and productive manner. However, if he sees it being used in a manner that can potentially damage the reputation of our community, he has every right to tell those people "knock it off I will sue you".

We cannot expect that because we all have good intentions, we are going to be left alone and no one will try to damage the Linux name. We need this kind of balance in the community if we are going to move beyond being simply a "geek hobby"
That's my $.02


Munky_v2

I meant Linus not Linux!!! (1)

orcrist (16312) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359160)

Damn! Damn! Damn! Damn! I even previewed :-(

More coffee!

Chris

Reassuring, but (4)

Jon Peterson (1443) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359161)

"but this is our beloved Linux Trademark. " (quote from /. editor, not Linus)

Speak for yourself. No trademark is beloved as far as I'm concerned, and I think this says something about the community. People are starting to care a whole lot more about names and labels, and I think it is a shame.

Do you think the Gnu people would be doing the same thing? I notice that www.perlprogrammer.com is also 'squatted'. I don't hear Larry Wall getting the lawyers in. Or O'Reilly, for that matter. Gee, maybe Perl will get a really bad name - oh, but then with no Perl IPO's, that won't be hurting any back pockets too much, will it....

Sure, I can sympathise with Linus feeling miffed at a bunch of yobs, but that doesn't mean we should all cheer and wave flags. Linus happens to be able to call in the lawyers. Most people who make free software what it is can't do that and never have been able to. That hasn't really hurt free software much. If Linus wants to get legal so that he feels better, I think that's fine, if he can afford it.

But if he starts claiming that he's doing it for the good of the community*, I'm not going to be happy, because I'm part of that community and it does me no good. And if other people start claiming that he's doing it for the good of the communtiy, I'll get really pissed off. Especially if those people own shares in Linux companies.

For me, it's a community of people, and to a lesser extend a community of software. When it starts to be a community of 'OS friendly companies' or 'Trademark owners' or 'Approved cool people as voted by the /. mob' then I'll wave good bye to the lot of it.

I've got more hobbies and interests than programming and computers. If people want to make it all about trademarks and IPO's and what have you I'll spend more time sailing and cooking, and less time writing free software. No big deal. Either that or I'll go back to the world of Windows shareware, which is a whole lot less bitchy and is starting to produce better software.


*I'm not suggesting that he is, BTW.

mylinux.com (2)

dlc (41988) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359162)

bash $ whois
mylinux.com@whois.networksolutions.com
[whois.networksolutions.com]
The Data in Network Solutions' WHOIS database is provided by Network
Solutions for information purposes, and to assist persons in obtaining
information about or related to a domain name registration record.
Network Solutions does not guarantee its accuracy. By submitting a
WHOIS query, you agree that you will use this Data only for lawful
purposes and that, under no circumstances will you use this Data to:
(1) allow, enable, or otherwise support the transmission of mass
unsolicited, commercial advertising or solicitations via e-mail
(spam); or (2) enable high volume, automated, electronic processes
that apply to Network Solutions (or its systems). Network Solutions
reserves the right to modify these terms at any time. By submitting
this query, you agree to abide by this policy.

Registrant:
mylinux.com (MYLINUX2-DOM)
321 Cameron Pl. #1
Glendale, CA 91207
US

Domain Name: MYLINUX.COM

Administrative Contact, Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
Karim, Elaagouby (EK2679) rrobb@KTB.NET
1-818-550-1738
Billing Contact:
Abdelkrim, Elaagouby (EA2375) rrobb@KTB.NET
1-818-550-1738

Record last updated on 11-May-1999.
Record created on 30-Nov-1998.
Database last updated on 18-Jan-2000 14:03:13 EST.

linuxchick.com (2)

acb (2797) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359163)

There was once a porn site named linuxchick.com.
It had no obvious Linux content, unless one counts the word "Linux" in its title banners. Seems like some pornmonger decided to repackage their content and tie it to a trendy buzzword.

It was mentioned in NtK [ntk.net] sometime last year.

Cybersquatting laws require proof of bad faith (2)

rcade (4482) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359164)

I think Torvalds is overstating the strength of cybersquatting laws here. I've read a few of these laws because I didn't want to run afoul of them as a domain owner. In order to get in trouble, you have to prove a bad faith intent to profit from someone else's trademark.

How can I prove bad faith, as a domain owner?

1) Register a domain that includes someone else's trademark, then contact that person with an offer to sell the domain.

2) Register several domains that include the same trademark in different ways, as the owner of msdwonline.com did recently. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter is going after him in court as a result, and I wouldn't want to be him.

3) Publish something at the domain related to the trademark I don't own that creates confusion in the marketplace about whether I'm the trademark owner or not.

4) Publish something at the domain that is so scandalous or disreputable the trademark owner would fear damage to his reputation.

Avoid these four things and you have a much stronger hold on a domain. Torvalds seems to believe that merely owning or trying to sell a domain with Linux in it is sufficient proof of bad faith. From my desk miles away from the nearest lawyer, I don't think that's true.

Re:Linus Cannot "Censor" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1359165)

wrong
try opening a dictionary or going to
www.dictionary.com
they give you mutiple dictionaries definitions.

Re:futile, indeed (1)

lar3ry (10905) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359166)

Yes, I believe so. Unless you send a surfing force of thousands out onto the net every day there's no way you can really keep your name safe.

I think you just defined the Slashdot readership.

[smile]
--

Re:I agree. (1)

leitchn (96636) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359167)

How many times have you gone to a web page just because the name of it matched something close to what you were looking for only to find it was completely off topic?

A perfect example: accidentally went to www.ifoseek.com [ifoseek.com] instead of www.infoseek.com [infoseek.com] at work.

In front of my Boss and his Boss.

Re:Linus Cannot "Censor" (3)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359168)

um...sorry but the Americain Heritage Dictionary
disagrees with you:

censor (snsr)
n.

1.A person authorized to examine books, films, or other material and to remove or suppress what is considered morally, politically, or otherwise objectionable.

2.An official, as in the armed forces, who examines personal mail and official dispatches to remove information considered secret or a risk to security.

3.One that condemns or censures.

4.One of two officials in ancient Rome responsible for taking the public census andsupervising public behavior and morals.

5.Psychology. The agent in the unconscious that is responsible for censorship.

---
The obvious one I am asserting here is #1.
There is no mention of WHO "Authorizes" a person.
USUALLY it is used in terms of a "Government"
action.

It should be noted that even in common usage,
employees of Television broadcasting stations
who decide what content has to be edited from
movies (which I find ruins the whole movie and
is the reason I refuse to watch movies on TV)
are called "Censors".

However, your statment that it can only be applied
to government action (as if the government is the
only sickening band of authoritarians around) is
a common assertation.

Transmeta Website.. (1)

legoboy (39651) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359169)

Linus does mention it in passing, but since people seem so obsessed over it, the Transmeta [transmeta.com] website has been updated to say that the real content will go live at noon (pacific) today.

Maybe some of you care? I don't think it's that offtopic.

------

secrecy lifted from transmeta (1)

eliasj (72242) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359170)

The last line is IMHO the most intresting of this message:

...We're finally getting the shroud of secrecy lifted from transmeta.

That is news for nerds, trademark-disputes are not. Anyone thinking this is old news please post an URL.

/Elias

Re:Linus Cannot "Censor" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1359171)

Main Entry: 2censor Function: transitive verb Inflected Form(s): censored; censoring /'sen(t)-s&-ri[ng], 'sen(t)s-ri[ng]/ Date: 1882 : to examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable Last time I checked, the government doesnt own the TM to censor ;)

Re:Speaking of trademarks and linux... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1359172)

You would be doing Be a dis-service, the last thing they want is an angry mob of Linux coders cloning their API :-)

Nominal Fee (2)

IIH (33751) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359173)

Personally I think a suitable "nominal" fee should be in the currency that Linux is best known for - good, solid, well-written code!


--

Re:futile, indeed (1)

Augie De Blieck Jr. (13716) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359174)

Yes, I believe so. Unless you send a surfing force of thousands out onto the net every day there's no way you can really keep your name safe. I do agree with you that it's great that Linus is taking the time to de-mystify the monster, but I really don't see a way to solve the problem (especially with the current growth of the web).

But isn't that what makes Open Source so great? We have a community of thousands already on the web programming on various products, helping to kill off FUD, evangelizing to the population at large about Linux. So we add one more task to that list -- Linux trademark protection. When you see a violator, you report it to LI.

All of us surf the web pretty heavily, I'm guessing. All of us have probably, out of curiosity, typed in some oddball combination of words to see if there's a site with that name. All of us have probably misspelled a URL and gone to the wrong site... I'm sure we could keep up with this. I'm an eternal optimist when it comes to this stuff, if little else.

-Augie

Re:Where's the fun? (1)

TheBigA (136048) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359175)

Let's start a movement to throw all spammers and telemarketers in jail. Max security? -BigA

Re:futile, indeed (1)

orcrist (16312) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359176)

Yes, I believe so. Unless you send a surfing force of thousands out onto the net every day there's no way you can really keep your name safe.

And, of course, hardly any of the millions of avid Linux users ever surf the web looking for Linux stuff...

Chris

It's Ugly, but it's True. :-( (1)

farrellj (563) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359177)

The last thing we need is some scam artist to get some investment money based upon a web site with the name Linux in it. That means good money is lost to legit hackers, and goes to a scam artist. Virtually all the domains that have Linux in them and almost any other common word have been registered, and very few of them have real Linux projects behind them. And that is sad.

ttyl
Farrell

Re:What a bunch of sheep (1)

Robert Wilde (78174) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359178)

I'm not saying that Linus' behavior is wrong, exactly. But what really makes this any different from any other "cybersquatting" issue discussed here.

This action makes me a little uneasy as well. I would be very upset if we see this Linux trademark policing extending to taking domains away from people or blocking "objectionable" domains.

Trademark lawyers have framed the issue such that the public now thinks of domain names and trademarks as analogous. They aren't! If someone registers linuxsucks.com or linuxofficesoftware.com - they have every right to use those domains to diss Linux of discuss the merits of KOffice, Star, etc. I don't want to see Linus start taking domains away from people (even unscrupulous people).

That being said, stopping an auction is different from demanding the domain. Let's give Linus the benifit of the doubt, but be watchful where this leads.

Re:At least Linus explained the situation! (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359179)

Second, will Linus' attempt to defend his trademark ultimately prove futile as more and more sites/companies/people start using the word Linux - I'm assuming that there is a strong possibility that the illegitimate use of the trademark Linux will outstrip Linus' ability to control it.

Universal Press Syndicate had to pay those lawyers by the hour to send out threatening letters. Linus basically has an army of people willing to enforce his "linux" trademark.

-B

Kudos to Linus... (2)

pb (1020) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359180)

Hey, Linus, thanks for reminding me about the Transmeta(tm) announcement! I know what I'm going to be reading on slashdot tomorrow....

I know enough about trademark law to feel sorry for the man, I'm sure he hates this crap as much as we do. But, it's good to know that "our creator" is looking out for the good name of Linux(tm). And I'm glad religion doesn't work the same way. :)

Also, now I want to start a yyyy corp and trademark xxxx(tm). :)

xxxx is a trademark of yyyy.
Neener, neener, profits are for losers... (Dilbert)
All other trademarks are owned by their respective owners.
---
pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11] .

I knew the bride when she used to rock and roll. (2)

boojum_uc (122395) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359181)

Success happened. When fun stuff becomes big business its a lot less fun because theres much more at stake. Money brings every con artist in the book out of the woodwork. It also brings the lawyers. Also, more people are involved, so you can be much less assured that the people who are along for the ride have the same principles and goals that you (the original crowd) had or has.

With any sub-group, theres usually originally a fairly homogenous community. By the fact that someone was involved with Linux, you could make certain assumptions about that persons interests or concerns. Those assumptions werent always true, but they provided a workable basis.

Now that Linux has so much more money involved, you cant assume anything about somebodys involvement. The community has become like a small town suddenly faced with the need for burglar alarms and locks on the front door. Its not fun. Your neighbor used to be able to come over and walk right in. But improved transportation and a suddenly diverse population make that no longer an option. It doesnt feel nice to have to take these preventative measures, but they are (sadly) necessary.

If Linus loses control of the trademark, it doesnt mean that it will be uncontrolled. It probably would just mean that it was controlled by the people with the biggest marketing budgets who could shout down the other people in the conversation. While Im sorry that this sort of legal business is necessary, Im glad that its being handled firmly.

Just like Disney (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1359182)

He is in the same position as Disney. In the past, Disney has sent cease-and-desist letters to daycare centers around the US. Why? Because someone at the center had decorated with unlicensed copies of the Disney characters. In reality they didn't care about this. But, had they not forced the issue, anyone could begin stealing the characters -- because Disney stopped enforcing the trademarks. It's an all or nothing situation -- you have to be very vigiliant, or you will lose your trademark.

Re:Trademark law (1)

Relforn (105625) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359183)

Linus has to broadly defend the Linux trademark. That means that any citation of it where the use could be interpreted as a trademark (meaning any company name, any commercialish website) has to receive the same degree of attention if the trademark's ownership isn't credited to him. He hasn't done this, instead he's chose to pick on just those places where it doesn't mesh with his political agenda.

He could very well lose rights to the mark before too much longer. This wouldn't be a loss to somebody else, it would just mean the former trademark Linux would belong to us all.

Would that be such a terrible thing? I don't particularly care if the word Linux serves any particular body of people's political agenda.

Re:LinuxLover.com???? (2)

M. Piedlourd (68092) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359184)

Personally, I'd rather see LinusLover.com. Grrrooowwwrr! [208.240.130.2]

Re:Couldn't agree more; some additional thoughts (1)

Kaa (21510) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359185)

Personally, I can't see why the owner of a registered trademark shouldn't be allowed to selectively decide who may or may not use the trademark for their own pursuits.

He can. You can give permissions to use your trademark to anybody you like as often as you like. What you should NOT do is selectively prosecute *unauthorized* use. In other words, you can allow Alice to use your trademark, but if both Bob and Charlie use it without your permission, going only after Bob and ignoring Charlie will weaken the trademark.

Kaa

[OT] Re:Thank You (TM) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1359186)

Did you know that the song "Happy Birthday To You" is copyright, and ostensibly the publisher collects a royalty every time the song is sung?

Re:duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1359187)

there is a difference between fair and unjust enforcement of trademarks.

I'd like to think that /. readers would get annoyed if linus chose to sue "linux brand laundry detergent" over infringement. While discouraging squatters (lowest scum on the planet) is an all around good thing that more people should do.

These people are trying to unfairly make money from Linus's trademark, while screwing legitimate people who want to use the domains. Linus is standing up for the community

I'm confused, what about NASDAQ ticker symbols? (4)

jquiroga (94119) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359188)

In contrast (to give some tangible examples), something like "VA Linux" or "Red Hat Linux" oviously isn't a generic term: it's a very _targeted_ term for something very specific. Those kinds of names do not detract from other peoples ability to call _their_ Linux company something else.

I'm confused. If Linus believes this, I don't know why he let VA Linux choose 'LNUX' as their NASDAQ ticker symbol. They should have chosen perhaps 'VALX', and not be too general. After all, aren't NASDAQ symbols just like domain names?

In my opinion, Red Hat did the right thing with 'RHAT'

Could be read differently... (1)

JamesKPolk (13313) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359189)

Do you like linux? good.

Linus likes linux, too. And he wants more people to like linux. So he's jumped through the legal hoops. and laid down the cash, to turn linux into Linux (tm).

Linux (tm) is just another name for the kernel. So when Slashdot editors write "our beloved Linux Trademark"... just read it as "our beloved Linux".

I think you misspelled "Lay The Smack Down Upon". (1)

M-2 (41459) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359190)

But I may be wrong.

You may have just mispelled Kick The Punk Ass To Hell And Back Again.

Have a nice day!

Re:What a bunch of sheep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1359191)

"I disapprove with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

Re:futile, indeed (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1359192)

He said surfing, not portscanning.

Re:It's always good... (1)

cruise (111380) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359193)

...to explain yourself. That is really something I like about open source in general. Most of the time people are open and honest and do not try to hide anything.

Not including the /. source code of course.




They are a threat to free speech and must be silenced! - Andrea Chen

Re:Unfortunately, he's right (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1359194)

Considering how much money Coca-Cola makes off of selling T-shirts, refrigerator magnets, windbreakers and the like with their "Coke" trademark on them,

Yes, they obviously need to maintain their iron grip on the refrigerator magnet industry to survive. However, I have heard that the Coca Cola Company also makes some money in the soft drink market. Anyone have more info on that?

Flamebait?!??? Get a clue, moderator! (1)

Ravenfeather (21614) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359195)

Flamebait? Not in a million years! This is the funniest thing I've seen here all day, not to mention completely true.

Well Chris, looks like your bad luck that Signal11 had some moderation points left. ;-)

Re:Unfortunately, he's right (1)

Relforn (105625) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359196)

You just explained why Linus, because he's already ignored people who infringe on the trademark, who he considers as following the same political agenda as he does. How many websites out there bandy around the Linux mark freely? Thousands.

You've already given it away, Linus. It's in the public domain. Give it up.

(does Metcalfe own the trademark on Open Sores?)

The thing that bothers me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1359197)

...is that the lawyers are making money. Man, it's like they make money suing and defending...it's gotta be the best job out there...

Re:Speaking of trademarks and linux... (2)

Tet (2721) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359198)

:-)

I wonder how much that was influenced by Acronsfot? For non-UK readers, Acronsfot was a nickname for Acornsoft, the software division of Acorn Computers. It turns up in all sorts of unexpected places (try disassembling their Arcadians game, for example), and was quite popular throughout the BBC micro scene in the early '80s.

Re:At least Linus explained the situation! (2)

larien (5608) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359199)

TSR (makers of AD&D) had a rampage in the early 90's against web sites about AD&D/D&D to protect their trademarks. They eventually loosened their stance provided you acknowledged the trademark and didn't copy copyrighted material. I'd guess Universal Press may have taken a similar stance.
--

Re:Reassuring, but (1)

grumpy_geek (97488) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359200)

Agree completely, it's really amazing how the Slashdot community bands together against trademarks and then all of the sudden they backpeddle since this is Linux it gets to play by different rules....

I'm thinking I might just have to make a list of every poster on this message pro-trademark lawsuit; so that if they ever bring up a complaint against another company doing it, I will have to remind them how shallow they really are. It's really no wonder companies are warry of Linux, what large is going to take Linux seriously when the people who are advocating it, are showing that they are willing to excuse the same items they are most vocally against when it comes to their beloved Linux.

Not standing behind what ones says is a big peeve of mine, when people start compromising their stated ideals; because they don't feel they should hold certain items to the same rules (because they really like it) shows how shallow they really are.

spell and grammar check off because I don't care

Re:What a bunch of sheep (1)

aturley (79907) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359201)

This is interesting. I must say that I, too, am a little disappointed by this. Trademark law shouldn't apply to domain names, in my opinion. Look at the stupid McDonalds and Veronica things. Blah. Here's what I would like to have seen:

1. Linux ignores the domains that use "Linux" (www.linuxbabes.com with naked women at computers).

2. Some company comes up and abuses the "Linux" in another way (Linux dish soap, for example).

3. Linus calls them to court for misusing the copyrighted word Linux.

4. Lawyers for the dish soap argue the Linus did not go after www.linuxbabes.com, so he cannot go after them either.

5. Linux argues that domain names are not protected by copyright, and therefore he cannot go after www.linuxbabes.com, but he can go after the dish soap.

6. Linus wins with this. A legal precedent is set whereby copyright does not cover domain names.

It might be time consuming, but it would be nice to get the whole copyright/domain name thing resolved.

So now I'll sit back and let everybody tell me why I'm wrong.

andy

whatever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1359202)

what i dont understand is how people here can say that etoys.com is an evil entity for trying to protect their trademark as per the whole etoy fiasco, then turn around and praise linus for doing the exact same thing. sheep.

Let law determine what's "acceptable" (1)

aozilla (133143) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359203)

"I (and obviously a lot of other people) do not want to have "Linux" as a name associated with unacceptable (or borderline) behaviour, and it's important that "Linux" doesn't get a name of being associated with scams, cybersquatting, etc etc."
If I wanted Linus to choose what behavior is unacceptable and what is not, I would have elected him to Congress. If there's a scam, it is already illegal and will be shutdown anyway. If it's cybersquatting, and you want it to be illegal, contact your congressman. If enough people agree with you, you might just get your way. My real problem, is "etc etc". What if Linus decides that worshipping Budha is "unacceptable behavior"? It's just not his job to determine that. "Linux" is not free if a single person has the right to determine when it's right or wrong to use it.

Re:Thank You (TM) (1)

angelo (21182) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359204)

Thank God(tm*) this is just for a logo, and likewise :

Disclaimer: NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE "THANK" APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN

from the trademark. Trade marks are used in this case to enforce a piece of artwork for commercial purposes. There are also word marks (aka service marks) like THANK YOU FOR TRAVELING WITH PETRO PRIDE. [uspto.gov] which is covered because of the colours used. in fact there seems to be 64 pages of similar phrases, etc involving this.



* God, apparently is copyright the Vatican (nothing personal)

Question about www.linux.com (3)

sanderb (9539) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359205)

No opinion but a question.

Wasn't there like this dispute over www.linux.com. That Fred van Kempen (was it him, some Dutch guy?) eventually sold this domain for a lot of money. Shouldn't Linus have been policing there, as he explains if he did not do it in that case about what other domain could he possibly complain??

confused...

Re:What a bunch of sheep (2)

teraflop user (58792) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359206)

The difference is that Linus is protecting the Linux trademark (which he owns) for the use of himself and others for respectable purposes at very little cost.

Cybersquatters by contrast generally do not own or use the trademark (or use it in a desultory way to avoid cybersquatting laws), and only hold the domain name with the intention of selling it to the highest bidder.

So both Linus and cybersqatters hold and sell names.

But they sell for different reasons, to different customers, and for different prices.

Thus it is perfectly consistent to condem one and praise the other.

Remember, Linus NEVER started any of this (1)

BitMan (15055) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359207)

Remember, Linus NEVER started any of this.

The only reason Linus even owns the trademark is because of greedy @$$ decided to do it. Then he had his lawyers start forcing the (R) on everything that beared the name "Linux." Authors, publishers and the like.

Linux would have rather had some pro-Linux organization do it and keep it open. He talked about this after the whole fiasco started. He NEVER intended to register it himself.

Check out the USPTO Database for Linux [uspto.gov] . Note the (REGISTRANT) Croce, William R. Della, Jr!

-- Bryan "TheBS" Smith

Re:mylinux.com (2)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359208)

Offtopic? Yet another moderator who isn't terribly bright. It is peripherally on topic, as Linus mentioned a domain (mylinux.com) that he wasn't sure whether it was real or not. This poster merely checked up on it, and posted the information. Of course, had the moderator read the original article (you don't even need to leave this page!) and used a bit of common sense (!?) the moderator wouldn't have done that.

Questioning moderation (-1)
Flamebait (-1)
Troll (-1)

Your choice.

Down boy, Down! (4)

nevets (39138) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359209)

Speak for yourself. No trademark is beloved as far as I'm concerned, and I think this says something about the community. People are starting to care a whole lot more about names and labels, and I think it is a shame.

As Linux goes from a hobby to Business (which it already has) you do need to be concerned about names and labels. If corporations were able to start abusing the Linux trademark then those that do Linux as a hobby may have more trouble. Say if you are serious about a hobby and want to do your own web site, but it was squatted!

Do you think the Gnu people would be doing the same thing?

Well I can't speek for the FSF, but I do think they would if you started abusing the GNU label. RMS still thinks it should be called GNU/Linux. Talk about being concerned about labels. I did like the mention of calling it Linux/GNU so it doesn't sound like Linux is part of GNU.
As for Mr. Wall, well, he's a nut anyway (in a good way! ;^) so I don't know what he thinks!

Most people who make free software what it is can't do that and never have been able to. That hasn't really hurt free software much.

Like I said above, as free software becomes more business like, it will hurt!

But if he starts claiming that he's doing it for the good of the community*, I'm not going to be happy, because I'm part of that community and it does me no good. And if other people start claiming that he's doing it for the good of the communtiy, I'll get really pissed off. Especially if those people own shares in Linux companies.

Well, maybe not the good of the community, but for the good of Linux itself. Linux was started by Linus, and he still wants control of it, in all aspects. I don't blame him. Disclaimer: I don't really own Linux stock, but I do own Andover (So I guess I own Slashdot!).

I've got more hobbies and interests than programming and computers. If people want to make it all about trademarks and IPO's and what have you I'll spend more time sailing and cooking, and less time writing free software. No big deal. Either that or I'll go back to the world of Windows shareware, which is a whole lot less bitchy and is starting to produce better software.

Well don't pay attention to what others do. I write code because I like to. It's not just a hobby to me, I like to get more involved. I also have several other hobbies, but this is one that challenges me intellectually. I don't think the "slash dot mob" will leave out someone that is doing something that they believe in.

Steven Rostedt

What started this all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1359210)

What started this all?

Re:secrecy lifted from transmeta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1359211)

Here it is; http://www.transmeta.com

Re:It's always good... (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359212)

With all of the bright hax0rs out there, why doesn't one of them hack the slashdot server, find *.pl, and post it?

N.B. While I'd like to see the code posted myself, I can't even claim that I'd know where to begin doing this.

Re:Speaking of trademarks and linux... (1)

Lowther (136426) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359213)

I agree with what Linus is saying in his statement, and his reasons and motivations for doing it. Unfortunately the URL of this site represents identically the type of attack on the 'Microsoft' trademark that he is trying to protect Linux from ! I would hope that Linus, if he were aware of this site, would encourage LinuxOnline to drop the www.microsfot.com URL

Re:Thank You (TM) (2)

AndyElf (23331) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359214)

You're welcome! [uspto.gov]

Re:Reassuring, but (1)

nevets (39138) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359215)

Agree completely, it's really amazing how the Slashdot community bands together against trademarks and then all of the sudden they backpeddle since this is Linux it gets to play by different rules....

I don't ever recall a post against Trademarks. Well, that's not entirely true, I do remember the aolsearch thingy. But there were several that were on both sides of the issue.

We mostly band against patents which is entirely different. A trademark doesn't stop me from doing the things I do. Where as patents (stupid ones) do. Mainly the Amizon one-click and that guy with the Y2K windowing. Both simple ideas that were patented.

Now if Linux/Linus were to patent something, I don't think you would see us agreeing with him. But if you do, then we definitely are hypocrites.

Steven Rostedt

Play on words, etc (2)

Uruk (4907) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359216)

Hmmm...I sort of agree with you, but in Nasdaq, you do seem to be limited to 4 characters to get your point across whereas on the web you can have a hostname like

http://extremely-infringing-linux-site-selling-h ardcore-pr0n.com/

whereas if that was a ticker symbol, LPR0N wouldn't even fit. :) Maybe it's a question of immediate recognizeability. Also, it may be that with trademarks, it's a game of picking nits, and "Linux Foo" contains the word "Linux" and therefore could possibly infringe on the trademark. But, LNUX, LINX don't contain the word "Linux" (I told you this was picking nits) and therefore don't infringe.

Just throwing out some ideas, I know more about eastern samoan jungle gym construction than I do about trademark law.

Re:Let law determine what's "acceptable" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1359217)

> What if Linus decides that worshipping Budha is > "unacceptable behavior"? It's just not his job > to determine that. In general, it isn't, but when associated with Linux, I'd really say it is. Since it is his trademark, he decides what he want it associated to. If I was a Christian (which I am NOT, thank you very much), I wouldn't want my work associated with, for example (when we already into the religious business), Satanism.

Re:whatever. (1)

TurboJustin (34296) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359218)

The difference is that etoy.com is a domain that existed for years before etoys.com was even a dream - etoy could, theoretically, sue etoys.com for having their 'art fans' confused by a toy site. Had etoy created their domain *after* etoys was in business, well-known, etc.. there might be a case. Linus is defending the trademark from domain squatters - people who are making money directly on his trademark. This is akin to selling Coke jackets without Coca-Cola's permission. They have no product to sell except for crappy domains with the word 'linux' in them. Take out the word 'linux' and noone wants the domain. The purchasers of the domains, if they were using them for something at least remotely linux-related, wouldn't be infringing on the copyright, but the squatters were.

Re:What a bunch of sheep (1)

macguges (132077) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359219)

If law were software, it occurs to me that our trademark law is rapidly becoming obsolete.

Right here, right now, Linus is saving himself future headaches, and that's fine. But his frustration just highlights the greater problem, which is that our namespaces are becoming too cluttered.

IMHO, the optimal solution would involve the domain (Internet websites, industrial waste handlers) and the observer. This 'one name fits all' approach is breeding lunacy.

Re:Cybersquatting laws require proof of bad faith (1)

jdwtiv (107586) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359220)

>2) Register several domains that include the same
> trademark in different ways, as the owner of
> msdwonline.com did recently. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
> is going after him in court as a result, and I
> wouldn't want to be him.

But isn't this exactly what happened? Someone registered a bunch of domains with Linux in the name and put them up for auction. Unfortunately I can't seem to find the link...

Re:Question about www.linux.com (1)

TurboJustin (34296) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359221)

Linux.com is a portal. The domain wasn't sold, the entire *site* was sold, IIRC. The domain also wasn't purchased purely to be sold, it was held and used for an extended period of time and then sold to an interested party - it wasn't misused, and still isn't being misused. Had it been purchased and turned into a porn site, Linus might have something to say.

Re:Unfortunately, he's right (1)

MartinB (51897) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359222)

Microsoft's legal team thinks it's funny so they don't do anything about it

Legal teams don't find anything funny. It's their job to be dour humourless bastards.

Geez, what an extremist! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1359223)

I hate extremists. In fact extremists like you should be taken out and shot!

And that goes for the spammers and telemarketers as well.

Re:I'm confused, what about NASDAQ ticker symbols? (1)

elixir (21353) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359224)

I'm not sure trademark law counts against incomplete spellings.

i.e. Microsoft vs. Micosoft
Linux vs. Lnux

Can someone answer that for us?

So wrong ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1359225)


And yet, I can't look away!

Re:Thank You (TM) (2)

CormacJ (64984) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359226)

Actually these are Design Marks rather than Trademarks.

You're blocked from using the same words with the same design, but you could use the same works with a different design and/or colours.

Design Marks aren't quite as binding as Trademarks. If you wanted to register www.ThankYou.Com you could be stopped from enforcing it because its a design mark. You could stop someone using your logo though.

What about linux.com? (1)

Quack1701 (26159) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359227)

Humm.. I don't seem to recall Linus's lawyers getting in the way of the auction of linux.com for a lot of money. What's the differnce?

And by his own admittion, does this mean they don't have a leg to stand on this time?

quack

Re:Reassuring, but (1)

grumpy_geek (97488) | more than 14 years ago | (#1359228)

No not IP, trademarks and specifically who owns a domain.

I remember (OK fuzzily) lots of posts about how big-X corporation finds out that some fan (or foe) has a similar domain and goes to shut it down. I could go lookup specific examples if you want, but the Sun Java ones (going after coffee shops, etc) is one that pops into my mind, there have been lots of posts on these types of issues.

Whether you are for it or against it, I don't care just put some thought into what your opinion is and then pick a side of the fence don't start acting like hypoctrites changing your opinion when it is an easy way out.
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