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Re: Questions about legal theory behind (L)GPL

On Wed, 19 Jan 2005 18:18:55 -0500, Raul Miller <moth@debian.org> wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 19, 2005 at 10:09:02AM -0800, Michael K. Edwards wrote:
> > But the FSF is going to lose a lot of credibility, even with the
> > choir, if they wait until their noses are rubbed in it in the next
> > lawsuit to admit that there isn't any universal "law of license" in
> > the real world after all.  Hint: it's not a coincidence that open
> > source companies and foundations with their own lawyers to advise them
> > are fortifying around trademark now.
> These two sentences don't seem to be related.  They probably shouldn't
> be in the same paragraph.

The subtext is that the FSF's credibility as an arbiter of compliance
is already damaged among people who have been paying more attention
that I have, who noticed at the time that MySQL won on trademark and
lost on the GPL.  (That's an oversimplification, since of course the
court took into account that Progress had already largely capitulated
on the substantive GPL issues before the hearing.)  Maybe that's just
post hoc, propter hoc; one would have to ask the pros in order to know
for sure.

> Brand name recognition is not a concept invented by lawyers for open
> source companies.

Agreed.  But use of a brand name to attempt to stop other people from
giving away the same thing you do under the same name is a bit of a
novelty.  Yet the logic of competition for mindshare is the same even
where the profit-seeking is very indirect; the broader the appeal of a
work, the more people rely on name recognition instead of critical

- Michael

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