[Linux-aus] Re: [LACTTE] Linux Trade Mark

Pia Waugh greebo at pipka.org
Wed Aug 17 11:49:02 UTC 2005

Hi all,

I've blogged my thought at http://pipka.org/blog/

So there has been another flare-up of the trademarking the word Linux in
Australia idea. LA are getting some very mis-informed hate mail about how it
is wrong to trademark the word Linux because it is wrong to charge for the
use of the word Linux. I want to clarify something from my perspective:

*       Do I think it is wrong for Linux Australia to trademark the word Linux?
No. We are in dangerous times, and we need to ensure that the trademark is
owned by a non-profit community organisation with a community elected
committee to avoid a company trademarking the name and the either forcing
people to pay for the name, or disallowing them to use it, which they would
be well within their rights to do. Imagine we were not allowed to _use_ the
word Linux because someone completely outside the community owned the
trademark! SLUG for one would become TUFKASLUG (The Usergroup Formerly Known

*        Do I think it is wrong to charge to use the word Linux? 
Yes. Life is hard enough for Linux companies in Australia without extra
costs and I am personally not interested in charging for the use of the
Linux name by companies. If LA owns the trademark then the community has the
ability to stop someone using the word inappropriately, such as calling a
company "Linux World" when they only sell proprietary systems or not
allowing others to use the word at all. Having said that I can understand
the LMI needing to charge to sublicence the Linux trademark, as they need
funds to survive and to protect the name if is challenged, and thus if
anyone _wants_ to sublicence the name and pay for it, rock on, you are
supporting another worthy Linux project, however if you don't want to pay
for it and are using it appropriately then I personally feel this should be

The confusion seems to be that people think owning a trademark is
synonymous with charging for the use of it. This is not true. Owning a
trademark in our case is as a protective measure and to retain credibility
for the word.


Linux Australia                                         http://linux.org.au/
                      "What are we doing today brain?"
              "We're taking over the world like we always do."
                           - Pinky and the Brain

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