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

Glen Turner glen.turner at aarnet.edu.au
Wed Aug 17 21:16:02 UTC 2005

Con Zymaris wrote:

 > There would have been no paranoia if this request to businesses had
 > been telegraphed through the normal channels for weeks or months
 > prior to the emails going out. If Jeremy expected issues and didn't
 > cater for them, then this is bad practice.

As far as Australian business is concerned a heads-up would have
been nice.  His e-mail to me went straight to Trash, as would any
e-mail starting "I represent Linus Torvalds...".  Like most business
of a certain size we have lawyers and we have a registered company
address. And that's where legal notices are expected to go; anything
else is spam. If you want to avoid businesses feeling they are being
scammed then pay for some stamps.

Asking a businesses to support you whilst telling them that their
support may cost them US$lots needs much more care with the drafting
than the letter contained.  Someone has to explain US$ remittance
to an offshore company to their manager, and it would be nice if the
right words were in the letter. Nice words that didn't make the
LMI look like a Carribean fax directory shakedown.

I've worked with lawyers for about a decade now (thanks to the
'joy' that is the Telecommunications Act), and I've learnt two
  (1) stay focussed whilst their fare meter is running;
  (2) don't let them run the business, that's your job.

And (2) is what happened. Linux Australia let their lawyer write
an important communication between themselves and Australian

As for Slashdot paranoia, it's nothing a few defamation suits
wouldn't improve.  I doubt Jeremy will bother, but someday
soneone will be motivated by a deep enough insult.

(not representing AARNet, but gee this had taken about
  *five* hours of my time this fortnight so you're going
  to hear my views. Poorly explained surprises like this
  make it really hard to argue that our support of the
  Linux community has near-zero marginal cost. As it is
  we need a legal opinion about our liability for software
  we mirror that doesn't acknowledge the Linux trademark.)

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