Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Torvalds weighs in on Linux trademark row

Filed under

Torvalds denied on Saturday that he or anyone else is making money from sublicensing the Linux trademark, as the legal costs are higher than the license fees.

"Not only do I not get a cent of the trademark money, but even (the Linux Mark Institute, which actually administers the trademark) has so far historically always lost money on it," Torvalds said in a posting to the Linux Kernel Mailing List.

He explained that the "cease-and-desist or sublicense the mark" letters are a requirement of maintaining a trademark. He highlighted a posting made to the mailing list in 2000, which explained why such letters are necessary.

"Trademark law requires that the trademark owner police the use of the trademark," Torvalds said in the earlier posting. "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.'"

Torvalds has also recently been accused of hypocrisy, with some in the open-source community claiming that his criticism of software patents is contradictory to his enforcement of trademarks. Torvalds did not comment on this issue in his new posting to the mailing list, but the founder of a prominent anti-software-patent site defended Torvalds on the issue.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

diff -u: What's New in Kernel Development

Over time, memory can become more and more fragmented on a system, making it difficult to find contiguous blocks of RAM to satisfy ongoing allocation requests. At certain times the running system may compact regions of memory together to free up larger blocks, but Vlastimil Babka recently pointed out that this wasn't done regularly enough to avoid latency problems for code that made larger memory requests. Read more

Canonical's Ubuntu Internet Browser Silently Becomes Awesome - Video

The Ubuntu Internet browser is a little-known application that's been getting a lot of updates lately. It's developed internally by Canonical, and it seems to get better with each new edition. Read more

7 open-source password managers to try now that LogMeIn owns LastPass

Some LastPass users were clearly not pleased to find out last week that the password management app had been acquired by LogMeIn. Fortunately, there are several alternatives to choose from. Sure, there are premium options like Dashlane, Keeper, Passpack, 1Password, and RoboForm, but there are also free password management systems that anyone can inspect and even contribute to. No matter what you use, the idea is to be more secure than you would be if you were to just use “password” as the password for every app you sign up for. Read more

Open Document Format: Using Officeshots and ODFAutoTesting for Sustainable Documents

One of the many benefits of open source software is that it offers some protection from having programs disappear or stop working. If part of a platform changes in a non-compatible way, users are free to modify the program so that it continues to work in the new environment. At a level above the software, open standards protect the information itself. Everybody expects to be able to open a JPEG image they took with their digital camera 5 years ago. And, it is not unreasonable to expect to be able to open that same image decades from now. For example, an ASCII text file written 40 years ago can be easily viewed today. Read more