17 August 2005

Linux trademark in Australia

The long and the short of this is: if Linus does not pick up and realistically use the Linux trademark in Australia, we will one day face another situation in which a private entity wishes to control the name “Linux” here, or perhaps someone’s stupid enough to think that they can succeed where The SCO Group is failing embarassingly badly at being a troll under the bridge.

The LinuxMark organisation was formed specifically to pursue recognition of Linus’ title to the name “Linux” worldwide, and in Australia, naturally enough, turned to Linux Australia for the actual execution of the plan.

LA in turn assigned Open Source author and legal advocate Jeremy “Spammer Slammer” Malcolm to the case.

So far, so good.

Now comes this bunch of turkeys from SlashDot mailing LA’s Press people to accuse Jeremy of being a money-grubbing Microserf, Scientology lackey and Lord knows what else, and to demand an accounting from LA for their part in this nefarious plot.

I quote, with great relish, from Ground Hog Day:

“Hello? Morons? Your bus is leaving!”

Get an act! Goodness me, it’s pretty obvious that literacy standards have been impacted by this new “negative information” science — y’all not only can’t read, y’all don’t read even the most basic FAQts before setting out on your own jihad/crusade to rid the world of injustice.

What y’all ought to be doing is putting a trademark™ (™) symbol (or in countries where it’s already fully registerd, a registered symbol® (®)) and a link to an explanatory page like this one. up next to the word “linux” on every website you own.

The only thing is — given the intelligence displayed so far — I’m getting less and less certain that this is a good idea after all.

And a word to journalists: when the Revolution comes and I finally get to make some laws, one of them is going to involve terms like “criminal negligence” and “inciting to riot” in connection with publishing gossip as if it were fact.

Yes, sensation does get you hits. And so? What about your own personal, moral responsibilities? Do you want “journalist” to rank alongside (or below) “lawyer” in people’s estimation? Do you want to have to lie about what you do in order to be socially accepted? Think before you act.

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