The safest pair of hands ...

Dr. Rich Artym rartym at
Thu Nov 26 12:56:59 UTC 1998

As they say, the only person who can safely be appointed to a position
of power is the one who doesn't want that honour.

Richard Stallman isn't interested in the label "Open Software" in the
slightest (as he has made very clear), so the FSF would make a good,
neutral custodian for the trademark on behalf of all those wishing to
use it. There is no way it would be abused to feather the FSF's own
nest, a definite danger elsewhere.

SPI, OSI (not a good choice of name!) and any number of other OSS
organizations can perform their roles perfectly adequately without
holding the trademark themselves. In fact, it would be a bad idea if
one of them were to hold it in an exclusive manner, since this would
then make other similar organizations operate in some sense as second
class citizens, ie. in a subsidiary capacity. That would not be
even-handed, and it's easy to see much bad feeling developing from
such a skewed setup --- we see the start of that already.

In contrast, in the FSF it would in effect lie in a sort of
undisturbed "glass case", a place of esteem for the latest emblem of
the community. I think this would work well.

Rich Artym
rich at

More information about the Spi-general mailing list