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Linus trademarks Linux

Companies to be charged for free software
Fri Aug 19 2005, 09:44
MORE THAN 90 Australian companies have been asked to pay a licence fee for Linux software in a move apparently backed by the software's eminence grise, Linus Torvalds.

Letters demanding US$5000 for use of the Linux name were originally dismissed as a hoax. But according to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Open Sauce king is dead serious.

Jon 'Maddog' Hall, the executive director of Linux International in the US, said that a community organisation called Linux Australia had been nominated to handle the trademark issue and had sent out the letters.

In the US, the Linux Mark Institute (LMI) will handle trademark issues in the US and nominate local bodies to look after trademark things in other countries.

According to Hall, the move is not to get a slice of any one's action, nor was not about trying limit the use of the name Linux, but only to protect the quality of products that go out under that brand.

When asked whether or not they were being hypocritical about software patents while at the same time bringing in trademarks, Hall said that there was nothing to stop a company using Linux software without using the Linux name. If Linux patented Linux that would certainly happen. µ

Sydney Morning Herald


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