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Re: GNU, the "UNIX" trademark, and legal control over language

From: John Hasler
Subject: Re: GNU, the "UNIX" trademark, and legal control over language
Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2008 07:50:28 -0600
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.1 (gnu/linux)

mike3 writes:
> Why can't GNU systems, BSD systems, etc. be called "unix systems" in
> everyday conversational language?

They can.

> How does The Open Group's ownership of the UNIX(R) trademark trample on
> our ability to use "unix systems" in everyday conversational English?

It doesn't.  A trademark owner has no power to limit use of his mark in
everyday conversation.

> Is the US Government, and perhaps those of other countries, (maybe even
> international treaty!) actually capable of regulating the language like
> that?

The US government is not.  I can't say about others.

> I, personally, do not think a government should be able to control the
> language in this way.

The US government can't (and doesn't try).

> ...trademarking has to do, or at least _should_ have to do, with the
> names one markets a product under...

It does.

> ...not what names we should choose to use to refer to something in our
> everyday speech.

It doesn't.
John Hasler
Dancing Horse Hill
Elmwood, WI USA

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