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

From: mike3
Subject: Re: GNU, the "UNIX" trademark, and legal control over language
Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2008 16:20:41 -0800 (PST)
User-agent: G2/1.0

On Jan 26, 6:50 am, John Hasler <> wrote:
> 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.


So then what is the point of contrivances like "Unix-like", "*nix",
"UN*X", "*n*x", etc. that are used all over in discussion boards
like this one, even though those discussions are often not for
advertising or marketing a product?

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