Subject: Re: *BSD cooperation...
To: Peter Seebach <>
From: Perry E. Metzger <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 04/23/2000 01:33:53 (Peter Seebach) writes:
> Now, don't get any crazy ideas.  I'm not promising anything.  I'm not saying
> that *anything* will happen.  About the most I can say is that I'm
> pretty damn sure no one is planning to invent a trademark suit.

I would think it would be an act of fairly good will on the part of
the BSDI folks if they would give up the trademark registration. As it
stands, there is a constant implied threat of a trademark dispute. It
is also fairly clear that the term "BSD" was in use before BSDI
existed, and that if anyone had a right to the term it was UCB, not
BSDI. The very act of applying for the trademark was a bad idea.

If BSDI doesn't like that idea, it should perhaps make some effort to
move the ownership of the trademark to a neutral organization and
pledge not to attempt to enforce it against NetBSD or anyone else with
a fairly obvious claim.

> It would be nice if NetBSD tried to cooperate with *us*.

I'm going to say something fairly controversial here. I'm not sure
what's in it for NetBSD to do that. I can certainly see how that can
help BSDI's marketing plans, and increase the potential value of BSDI
shares post IPO, but how exactly does cooperation help NetBSD, or any
of NetBSD's developers?  Especially given the lack of public knowledge
about NetBSD, pushes in the direction of "we're all one happy family"
tend to reduce the market differentiation of NetBSD and work to
increase its marginalization in the marketplace.

I'm willing to hear arguments to the contrary, of course, but I'm not
nearly so sure it is cut and dried.

Perry Metzger
"Ask not what your country can force other people to do for you..."