Wireshark-dev: Re: [Wireshark-dev] [Ethereal-dev] Major announcement

From: Erwin Rol <mailinglists@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 09 Jun 2006 10:12:53 +0200
On Thu, 2006-06-08 at 18:17 -0500, Gerald Combs wrote:
> I'm singling this question out due to its significance:
> What happens if Gerald leaves CACE / gets hit by a bus / is bludgeoned
> to death by Erwin Rol?  Specifically, what happens to the Wireshark
> trademark?

Hey I am not that violent, unless yer a German football supporter and we
(Holland) lose again from Germany in the final of the world
championship ;-)

> I'll quit the project before we change the name again.  There's no way
> I'm going through this crap a second time.  The trademark registrations
> are in progress.  They'll initally be owned by me.
> I'd like opinions from the community about where we should proceed after
> that.  If you're comfortable with me holding the trademarks, I'd be
> proud to do so.  If you'd rather see an organization formed to ensure
> the continued success of the project, I'd be happy about that too.  If
> you have any other (realistic, constructive) suggestions, please send them.

I think there are a few options, but they all have disadvantages too.

1) You could hold the trademark, just like Linus holds the Linux
2) Some Wireshark foundation could be founded and they could hold the
3) Some existing foundation could be found. 

Solution one has the disadvantage that Gerald can do what he wants with
the trademark including selling it to Microsoft or anybody else ;-) And
that he will have to cough up all the cost himself, or at least find
funding himself, cause the world is bigger than the US, look what
happened to the Linux trademark in other countries. Of course the pro
side is that it is easy, Gerald registers the mark and we are done.

Solution 2, has the disadvantage that a foundation has to be founded,
and several people have to lead that foundation. So it will be extra
work and when it is just for a trademark it seems a bit of a over kill.
If it also will do other things like pay for the webhosting, and
organize computer fair stands, bit like the gnome, kde, blender
foundations it might be a good long term goal. Advantage is also that
not one single person can decide what happens to the trademark and to
Wireshark in general. 

Solution 3 has the advantage it is simple. the disadvantage is that I
wouldn't know what foundation would be good for Wireshark, FSF ? ASF ?
OSL ? GNOME ? And even if one is found, will it have the best interests
for Wireshark ? cause it will be unlikely that one of the Wireshark
developers will directly get a position in the board of a existing

> [ BTW, why aren't there more umbrella organizations for open source like
> the ASF?  In particular, why isn't there an umbrella organization for
> open source networking software? ]

Well maybe it is time to create one ? What other projects are there that
would benefit from a Open Network Software Foundation? 

Personally I would suggest to let Gerald have the trademark for now
until all the dust settles, and than maybe in a year or so look around
if it is possible to start a foundation for the Wireshark project (and
maybe other network software based projects). And if starting a
foundation is not possible, just let Gerald have it, in the end the only
thing that can be taken away is the name and not the GPLed software
(that is why GPL software is a good thing!). 

- Erwin