Comic eric raymond esr gold plated jon maddog hall linus torvalds linux linux mark institute maddog royalties segway slashdot trademark


episode 15 strip

That promise about doing better with ELER? Yeah, well. Doesn’t all this stuff just bore you to tears? Go do some coding or something.

I’m on holiday next week so you’ll probably miss another strip, but you should be used to that by now.

Hey, also, feel free to join #newworldodour on Quakenet and say hi.

UPDATE: No new ELER this week, I’m on holiday. This message is brought to you from an Internet cafe in Moscow. I can’t speak Russian but I’m having a go. For most nouns, it’s just like a substitution cipher. Once you substitute all the right letters, it looks just like the English but spelt phonetically.

I wonder if someone could arrange so that when Linus dies, we can put his body on display in an underground bunker in Finland. Geeks from around the world would queue for hours to see his clever little corpse. Maybe you could buy a souvenir cast of his brain.

19 replies on “Linus(r)”

I don’t get the last frame. Is that a reference to the Americans pulling down the statue of Hussein?

That’s John Maddog Hall, one of Linus’ close mates. Been involved in Linux since the early days and helped Linus trademark the Linux brand in the US some years ago. Maddog runs Linux International (and, I guess, recently, although I haven’t been following the story). He looks like Father Christmas’ less well-dressed brother.

I’m also glad to see this strip back up here. Please keep it up!

*Googles “Maddog” *

Found it… Big Gun: Jon ‘maddog’ Hall

“Jon ‘maddog’ Hall has been in the computer industry since 1969, using Unix since 1977, and Linux since 1994. He has been a software engineer, systems administrator, product manager, marketing manager and professional educator. Jon has been the Executive Director of Linux International since 1995, the first four years as a volunteer. He has been employed by VA Linux systems, Compaq Computer Corporation in the Digital UNIX Marketing group and Bell Laboratories, among other companies.”

There’s even a pic for proof.

‘cos maddog runs the LMI (Linux Mark Institute), which is charging people for use of the Linux trademark (under a sublicence from Linus). According to Groklaw it’s all perfectly above board required legal fees and necessary protection of Linux’s name, but the licence fees start at $200 for non-profit organisations.

Have you been living under a rock for the last month?

Just to clarify; there’s no charge for using Linux or for saying that you sell/use/support/fix linux as a company or organisation, but if you call yourself “Foo Linux Support” or “The Foo Linux Distribution” as a registered name, you have to pay up. And it’s got a lot of slashdotters very angry.

I’ve always heard that for Windows to beat UNIX it must become UNIX. Perhaps in order to beat Windows Linux must become Windows and use any means necessary (legal action) to make a buck.

It is a small world. I too am in an Internet Cafe in Russia. I get gratis wireless internet here instead of having to pay the 200 USD that the hotel would require to put the service in my room, or the 100 USD per day that they would charge once it is installed…..

Instead of just ranting on about the Linux Mark Institute that “maddog hall runs”, if the Slashdot (“All the news that is fit to abuse”) readers had gone and read the site ( and actually THOUGHT about it and applied the rules of law (as Groklaw did), perhaps they would not have been as upset as they were. In particular since very little will change in the world of Linux other than the people who are trying to capitalize off the name to make money will now have to pay a small amount to help protect it and the people who want to abuse the name may be stopped.

Realizing that the cartoon above was “in good fun”, the truth of the matter is that neither Linus or any of the board members and officers of LMI are paid any salary or make any money off this effort. All the fees go directly to paying legal fees and the one para-legal who is managing the registration and answering questions.

Jon “maddog” Hall

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