OpenBSD Journal

[OpenSSH] The saga continues...

Contributed by Dengue on from the bleh dept.

NewsForge is running OpenSSH: Let the community decide trademark fight , an article interviewing Theo, and further describing the "SSH" trademark fight. Also included is an open letter from Tatu Ylonen to Niels Provos regarding his use of the "SSH" trademark in his application ScanSSH .

Linux Today is carrying ssh(R) trademark issues: comments and proposal containing Tatu's proposal for solution.


(Comments are closed)

  1. By Alex Hochberger () on

    You're in the wrong. I'm sorry, but /. legal opinions don't mean squat. That "license" from the original release is hardly a license, and doesn't directly say that you can call it SSH.

    It gets worse. You call your application SSH, which is fine. You can probably use the license to argue that right. However, calling your product OpenSSH which is based on an earlier version of SSH is very confusing. It would NOT be clear to people that they are separate and incompatible products.

    You are going to lose that fight.

    He is enforcing his trademarks. Once it became clear that you were causing confusion, he enforced. I think that a court of law would agree with that.

    Furthermore, the license and the enforcement is NOT a binary characteristic, it's a area for legal evaluation. Trademarks are supposed to prevent confusion in commerce. Given a company built around a technology and trademark, and a Canadian based group intent on destroying their revenue stream with a free product, who do you think the American Court will side with? This isn't corporate control of the country, this is trademarks needing to prevent confusion in the marketplace.

    Don't be a jerk, leave the guy's business alone.

    Settle the following:
    application names can remain ssh, sshd

    Project name changed to OpenSecSH. OpenSSH domain name retained to point to OpenSecSH.

    You lose nothing. Continue this fight, and you're going to get screwed.

  2. By ThomasJ () thomasj at superusers dot dk on mailto:thomasj at superusers dot dk

    I find this whole case stupid, but I would rather see, that the protocol name and the company name be different than "win" in the sense that the users are confused. (One could argue, that confused users shouldn't use advanced software at all, but ...)
    But, if OpenSSH should change its name, I would like for Tatu Ylonen to appologise and excuse the confusion it brought, that he did not clearly stated from the start what would be the correct use of the term ssh, to us, to IETF, and to the general public.

  3. By dmp () on

    I think the fist poster is a little confused on US trademark protection and the ssh trademark. If this person looked (and bothered to read) the trademark is for ssh (lowercase). So, SSH is technically alright. However, the trademark possibly causes problems for the command names ssh and sshd.
    There is another problem here. Tatu has *NOT* previously enforced his trademark and the original license implies that you can use the name ssh if you code is conforms to the standard. In the USA, you need to consistently and uniformly protect your trademark or it may be invalidated. There is the issue of whether you can trademark a command name, and I really don't know whether you can or not. Tatu suddenly decides that he want's all the executable names changes, I'm sorry, I don't think the US courts would look kindly at his sudden interest in the trademark of ssh.

    I think Tatu should get a bottle of Finlandia, relax and get over it. He made his mistake long ago, he can't make up for it now.


  4. By Iain () on

    The issue here is SSH a Trademark or Generic Name. Example is Kelenex and Tissue Paper. When a new product comes to market in particular under a patent you need to have both a Trademark and a Generic Name.

    From reading a bit I preceive that ssh is a generic name since it is the tool to do the work. But my simple answer is change the name and be done with it.

    So what should the new name be? My answer is Secure Session Protocol or SSP for short. So the new name is OpenSSP and let the Value Added Retailers, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Caldera, RedHat, Suse, Slackware, Debian, and more, add symbolic links to ssp and sspd.

    This all said the OpenSSH team should change their name to OpenSSP. Also do not trademark the ssp and sspd as names and let every other Comercial, Open Source or Free project use these names. Only trademark or register OpenSSP. Now it will be remembered as SSP. Hence the title or part of a title of a new O'Reilly book on Security.

    By for now. All the best if the plan is to go the rounds.


  5. By Bill Schaub () on

    Just how bad is this going to get? Tatu seems to
    have taken leave of all of his senses and not backing down from this issue. I really believe that this will hurt his company more than it will
    help it because many people atleast in the open source community will change to OpenSSH simply because they dont like Tatu's new politics. just my two cents worth.


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