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SSH Claims Trademark Infringement by OpenSSH

Hemos posted more than 13 years ago | from the pissing-into-the-wind dept.

Encryption 593

Olmy's Jart writes: "Tatu Ylonen has just posted the following message to the Openssh developers mailing list, openssh-unix-dev@mindrot.org. He is claiming OpenSSH, http://www.openssh.com, is infringing on his trademark on the terms "SSH" and "Secure Shell" and demanding that the OpenSSH project change their name." Thanks to Olmy's Jart for attaching the message - I've included it in the text below. The e-mail provides the background and thinking behind the letter.This has not yet shown up on the OpenSSH mailing list archives, http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?l=openssh-unix-dev&r=1&w=2, although some replies are already there.

==================================================

From: Tatu Ylonen
To: openssh-unix-dev@mindrot.org
Subject: SSH trademarks and the OpenSSH product name
Organization: SSH Communications Security, Finland
Sender: owner-openssh-unix-dev@mindrot.org

Friends,

Sorry to write this to a developer mailing list. I have already
approached some OpenSSH/OpenBSD core members on this, including Markus
Friedl, Theo de Raadt, and Niels Provos, but they have chosen not to
bring the issue up on the mailing list. I am not aware of any other
forum where I would reach the OpenSSH developers, so I will post this
here.

As you know, I have been using the SSH trademark as the brand name of
my SSH (Secure Shell) secure remote login product and related
technology ever since I released the first version in July 1995. I
have explicitly claimed them as trademarks at least from early 1996.

In December 1995, I started SSH Communications Security Corp to
support and further develop the SSH (Secure Shell) secure remote login
products and to develop other network security solutions (especially
in the IPSEC and PKI areas). SSH Communications Security Corp is now
publicly listed in the Helsinki Exchange, employs 180 people working
in various areas of cryptographic network security, and our products
are distributed directly and indirectly by hundreds of licensed
distributors and OEMs worldwide using the SSH brand name. There are
several million users of products that we have licensed under the
SSH brand.

To protect the SSH trademark I (or SSH Communications Security Corp.,
to be more accurate) registered the SSH mark in the United States and
European Union in 1996 (others pending). We also have a registration
pending on the Secure Shell mark.

The SSH mark is a significant asset of SSH Communications Security and
the company strives to protect its valuable rights in the SSH® name
and mark. SSH Communications Security has made a substantial
investment in time and money in its SSH mark, such that end users have
come to recognize that the mark represents SSH Communications Security
as the source of the high quality products offered under the mark.
This resulting goodwill is of vital importance to SSH Communications
Security Corp.
We have also been distributing free versions of SSH Secure Shell under
the SSH brand since 1995. The latest version, ssh-2.4.0, is free for
any use on the Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD operating systems,
as well as for universities and charity organizations, and for
personal hobby/recreational use by individuals.

We have been including trademark markings in SSH distributions, on the
www.ssh.fi, www.ssh.com, and www.ssh.org web sites, IETF standards
documents, license/readme files and product packaging long before the
OpenSSH group was formed. Accordingly, we would like you to
understand the importance of the SSH mark to us, and, by necessity,
our need to protect the trademark against the unauthorized use by
others.

Many of you are (and the initiators of the OpenSSH group certainly
should have been) well aware of the existence of the trademark. Some
of the OpenBSD/OpenSSH developers/sponsors have also received a formal
legal notice about the infringement earlier.

I have started receiving a significant amount of e-mail where people
are confusing OpenSSH as either my product or my company's product, or
are confusing or misrepresenting the meaning of the SSH and Secure
Shell trademarks. I have also been informed of several recent press
articles and outright advertisements that are further confusing the
origin and meaning of the trademark.

The confusion is made even worse by the fact that OpenSSH is also a
derivative of my original SSH Secure Shell product, and it still looks
very much like my product (without my approval for any of it, by the
way). The old SSH1 protocol and implementation are known to have
fundamental security problems, some of which have been described in
recent CERT vulnerability notices and various conference papers.
OpenSSH is doing a disservice to the whole Internet security community
by lengthening the life cycle of the fundamentally broken SSH1
protocols.

The use of the SSH trademark by OpenSSH is in violation of my
company's intellectual property rights, and is causing me, my company,
our licensees, and our products considerable financial and other
damage.

I would thus like to ask you to change the name OpenSSH to something
else that doesn't infringe the SSH or Secure Shell trademarks,
basically to something that is clearly different and doesn't cause
confusion.

Also, please understand that I have nothing against independent
implementations of the SSH Secure Shell protocols. I started and
fully support the IETF SECSH working group in its standardization
efforts, and we have offered certain licenses to use the SSH mark to
refer to the protocol and to indicate that a product complies with the
standard. Anyone can implement the IETF SECSH working group standard
without requiring any special licenses from us. It is the use of the
"SSH" and "Secure Shell" trademarks in product names or in otherwise
confusing manner that we wish to prevent.

Please also try to look at this from my viewpoint. I developed SSH
(Secure Shell), started using the name for it, established a company
using the name, all of our products are marketed using the SSH brand,
and we have created a fairly widely known global brand using the name.
Unauthorized use of the SSH mark by the OpenSSH group is threathening
to destroy everything I have built on it during the last several
years. I want to be able to continue using the SSH and Secure Shell
names as identifying my own and my company's products and
technologies, which the unlawful use of the SSH name by OpenSSH is
making very hard.

Therefore, I am asking you to please choose another name for the
OpenSSH product and stop using the SSH mark in your product name and
in otherwise confusing manner.

Regards,

Tatu Ylonen

SSH Communications Security http://www.ssh.com/
SSH IPSEC Toolkit http://www.ipsec.com/
SSH(R) Secure Shell(TM) http://www.ssh.com/products/ssh


"

Update: 02/14 02:44 PM by CT : I just wanted to insert my 2 bits into this story. This is a problem close to my heart: I hate getting tech support for PHPSlash. I don't care that it exists, in fact, I'm happy that it does, it fills a need and a lot of people like it. But there is no doubt that this is confusing to people, I get the bug reports to prove it. (My other peeve examples are Linux Mandrake taking a certain Linux developer's name even though they knew better, and the K5 guys naming their project 'Scoop' even tho another major Web site was created by a guy with the same name). I have no problem with any of these projects: I think all 3 of them are great projects, but if they were just a little more original there would be no confusion. Now I'd personally never go so far as to call copyright infringement, I shouldn't have to. We're all nice people here. Maybe I'm just a bit idealistic on this one.

cancel ×

593 comments

These idiots HAVE TO BE STOPPED (1)

JamesGreenhalgh (181365) | more than 13 years ago | (#433253)

The computer industry is getting more and more depressing with each passing day. Honestly, since the command name will probably be the same regardless of the name the project uses (lets see them try to patent command names..), what can they possibly hope to gain from this aside from contempt for their litigious asses?

I'll be switching all my ssh servers and clients to OpenSSH immediately.

--

Yeah, but..... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#433254)

I understand he has to protect it or lose it, but did he originally coin the terms "SSH" and/or "Secure Shell"??

Just rename it to secure open shell .. (1)

RedLaggedTeut (216304) | more than 13 years ago | (#433255)

.. or whatever.

Sheesh ... (1)

ghoti (60903) | more than 13 years ago | (#433256)


I have a proposal for a new name: "Sheesh ..." (including the ellispis). Would be very appropriate, don't you think?

Re:These idiots HAVE TO BE STOPPED (2)

Stephen (20676) | more than 13 years ago | (#433257)

Honestly, since the command name will probably be the same regardless of the name the project uses (lets see them try to patent command names..)
Trademark, not patent.

It's not at all clear to me that one can't trademark command names. Is there any legal precedent on this? If you want to find out, try releasing a program called "Excellent Game" with command name "Excel" and see what happens.

Re:The original SSH license (1)

mrfiddlehead (129279) | more than 13 years ago | (#433355)

The question then might be, is openssh completely in compliance with the RFC?

Re:Another reason for this (2)

CodeMonky (10675) | more than 13 years ago | (#433356)

Except that OpenSSH supports both Protocols 1 and 2 and protocol 1 can be turned off and only older clients are still using version 1 by default. I think for a period of time you will need ssh1 around until those older version are phased out. I think he's just pissed he released it (v1) under an open license and then thought better of it and released a new product under a very different license and just wants people to move to the new non-free version.

A breath of fresh air! (1)

JerseyTom (16722) | more than 13 years ago | (#433357)

That was the *most* polite "please don't use my trademark" message I've ever seen. Usually you get a legally worded "go away or we'll sue your ass off!" note.

I think he deserves credit for trying to bring civility to the process.

--Tom

Re:A SSH by any other name... (1)

CodeMonky (10675) | more than 13 years ago | (#433358)

I'll just setup a system wide alias to ssh anyway.

Can they claim infringement on an alias?
God i hope not.

Having been through something like this before ... (2)

martin-k (99343) | more than 13 years ago | (#433359)

Having fought through a cancellation of a registered trademark before, here are a couple of things one should consider:

1. Is there a likelihood of confusion between SSH and OpenSSH? I'd say "yes" because they are similar products and the trademark "SSH" is contained in the name "OpenSSH". So not much of a chance for defending OpenSSH on the grounds of "no likelihood of confusion".

2. Was Tatu the first to use the name "SSH" for a secure shell? If not, then there might be grounds for having his trademark cancelled on grounds of "application in bad faith". This is possibly in Germany, for example, for 10 years after the trademark has been applied for.

3. Having not defended his trademark for four years, Tatu will have trouble getting others to drop the name "SSH" or combinations thereof. HOWEVER, this protects only existing uses of the name "SSH", not other individuals or companies using the name for future products. Also, while he have not have a case against the OpenSSH people, he might thereby have a case against companies like Red Hat or Suse distributing OpenSSH as part of their distributions, and definitely against companies that will be bringing out new Linux distributions in the future. If you have trademark case, you can go after everybody in the food chain. This can get messy.

4. Tatu says he has registrations for "Secure Shell" pending. If someone feels that this name should be free, please contact a lawyer and have him send a nice letter to the respective trademark offices opposing the registration. NOW it is relatively easy to oppose the registration, LATER ON this will be much more difficult.

5. Do any of the OpenSSH developers have sufficient funds to fight this through? This could be getting mighty expensive soon.

This all said, I think the e-mail this guy sent has been very polite and not the typical lawyer-attack letter. Either he's just polite and interested in finding a solution, or he knows he's on shaky grounds.

I put this together just to show you what's possible. If Tatu is in his right to use his trademark, then work out a solution. If there are legitimate reasons for keeping the name "SSH" free, then go ahead and defend against it!

As always, IANAL, but I won a trademark lawsuit before.

-Martin

Re: secsh (1)

Mike Gleason (86683) | more than 13 years ago | (#433360)

Why not "secsh", as in what the IETF lists at their site [ietf.org] .

  • Secure Shell (secsh)

Plus it has a nice ring, almost like "sex" and "sh" put together.

Take a look at these IETF documents... (5)

lpontiac (173839) | more than 13 years ago | (#433361)

SSH Connection Protocol [ietf.org] (36516 bytes)
SSH Transport Layer Protocol [ietf.org] (53476 bytes)
SSH Authentication Protocol [ietf.org] (26537 bytes)
SSH Protocol Architecture [ietf.org] (27345 bytes)

All of these documents are published on the IETF website. All of these documents cite Mr. Ylonen as an author. And all of these documents describe the SSH protocol. Not the "secsh" protocol - they consistantly refer to the discussed protocol as "SSH."

It's clear that "SSH" is the common name for the protocol that OpenSSH uses. Furthermore, by putting his name on a standards document that doesn't refer to the protocol by another name, surely he's endorsing this common use of "SSH"? And surely by publishing an open standard that in itself makes no claim to the name (I don't see the documents referring to the "SSH (R)" protocol), he should be relinquishing all exclusive rights to the name as a means of describing the protocol?

I don't see how OpenSSH could be construed to be deceptive in any way. It's derived from the original SSH in accordance with it's license, and interoperates with other computers using the SSH protocol. To turn around now and claim it's trademark violation which deceives the consumer, is analogous to Microsoft saying that "Word Viewer" is a trademark violation. Actually, it's closer to the Regents of the University of California accusing FreeBSD of trademark violation.

At best, it doesn't make sense. At worse, it's a deliberate and deceitful attempt to stab the people that are using the protocol (whose name he gave his blessing!) in the back.

Re:may as well change the name of openssh (1)

yoghurt (2090) | more than 13 years ago | (#433362)

rsh isn't a shell either. there was no "style of
naming" since rsh was the only odd man out. why
continue down a bad path?

Wild predictions enclosed... =) (1)

rakslice (90330) | more than 13 years ago | (#433363)

If OpenSSH is really in wide enough usage "to destroy everything [T. Ylönen has] built on it during the last several years", then I don't see how see how "SSH" and "Secure Shell" aren't in wide enough usage to void his trademark... That would be like me suggesting that Ylönen's violation of libgmp's license back when it was GPLed (it is now LGPLed) has seriously harmed the free software community... =)

It's more likely that a) OpenSSH would still be in as wide usage if it had originally called itself something else, b) OpenSSH will still be in as wide usage tomorrow, after (I predict) the name changes, and c) this isn't going to stop any BSD or Linux flavour that packages OpenSSH to not create an ssh symlink. =)

What I really don't understand: the complaint about OpenSSH encouraging SSH 1 usage. OpenSSH has supported the SSH2 protocol since June of last year. Sure, it also supports SSH 1. But even SSH will fall back into (absolutely insecure) rsh mode. And it's not like the more restrictive later SSH licensing is helping 1.2.27 dry up any more quickly...

Re:may as well change the name of openssh (1)

agentZ (210674) | more than 13 years ago | (#433364)

I never said we should. Personally, I think the protocol should get the short, easy name, ssh (like FTP or HTTP) and the implementations should build on those (e.g. OpenSSH, TrademarkedSSH, SSHisCool, etc)

Yet Again... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#433365)

...the typical slashdot crowd start shouting "so what", "tough", "can't trademark this that or the other".

This bloke has had the courtesy to write a mild mannered letter _asking_ for the OpenSSH group to find another name, but no, he goes ignored and the typical rants show up here.

Yet, had he done what most other companies would have done, i.e: Cease and decist & get ISP to remove site, you lot would have got your usual hard on, about how dare a company affront an "Open" software group as such.

You lot need to fucking sort your act out.

Anonymous Coward

That has to be the nicest c & d I've read. (2)

Hollins (83264) | more than 13 years ago | (#433366)

This letter is the nicest cease and desist I've read. Probably because it wasn't written by lawyers who usually say something like "stop doing this right now and we'll probably sue you anyway. Deliver us your first born child or I'll generate 80 billable hours this week to bring the wrath of our perverted court system down upon your ass."

This letter contained every nicety but "Wishing you and yours well in the coming New Year(tm)".

Re:No, he doesn't have to do so (2)

(void*) (113680) | more than 13 years ago | (#433367)

You can't trademark a number. This is why Intel named the processor Pentium. They discovered in court that Cyrix can call their chip 386's, and 486's without problems.

OT: Liberated vs. Free (2)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 13 years ago | (#433368)

Of course, I feel that RMS ought to use the term "liberated software" to avoid the whole "free beer/free speech" issue, but that's another story....

That is not such a good idea.

"Liberated" is slang in many areas for "procured by illicit means" (e.g. he "liberated" a pack of cigarretts from the local five and dime). To many "liberated software" has an unsavory implication of "warez."

The Free Speach/Free Beer discussion is IMHO a good one ... it forces people to think about what freedom and free really mean, and allows an easy and natural avenue for pointing it out to those less aware.

ObSSH: if the SSH trademark should be enforceable (which I doubt, given that "ssh" is the name of an IETF standard, the original license allowed derivative products to use the term "ssh" as long is such products adhered to the RFCs, and OpenSSH has been using it for over a year now) I think your suggestion (Fresh) would be an excellent choice.

You forgot the best one - as a verb (1)

snicker (7648) | more than 13 years ago | (#433369)

"I've got to go shit into the webserver to fix some shit."

"Here, let me shit onto your desktop and try some shit out."

*sn
ro da poi ratcu zo'u da pensi zmado do

Re:OpenSSH replacements offer... (1)

mfkap (230504) | more than 13 years ago | (#433370)

About your IBM thing... go ahead and try selling computers as IBM and say that it stands for Internal Bus Maachines or something... you wouldn't even find a company to manufacture something with IBM on it because of the fact that it is trademarked, and you would be sued in a matter of seconds. This guy built a brand on the term SSH... and openSSH DOES confuse some people (don't bother with the "If I know it everyone does and if they don't know they aren't worthy to use a computer!!!" please) and he does have the legal right to defend his trademark. Just cause you make something free to compete with a named product, doesn't mean you can name it virtually the same thing. If it WAS legal, think of the havoc MS could cause.

Re:Name suggestions: (2)

Miss Pereira (307824) | more than 13 years ago | (#433371)

Or perhaps

SNS - SNS's Not SSH

so next ... (1)

Ankou (261125) | more than 13 years ago | (#433372)

So I suppose next Microsoft will patent the name "windows", "window", and "win". After all I don't know about you guys but when instructions call to open a new window it always confuses me with Microsoft Windows 9X. *grin*

I personally think that SSH was a bad name for a product anyways, of course if you name your product what it is instead of something else there will be confusion. ie nameing your toaster, "Toaster" etc. OpenSSH is a "Secure Shell" what else do you want to call it then? "Mickeys Proctecto Interface"? What a load of symantic legistical crap. IMHO

The secret to all life's problems envolves a law suit.

Re:Yes.. but.. (1)

rakslice (90330) | more than 13 years ago | (#433373)

"furor over SSH1 security holes"? What does that have to do with OpenSSH?

Oh come on (1)

sharkticon (312992) | more than 13 years ago | (#433374)

Don't blame the nazis, they had no choice in the matter.

Strawman.

For a start the nazis were individual people who could each make their own decisions, whereas a corporate entity is obliged to act in the best interests of its shareholders.

Secondly, I think persuing a trademark infringemnt is somewhat different from butchering innocents. You may as well say that the RIAA or the MPAA are as bad as the Nazis.

Re:Name suggestions: (1)

ghoti (60903) | more than 13 years ago | (#433375)

RSSH: Really Secure SHell.

The inventor of RSH(tm) is going to sue them over this one ...

Re:Name suggestions: (1)

SilverThorn (133151) | more than 13 years ago | (#433377)

Might have to drop the 'NT" based one or Microsoft might come looking for you as well. ;) -- M

What they can gain: (3)

TheWhiteOtaku (266508) | more than 13 years ago | (#433498)

Isn't it obvious what they can gain? (Hint: it starts with "m" and ends with "oney")

A SSH by any other name... (3)

kieran (20691) | more than 13 years ago | (#433506)

My one objection to this is the obvious: isn't it a little late to start complaining? He doesn't mention when he first got around to asking the developers about this, but OpenSSH has been around for a while.

That said, if the developers are willing I wouldn't have any great problem with a name change. Perhaps "ossh"? *shrug*

He *has* to do so (4)

sharkticon (312992) | more than 13 years ago | (#433511)

Don't blame him, he has no real choice in this matter. Trademarks have to be protected, no matter how little you care, or else they will become invalid and anyone can use them. If he doesn't go after OpenSSH, tomorrow it'll be Microsoft using the name.

Blame instead the entire trademark system which has perpetuated this kind of attitude. It's gone from a system meant to protect rights to one that encourages, even demands, companies to trample all over their rivals.

Re:These idiots HAVE TO BE STOPPED (1)

JamesGreenhalgh (181365) | more than 13 years ago | (#433513)

I think you'd more likely just annoy people ;-)

I did mean to say trademark, but 'patent' just rolled off my tongue - you get to use it a lot these days when discussing companies and their "technologies".

I'd be really surprised if you can actually trademark a command name - and worried. Hopefully that one will never have a legal precedent set. I can't think of any clashes off the top of my head - but surely it would be similar to file extensions that clash? There's a massive list of extension types floating about somewhere, and there are several clashes.

--

Well, they (SSH) are pretty much screwed... (4)

kramer (19951) | more than 13 years ago | (#433518)

As always, IANAL --

Trademarks must be defended against infringments or you risk losing them. Further, they must be defended as quickly as possible against infringement. You're not allowed to let someone use it for a couple of years then suddenly decide to go after them when they become successful.

By looking at the whois record for openssh.com, it's obvious that Openssh has been using the name Openssh publicly since at least October of 1999. That's well over a year. I would hardly call this a timely filing.

*banging head against wall* (2)

Ryvar (122400) | more than 13 years ago | (#433529)

I swear . . . sometimes people, no matter how much I may respect their past accomplishments, make me want to rip off my own head and beat it vigorously against the nearest wall in frustration.

The OpenSSH 'product'? I don't think of OpenSSH as a product, a product is something 'consumers' 'buy' or 'sell', not a freely distributed tool. I realize that not everyone is going to be a security guru right off the bat, but until you actually are able to distinguish SSH from OpenSSH, then I'm not sure why it matters as you clearly haven't passed the minimum intelligence test to use either. Is SSH1 broken? Yes, but (BUT!) . . . SSH2 isn't available for a lot of things that SSH1 IS available for - and SSH1 is a hell of a lot better than 'telnet '

--Ryvar

I think he is all right (1)

dj.dule (87188) | more than 13 years ago | (#433532)

(for the record I use ONLY linux on all my computers, and support open source)
Well face it, not all things can be free. He registered SSH trade mark, made bussiness of it and what is the problem ? It is his property. Taking it is not fair, even if it is for free source. Imagine someone say "OK, Coca COla is good, let's take their formula and spread it around so everyone can make coke". Problem would be if he wants to patent crypto alghorytm for example. But with name it is ok

Re:These idiots HAVE TO BE STOPPED (1)

aug24 (38229) | more than 13 years ago | (#433537)

Huh?

Why shouldn't the guy protect his own, copyrighted, name? Seems like a perfectly reasonable request to me.

Why should anyone think that they have a right to use a name that someone else has dreampt up and copyrighted? The guy has a business going and wants to make some money. All credit to him for not wanting his publicity money watered down. If we want to make Open Source work, then we should be prepared to accede to requests like this and be seen to be developing on our own.
--

Re:How can..... (1)

kieran (20691) | more than 13 years ago | (#433539)

One infringe on a copywrite if you don't profit from it?

You can make it more difficult to make the trademark/copyright owner to infringe on it, as in this case.

Maybe we should change RSH too!! (1)

rigor6969 (240549) | more than 13 years ago | (#433545)

Oh come on dude. Want us to rename RSH as well? Perhaps people are confusing rsh and ssh.. give it up. Great program and all, but you should take the opportunity you get when someone comes to your site, with openssh problems, as a possible sales lead. Most companies would love the opportunity to get "strays" into their company

Re:How can..... (1)

kieran (20691) | more than 13 years ago | (#433547)

One infringe on a copywrite if you don't profit from it?

You can make it more difficult to make the trademark/copyright owner to profit from it, as in this case.

(Ignore previous nonsensical message, 'twas a thinko.)

Let try and decide (2)

jjr (6873) | more than 13 years ago | (#433551)

On a new name for OpenSSH. Something that will not confuse the average guy on what is what product.
1) Secure Login (SL)
2) Secure Telnet (ST)
3) Secure Remote Shell (SRSH)
Help me with more I am to tired to think right now

Huh? (2)

ooze (307871) | more than 13 years ago | (#433559)

Sorry for requiring you to change your product name from OpenBread to something that doesn't confuse with my high quality Bread products trademark. Everybody is welcome to use the open available recipe for for their products, but just don't call them Bread. I had a lot of work making my company well known as a Bread Baker.

Did I sum it up correctly ?

Re:These idiots HAVE TO BE STOPPED (1)

JamesGreenhalgh (181365) | more than 13 years ago | (#433561)

Well in that case Microsoft should probably start cracking down on all those pesky applications with 'word' in the title, or company names with 'Micro' or 'soft' in them, etc. IMHO - SSH is a fairly obvious product name, and openssh is a fairly far enough derivative of it. Maybe they have a lot of customers who can't see the lines *shrug*.

--

may as well change the name of openssh (1)

yoghurt (2090) | more than 13 years ago | (#433565)

ssh is not a shell. no one puts in their
/etc/passwd shell field. it runs no scripts.
calling it a shell has always struck me as misleading. maybe this trademark issue will prompt a more accurate name.

Re:*banging head against wall* (1)

BJH (11355) | more than 13 years ago | (#433568)

Not to mention that OpenSSH now supports SSH2 protocols. If I had to make a guess, I'd say it's that point that has caused SSH Communications to let loose the dogs^H^H^H^Hlawyers.

OpenSSH replacements offer... (4)

Noryungi (70322) | more than 13 years ago | (#433570)

OpenSHHHH... Sorry, we can't mention the name of the "other" product.

OpenSHL... Hey, what's a single letter between friends?

Open S S H... Oh, Come on, quit whining. You registered "SSH" and NOT "S S H", so there!

OpenWhat?... How do you pronounce "SSH" anyway?

Open-You-Know-What... Just add a ".org" and, presto! We are back in business...

WeAreSecureAndWeAreCanadian... Yep, it's getting longer and longer.

OpenSourceSecureShell... There, feeling better already? Shush, it's all going to go away.

Ho and by the way, I want to get sued too!! I am going to register:

openssh.co.uk
openssh.org.uk
openssh.fr
openssh.asso.fr
openssh.ch
openssh.it

(...etc...)

Anybody cares to bankroll me ?? =)

Bonus question: How on earth can you copyright a three letters acronym? I'll try copyrighting "IBM".

At least, it's going to make the fight more interesting and potentially more lucrative. Hmmmm. US$50,000,000 out-of-court settlement. Please note that this is just the "Acronym", not the logo, which is copyrighted by our big, blue friends in Armonk.

And remember people: OpenBSD needs your help! Order your 2.8 CD today and makes the world a better place for security and a worse place for script kiddies and copyright hoarders...

Hell, let's make it a party (1)

Ryvar (122400) | more than 13 years ago | (#433571)

"I developed SSH all by myself"

I could be wrong about the RSA connection here, but doesn't it seem wrong to run so contrary to their demonstrated attitude? I mean, SSH is founded on their pub/priv key encryption system, and when the time to jettison their patent into the public space came, what did they do? Politely did so early. I mean, if this is the example set by a big, evil corporation - what the hell is Tatu saying about himself with these actions? --Ryvar

Let's play the name game. (1)

Kibo (256105) | more than 13 years ago | (#433573)

I vote for shush.

Re:Let try and decide (1)

Teethgrinder (2842) | more than 13 years ago | (#433576)

Help me with more I am to tired to think right now

The obvious...

NISH - Not Insecure SHell.

:)

Btw, I fail to see why he's bothered if people confuse him as being responsible for a product that doesnt suck (I'm not saying SSH suchks, I'm just saying I'm pretty much happy with OpenSSH^h^h^hNISH). I could think of worse publicity...
like going after dumb trade-marks. ;)

Hmmm... (5)

BJH (11355) | more than 13 years ago | (#433579)

Just to point a few things out...

I would thus like to ask you to change the name OpenSSH to something else that doesn't infringe the SSH or Secure Shell trademarks, basically to something that is clearly different and doesn't cause confusion.

OK, I can go along with this. He has the trademark, the two applications are very similar, I can see where he's coming from.

The confusion is made even worse by the fact that OpenSSH is also a derivative of my original SSH Secure Shell product, and it still looks
very much like my product (without my approval for any of it, by the way). The old SSH1 protocol and implementation are known to have fundamental security problems, some of which have been described in recent CERT vulnerability notices and various conference papers.
OpenSSH is doing a disservice to the whole Internet security community by lengthing the life cycle of the fundamentally broken SSH1 protocols.


Now this is a completely different kettle of fish.
1) If you didn't want people to hack on the code, why did you initially release it under a license that allowed that? It can't be retroactively retracted, y'know...
2) The OpenSSH team doesn't need your approval; you in effect gave them your approval when you licensed it as you did (see 1).
3) Yes, SSH1 has security problems. WHo developed it? You did. Also, IIRC, OpenSSH was just about the only implementation that wasn't vulnerable to several of the vulnerabilities that have been found so far.
4) OpenSSH supports SSH2 anyway, so I don't see how its existence is encouraging the use of SSH1. More than likely, people who had been put off by your version of SSH2's restrictive licensing terms moved to SSH2 only when OpenSSH provided it.

All in all, it seems a mix of a legitimate claim with some very clumsy revisionism and FUD.

Name suggestions: (5)

X (1235) | more than 13 years ago | (#433597)

  • NSSH: Not Secure SHell.
  • GNASSH: GNASH's Not A Secure SHell.
  • ASS: A Secure Shell.
  • SSH NT: SSH Not Trademarked.
  • LDUSSH: Lawyer's Don't Use Secure SHells.
  • RSSH: Really Secure SHell.
  • (In case the previous one is not different enough) RRSSH: Really, Really Secure SHell.

Re:These idiots HAVE TO BE STOPPED (1)

akc (207721) | more than 13 years ago | (#433602)

I think there is a difference here. Microsoft calls their product "Microsoft Word" (two words) not just "Word". If someone had a product called "Open MSWord" then that would be different. We already have "Microsoft Office", "KOffice" and "Star Office".

The other problem, is that he is getting support e-mails from users of OpenSSH - demonstrating clearly that there is a confusion in users minds

SSH1 vs SSH2 (2)

Leto2 (113578) | more than 13 years ago | (#433608)

Tatu writes in his email:
"The old SSH1 protocol and implementation are known to have fundamental security problems, some of which have been described in recent CERT vulnerability notices and various conference papers. OpenSSH is doing a disservice to the whole Internet security community by lengthing the life cycle of the fundamentally broken SSH1 protocols."

I've always used ssh1, I don't know why, I guess because the first time I started using it, a friend said to me: "Use ssh1, ssh2 sucks". So I did. What are the main differences between ssh1 and ssh2 and why is ssh1 fundamentally broken and ssh2 not?

Also, last time I looked, OpenSSH can use both protocol 1 and 2.

Openly Screwed Shell? (nt) (1)

Ryvar (122400) | more than 13 years ago | (#433609)

nt

--Ryvar

Re:He *has* to do so (4)

TicTacTux (99149) | more than 13 years ago | (#433612)

Well, this is about the first time I see a copyright holder contacting his 'opponents' in a rather friendly manner. You may argue about his claim but at least formally he's showing manners and common sense.

That said I suggest that we at least *try* to find a way to solve this manner; unfortunately most postings here range from 'get lost, creep' to downright hostile, but I haven't seen many that are constructive.

So, how about 'Secure Telnet' or 'Secure Login' (as it is not exactly a shell but rather an encrypted connection to a shell)? Ah, yes, something with 'Open' in it (doesn't that contradict the 'secure' term? A secured system cannot exactly be described as 'open', right?). So, how about OSTAKAS (Open Secure Telnet Also Known As SSH). Uh, no, the acronym must be recursive, like ONS (O's Not SSH).

Now go use your imagination, this one time not for coding...

Re:OpenSSH replacements offer... (4)

X (1235) | more than 13 years ago | (#433615)

Bonus question: How on earth can you copyright a three letters acronym? I'll try copyrighting "IBM".

He didn't copyright SSH, he trademarked it. You can indeed do this, and IBM is indeed a registered trademark.

Actually, when you look at this case, it's a pretty clear example of why trademarks were created in the first place: to avoid customer confusion about branding. I'd say this guy is well within his rights.

Trademark applies to *command*? (2)

Guy Rixon (254563) | more than 13 years ago | (#433632)

I hope that the trademark business only affects the name under which OpenSSH is publicized, not the command-names for the actual programmes. Given that OpenSSH is a clone, it ought to be invokable with the same commands as the "real" SSH product.

If this is so, then I don't think it really matters much for the OpenSSH side; AFAIK OpenSSH isn't really marketed, so the cost of changing its name is negligible. But if the trademark covers the actual ssh command, then the trademark is doing real damage to the community.

Re:Hell, let's make it a party (1)

BJH (11355) | more than 13 years ago | (#433634)

I wouldn't say RSA abandoned their patent early to be "polite" - it was more a case of getting some good publicity, and cutting all those potential celebratory parties off at the ankles before they even got started...

Regard this as an opportunity. (2)

Godwin O'Hitler (205945) | more than 13 years ago | (#433637)

...an opportunity to get rid of that nondescript name and call it by a name that's more suggestive of what it does. I'm sure I'm not the only person to be saturated with initials to such an extent that sometimes I can't even remember what I'm talking about.

I know (1)

fatmantis (218867) | more than 13 years ago | (#433639)

the OpenSSH people should change their name to Fatmantis.

No, he doesn't have to do so (1)

_|()|\| (159991) | more than 13 years ago | (#433641)

Don't blame him, he has no real choice in this matter.

He chose to monopolize a number (a small number, in fact: 0x535348). He chose to use that against the OpenSSH project. Don't tell me has no choice.

The trademark system is designed to protect the consumer, not the trademark owner. OpenSSH is not defrauding anyone. It may be costing Tatu business, but that's tough on him.

Furthermore, it's not clear to me what he has actually trademarked. If you look at ssh.com [slashdot.org] , you'll see "SSH (R) Secure Shell tm." "(R)" means, I wish I had any rights to reserve. "Secure shell" is descriptive, and therefore not subject to trademark.

Re:Hmmm... (2)

PigleT (28894) | more than 13 years ago | (#433642)

<i>1) If you didn't want people to hack on the code, why did you initially release it under a license that allowed that? It can't be retroactively retracted, y'know...
2) The OpenSSH team doesn't need your approval; you in effect gave them your approval when you licensed it as you did (see 1). </i>

Here here! Exactly what I was thinking of saying, couldn't agree more.

Me, I don't see why there should be any confusion regarding `SSH' and `OpenSSH': I spell them differently, what more could you ask for?

As far as the commandname goes, it implements a secure shell - so `ssh' is a perfectly reasonable abbreviation, to me.

If you don't go round putting `(R)' after everything, you won't have a trademark problem. And while I'm passing by that, what was that I saw about "pending"? Get a trademark properly registered, *then* come moaning, or better still, do neither.

To me, Tatu's mail sounds like he's regretting the fact that openssh is moving ahead faster and with better publicity than the commercial one. Well, that's what you get for expecting to make money in the wrong arena, tough cheese.

Me, I've just installed a new RH6.2 box to be colocated in the next couple of days, and for remote access, I've put openssh on it. The non-free sshd quite simply doesn't get a look in, the license is too confusing.
~Tim
--
.|` Clouds cross the black moonlight,

The original SSH license (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#433643)

This is the license that OpenSSH is based on:

As far as I am concerned, the code I have written for this software can be used freely for any purpose. Any derived versions of this software must be clearly marked as such, and if the derived work is incompatible with the protocol description in the RFC file, it must be called by a name other than "ssh" or "Secure Shell".

Sure looks like 'permission' to me.

Another reason for this (5)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 13 years ago | (#433644)

He hinted at another reason for all this:

"OpenSSH is doing a disservice to the whole inernet security community by lengthing the life cycle of the fundamentally broken SSH1 protocols."

Also - Isn't the actual protocol, as recognized by the IETF, named "SSH" - if so, how can you trademark that?

Re:Hmmm... (2)

biglig2 (89374) | more than 13 years ago | (#433645)

He may be (legitimately) worried that if OpenSSH is less secure than SSH (and I have no knowledge either way) , and there is confusion between the two, then he may be "tarred with the same brush".

But he doesn't express that well.

How will this affect current systems? (1)

friscolr (124774) | more than 13 years ago | (#433646)

If OpenSSH is forced to change their both their name and the name of the executable they produce, and all future versions are shipped as 'sosh' (Secure Open SHell?) or something other than 'ssh', how will this affect production systems that depend on the use of ssh?

I have scripts & users that depend on ssh being ssh and scp being scp on many of my systems. If i rename 'sosh' (or whatever) back to 'ssh', will i be fined for trademark infringement? If i do change the executable name, then users will continue to confuse the products. If i don't, then every script that references ssh will have to be changed.

Additionally, how does this affect the FreSSH Project [fressh.org] and other ssh implementations which include ssh in their names? Have they too be served notices?

-f

Re:OpenSSH replacements offer... (2)

Noryungi (70322) | more than 13 years ago | (#433659)

I stand corrected! This is what happens when you read a news item too fast, I suppose.

(I still think that "Open S S H" is a good idea, though...)

=)

Yes.. but.. (2)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 13 years ago | (#433661)

How long has it been going on? They knew about it for years... many have used the SSH mark. It's probably fair to say that it has become a common name (dilution) and no longer has a sole brand-name value.

Trademark is not like patent; you MUST enforce it or lose it. THey should have been asked to stop using it a LONG time ago, not just recently. SSH hasn't protected their mark, so they lose it.

Re:These idiots HAVE TO BE STOPPED (2)

cah1 (5152) | more than 13 years ago | (#433665)


How about pulling your finger out for a moment and thinking about the situation for a moment. Just one moment, then you can fly off the handle again in a completely unnecessary and humourless way.

The guy creates a product. The guy builds a business around his product. Other people use the product to create a different product of their own.

I don't think he's being unreasonable in the slightest, it seems to me he's actively trying to avoid being too heavy handed.

... and whether or not the CLI would see a change is unclear.

Some Corrections (5)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 13 years ago | (#433666)

1) He didn't enforce his trademark for the last year and a bit, so as far as the community is concerned 'ssh' is now a common word, not a 'product'. He didn't defend it right away, so he will lose it. That's how Trademark law works. (as opposd to Patent law, where you can selectively enforce it wherever you want, and ignore others)

2) If someone managed to get the recipe for Coca-Cola, they could use it to make another product and market it. The only reason they don't is it's a SECRET, and nobody knows what it is. What they can't do is call it 'coke' or 'coca cola' because that's coke's registered trademark. If they called it 'OpenCocaCola' and it was rather popular and it was 2 years before Coke sued them... coke would probably lose it's trademark.

This has nothing to do with patent.

MEEEEEPT!!!! (2)

Paulo (3416) | more than 13 years ago | (#433669)

Godwin's Law alert!!!! Godwin's Law alert!!!!

I don't think they understand.... (2)

abdulwahid (214915) | more than 13 years ago | (#433672)

OpenSSH is doing a disservice to the whole Internet security community by lengthing the life cycle of the fundamentally broken SSH1 protocols.

You must be serious...there may have been flaws in the SSH1 protocol but OpenSSH does implement SSH2 protocol also. So what is the problem, SSH1 is just there for backwards compatability.

In reality OpenSSH have done a great service to the community. They have made secure access freely available to the masses. For example, most of the Linux distributions now ship OpenSSH where as they didn't use to ship SSH because of the unfavourable liscense. Furthermore, many of the systems that used to run on the orignal SSH have now moved to using OpenSSH. Basically, I don't think they understand the great service OpenSSH is providing. A great service that they could have provided from the start if they weren't so interested in hoarding everything for themselves.

Re:How will this affect current systems? (1)

TV-SET (84200) | more than 13 years ago | (#433674)

On some systems symlinks maybe of some help :)

Re:What they can gain: (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 13 years ago | (#433675)

Aside from the fact that your product has a name, and when another product gets the same name, it get's really confusing. Now it could just be me, but the first thing that went through my head when reading the e-mail was: "Yeah, sounds reasonable". Now let's adress the other side, how much does OpenSSH have to lose from changing the name of the project, or at least specifically stating somewhere that OpenSSH=/=SSH?

Hmm. (3)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 13 years ago | (#433698)

Anyone can apply for trademark and get it. Whether it is enforcable is another thing altogether.

Does not the original license on the ssh code allow for use 'for any purpose?'

IT also states that if the software functions differently from the protocol specified in the rfc's (called ssh1 and ssh2), it should not be called ssh.

That's like saying that as long as it behaves according to the protocols, it can be called ssh.

The protocols are commonly know to the entire internet community as 'ssh'... good luck enforcing that trademark.

Name suggestion: FRESH (5)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 13 years ago | (#433700)

Any name with "SSH" in it will be an infringing name. Therefor, any new name must not contain "SSH".

I suggest FRESH: Free Remote Encrypted SHell.
  1. It covers the fact that it is Free Software.
  2. It points out that the primary use is for remote access
  3. It points out that the link is encrypted


I make this name available without restriction.

<Off-topic>
Of course, I feel that RMS ought to use the term "liberated software" to avoid the whole "free beer/free speech" issue, but that's another story....
</Off-topic>

Re:Well, they (SSH) are pretty much screwed... (2)

mlong (160620) | more than 13 years ago | (#433702)

Everyone is whining "but if he doesn't defend it, he'll lose it". Well first off, he always has the option to license the use to OpenSSH (for $1 or whatever). And secondly, OpenSSH isn't even a commercial venture...it just seems he is bitter because openssh hasn't had the same security holes as ssh

Re:may as well change the name of openssh (1)

agentZ (210674) | more than 13 years ago | (#433704)

No, ssh isn't a shell. It follows the same style of namiung as the old rsh program, which stood for "remote sh". (Where /bin/sh was one of the earlier shells used.) The idea being that ssh offers a secure alternative to the old, crufty, original rsh. Secure shell is just easier to say than "secure sh," (and probably more accurate as very few people still use /bin/sh for their default shell).

Sure, change it then (1)

jsse (254124) | more than 13 years ago | (#433706)

We opensource community is flexible, why not pick a better name when chance come?

How about 'SHIT'?

It can be 'SHell IT, or Shit HIT, whatever, it doesn't matter, I just found it work well with prefix 'OPEN'.

Even the name is registered trademark of something else, the registerer would be too busy dealing with overwhelming infringement cases. There were millions of such trademark misuses in Al's camp when Bush announced victory.

Even better, you can take the best of the situation when your boss consult you about system security, you can openly say:

"It needs shit."

"I don't get a shit of it."

"You really need shit."

"What shit do you get into?!"

"You want that shit?"

"Do you want shit with that"

"HOLY-I mean-OPENSHIT!!"

Re:Yes.. but.. (2)

sethgecko (167305) | more than 13 years ago | (#433708)

is that what you say? Tatu Ylonen seems to have been nice enough not to challenge OpenSSH on the trademark dilution until now. He hints that it is because of the recent furor over SSH1 security holes that he is reluctantly doing this. By your reasoning, any company with a trademark should be fascistic about enforcing their rights as soon and as often as possible. There can be no leniency or they will loose their trademark. That's not exactly a situation I want to come about (not that I have the least say in it, of course).

By the way, it's not exactly years. OpenSSH was inroduced with OpenBSD 2.6. Released December 1, 1999. So roughly a year and 3 months.

Some comments (2)

magi (91730) | more than 13 years ago | (#433711)

It's not clear to me if the letter was just a kind request to the OpenSSH community, or if there's some threat behind it. I hope not, for the sake of SSH Communication's public image.

Although SSH is a trademarked product name, it is also the name of an open protocol. Even Tatu himself uses the name "SSH1" to refer to a protocol version instead of some obscure "IETF SECSH" name, which most people have never heard about.

OpenSSH is a project and software name that clearly indicates that it is not the original product, but an (open and free) implementation of the SSH protocols; at most a derivative product. It is not confusing in any way.

The *SSH suffix probably does have some "advertising value" for OpenSSH, as it also clearly indicates what the software is about, and people can more easily pay attention to it. This may create some competition pressure for SSH Communications. Thus we can understand Tatu's reaction, but it doesn't give him justification to bash the "competitors" unfairly.

I believe that Tatu's decision for opening the original SSH program license and the protocol was a good decision, as it gave the product great publicity and established a wide base of users. The company might not even exist anymore without that decision. OpenSSH still continues to do that service, at least to some degree.

Perhaps the decision has later become a disadvantage that now "causes financial damage" for the company, as it has grown bigger and well-known, and can support itself without the publicity from the free version. So what? What moral (or legal) justification does that change of strategy give for bashing those who still benefit from the old strategy?

I don't know if Tatu has complained to OpenSSH about its name before, but he definitely should have done so as soon as possible, when OpenSSH project was started in 1999. It's hard to believe that he wouldn't have heard about it then. Denying the use of the name later can't be interpreted as much else but unfair bashing. Over a year is a long time in "Internet time".

SSH software has been a great gift for the Internet community, and OpenSSH might not exist without it. We should all be very thankful to Tatu for creating SSH (to a reasonable degree!). If OpenSSH people find it easy to change their name, and want to respect Tatu's wishes, just change it.

Kayzer Ssh.... (1)

maroberts (15852) | more than 13 years ago | (#433713)

"The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist"

with apologies to The Usual Suspects!

Re:Yeah, but..... (1)

sallen (143567) | more than 13 years ago | (#433714)

understand he has to protect it or lose it, but did he originally coin the terms "SSH" and/or "Secure Shell"??

If he did, on the SSH, it appears his request is pretty reasonable, particularly if there is confusion. (And, if he originally attempted to protect it when he first realized the use, not necessarily just when he found there was confusion.) The part of the letter that I do question is 'secure shell'. The letter has the little old (R) on ssh, inticating registered trademark, and he indicates the when/where it was registered. However, it seems 'secure shell' is being swept into that as well, and I see no indication of its registration.

If renaming has to be done, I propose... (2)

Masem (1171) | more than 13 years ago | (#433734)

SONS - SONS is Not SSH

(With apologies to GNU :)

Re:Let try and decide (4)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 13 years ago | (#433735)

Secure Host to Host (SHH).

Re:No, he doesn't have to do so (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 13 years ago | (#433738)

OpenSSH is not defrauding anyone.

OpenSSH is confusing their users sufficiently for them to waste valuable time, money and bandwidth in trying to contact SSH for support.

Re:A SSH by any other name... (2)

sethgecko (167305) | more than 13 years ago | (#433739)

but OpenSSH has been around for a while.

A little over a year. Don't know if that's what you mean by "a while." And ossh alreay describes a different free implementation of ssh. I like the earlier suggestion of "shush". Or maybe OpenShuSH.

Enfringement = Infringement (1)

NoseyNick (19946) | more than 13 years ago | (#433741)

Blimey, can't even briefly proof-read the HEADLINES, let alone the articles?

Re:The original SSH license (1)

maroberts (15852) | more than 13 years ago | (#433744)

Anyone Got a link to the license ?
No Goatse.cx please!!

Re:SSH1 vs SSH2 (3)

Dunedain (16942) | more than 13 years ago | (#433745)

I've always used ssh1, I don't know why, I guess because the first time I started using it, a friend said to me: "Use ssh1, ssh2 sucks". So I did. What are the main differences between ssh1 and ssh2 and why is ssh1 fundamentally broken and ssh2 not?

Put simply, Tatu considers ssh1 broken because he released it under a non-restrictive license and wishes he could take it back. While it is true that ssh2 encrypts more of the communications channel than ssh1, the attacks on ssh1 are of a difficulty roughly on par with stealing a TCP connection from a modern OS: the attack is possible, but extremely impractical.

I do consider ssh2 to be broken crypto. The protocol specifies the base and modulus for its public-key-exchange algorithm. This means that anybody can sit down and "study" that base and modulus for weaknesses and attack spots. Heck, the NSA -- or Tatu -- could have pre-computed the information necessary to break the encryption on an ssh2 stream.

The above is a quick sketch of the arguments for why ssh1 and ssh2 are broken, together with some highly cynical suggestions for why they might be built that way. Go do some real research before you pick crypto to trust with anything you care about.

Well, I was confused (1)

agentZ (210674) | more than 13 years ago | (#433746)

Actually, I find this all rather interesting. I'm no newbie, but I thought that SSH was just the name of the protocol (like FTP or HTTP), and that OpenSSH was just one of the implementations (like WuFTP or Apache Web Server). I can understand his point completely because there is some confusion. (Maybe he should name his project something other than the name of the protocol to avoid real confusion? RealSSH perhaps?)

Re:These idiots HAVE TO BE STOPPED (2)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 13 years ago | (#433747)

My only problem with this is that he obviously took a standard unix naming convention and is trying to claim trademark.

sh = shell
bash = Borne Again shell
ksh = Korn Shell
rsh = Remove Shell (hmm...no that couldn't have inspired it..)
ssh = secure shell.

sh is simply unix shorthand for sh, and the few letters before it designate what kind of shell (borne, korn, remove, secure).

Idiots (1)

Ormod (111625) | more than 13 years ago | (#433748)

I just don't get it. How can so many people who are most probably highly educated (-> intelligent? I don't think so) get so hostile when a _LEGITIMATE_ trademark owner or one who surely will own it soon if not yet tries in a friendly way to get people not to infringe on his trademark. The trademark which he must defend in order to retain it. Oh well, idiots generally like a flamefest which does nothing creative. Idiocy never ceases to amaze me.

Feh (1)

mrfiddlehead (129279) | more than 13 years ago | (#433763)

So yeah, they force a name change from ssh to srsh or somefing (my feeling is that this is a natural move from rsh to ssh and that their claims are unenforceable but IANAL) and then just so our scripts don't work any longer we're forced to do,

cd /usr/local/bin
ln -s srsh ssh

Whatcha gonna do when dey come for you?

Slanting the Coverage (4)

mwdib (56263) | more than 13 years ago | (#433766)

I find it interesting that the descriptive paragraph that introduces this letter describes it as "demanding" the name change. Interesting what a word can do. Viz:

- actually reading the letter doesn't give the impression that the author is "demanding" the name change. He states he is "asking" twice. Yet the comments from slashdot readers are talking about "litigation," "demands," etc.

- The discussion of this letter on Linux Today, where there is no editorial introduction, just the text of the letter, is far more reasoned and moderate.

- Gee, he contacted the developers and they did not address the issue. Did he immediately sue? Nope. Is this a cease and desist order? Nope. Is this a demand . . . I hardly think so and I doubt that it deserves the characterizations it is receiving in some of these posts.

I think this points out what journalists know and some have yet to learn: the description of the content is as - or even more significant - than the content itself.

Re:These idiots HAVE TO BE STOPPED (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 13 years ago | (#433769)

The other problem, is that he is getting support e-mails from users of OpenSSH - demonstrating clearly that there is a confusion in users minds

While i can certainly understand that, i'm not sure we should be using laws to try and fix peoples' utter stupidity...

Maybe we should be teaching people to pay more attention (which would help the driving situation out!), and read things carefully (like those nice long contracts...)

You are right.. (3)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 13 years ago | (#433770)

in that he seems to have been 'lenient'. Unfortunately, in trademark law, you CAN'T be.

If you don't enforce your mark, you lose it. If you allow it to come into common use by others, and don't defend it at all, then you can't come back later when you think it's a threat and try to enforce it. It's not like Patents, that can be selectively enforced.

If he admits he originally left them alone, *even though they were in violation of his mark*, then he can't come back later and enforce it, period. It won't hold up in court.

A new name for SSH (1)

SWroclawski (95770) | more than 13 years ago | (#433773)

I think it should be called Es Es Aich.

Open-EsEsAich

But that's just me...

- Serge Wroclawski

Re:If renaming has to be done, I propose... (1)

mrfiddlehead (129279) | more than 13 years ago | (#433774)

Not to forget,

PINE - Pine is not elm

Which is fine with me because mutt rules anyway.

Plus it sounds cool (1)

GeekDork (194851) | more than 13 years ago | (#433775)

'nuff said.

Writers' Block.

I don't think they have much of a case. (2)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 13 years ago | (#433776)

I don't think they have much of a case, as "secure shell" is more of a description than a name. It's a shell, it's got security measures, what else can you call it?

It's not the OpenSSH developers fault people confuse OpenSSH with another (if original) variety of SSH.

I think back to the recent interview with the creator of the Korn shell. It's his name, for crying out loud, and I didn't see or hear about him complaining that people actually used the letters "ksh".

Or is this just another case of a company not meeting expectations, so let's try to befuddle competition with legal threats, and maybe while they're busy changing the name, and all the documentation, and all the code, and dealing with the FUD about their implementation, we can gain some marketshare?
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Re:Trademark applies to *command*? (1)

magi (91730) | more than 13 years ago | (#433777)

I strongly doubt that this would be a question of shell commands.

Besides, I believe 'ssh' command is usually just a symbolic link to either ssh1 or ssh2 binary. Thus you can always name the software as "openssh" or whatever you like, "ksdhfjsdf", and just add the symbolic link.

lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 4 Dec 31 03:07 /usr/local/bin/ssh -> ssh1*

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