Why Discard Your Brand?

Sometimes you have to make the best of a bad situation, with no warning. Good-bye Ethereal, hello Wireshark. Gerald Combs, original author and primary Ethereal developer, left his job at Network Integration Services, Inc. and joined CACE Technologies. Unfortunately, NIS owns the Ethereal trademark, and Mr. Combs wasn't able to take it with him. He also lost administrative rights to the servers hosting Ethereal.com, so he can't post news of the name change there. So, nearly eight years after the first public release, Ethereal is dead. Long live Wireshark -- especially with 1.0 expected very soon.


Anonymous said…
this is why a system must be created to protect the name, trademark and other rights of open source projects that have a large community involvement.
big greasy and small greasy private interests can, may and
likely will sell out the community if given the chance to do so, and make some quick cash for their own interests and screw the many who toiled to help build the project
even Gerald Combs points out that such a system is
not in place and needs to be.
too many times, as in the nessus fiasco and also the near
fiasco with snort selling out to one of the greediest companies I know (checkpoint), a long standing
project can be put out of business overnight.
i suggest a way to protect the community
is to get the creators and developers of open projects like this to create a legally binding charter that clearly defines
a plan of continuance and that the assets will not be sold out to a bunch of bastard corporations etc.
I asked Marty roach recently to commit to such a plan after the near sell out to the greasy cash hound company checkpoint - he looked down at his shoes with no answer, lets
give these guys an answer and prevent the potential dollars signs in their eyes from blinding them once a project has success (they have many other avenues of revenue beyond selling the little people out)
it may be too late for some projects but new projects should be set straight (chartered) right from the start or don't get involved.
why would men sell out the labor of the many who
helped them? - because they can!. - and that's why we need a
system where they can't.
also we have seen the dirty tricks of companies like micro$oft
putting millions into the coffers of SCO to do a cowardly attack against Linux in secret, i could see just such a move by the private proprietary competitors of ethereal doing the same i know many of these people and they would do this in a heartbeat "we" the community must hold these open projects to a higher standard and make sure "open" remains open to all.
Anonymous said…
You don't need a system to protect names. Companies and people are allowed to own trademarks, the point is the GPL guarantees your freedom. So what if it requires a name change. NIS owns the copyright to much of the software and the trademark, luckily it is GPLed so your freedom is still ensured because you can download, modify and redistribute the product.
Anonymous said…
"you don't need a system to protect names"

that's like saying we don't need a bill of rights to protect
our liberty , they are just words after all!

the point is that the GPL system saved the code in this case
but not the associated names and trademarks that millions know
this code by, and the problems with this are obvious
how many people are going to the ethereal site and
downloading this app without realizing what has happened?
and do you think this company that owns the ethereal trademark now has an interest in being honest that the ethereal project is only a name now? and all the developers are gone (but we aren't going to post that)
and can you see the potential for dupery here?
that's why systems have been developed to protect these
valuable assets e.g. patents and trademarks etc
and the naive will be robbed of these assets until they figure
this out
a system should be put in place to protect these valuable
assets just like the code assets are protected with GPL
a classic case here where the creator has no control over
the good name of these assets either from selling it out secretly or just being duped out of it etc. his only option now
is to start all over again and hope he doesn't get sued
(like the artist "formerly know as prince"
so just as we protect the code with GPL lets protect the good name e.g. trademarks etc but instead of protecting it for a privileged fue
write it into the charter that these assets default to the "community" - (insist on projects having such a charter)
a question i wonder is - i don't remember Gerald telling
anyone in the community that he had sold or handed over rights to ethereal to this corporation he was working at?
we need a democratic system when communities of developers are involved (in the absense of democracy comes bad things like this) insist such a mechanism is in the charter
this is what i discussed in the previous blog - "we" the community who have contributed and toiled had no say in
this action - again the reason for the need for these protections
Anonymous said…
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