July 30, 2002

Unix.com remains in the hands of users

- by Tina Gasperson -
The World Intellectual Property Organization has decided that Tim Bass has a legitimate interest in the use of the Unix.com domain, and therefore the Open Group, which owns the trademark UNIX, cannot take the domain away.WIPO dismissed the case against the man who has been the rightful owner of the Unix.com domain since 1993, stating, "only recently did the Complainant (The Open Group) take issue" with the use of the name. "There is little to suggest a bad faith registration."

Tim Bass, the president of Silk Road (www.silkroad.com), operates a popular non-commercial discussion forum at Unix.com where he is known as "Neo." He says he has spent "well over" $25,000 in legal fees to defend his ownership of the domain. He staunchly maintains that unix is a generic term. His argument to WIPO states, "There is no such thing as UNIX. It has been metamorphosed millions of times, if not billions of times, by many thousands of individuals and companies implementing thousands of variants."

Bass posted copies of the decision at his forum, and included these words to his readers:

"X/Open's (aka The Open Group) false claim hurts the world UNIX community because it creates a negative environment and fragments the community with harsh actions that are, in reality, anti-open.

"We do this because we love the UNIX philosophy and the true UNIX community.

"This is my gift to you, each and everyone of you.

"From the bottom of my heart. -- Neo"

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