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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

By Joe Barr on October 05, 2007 (5:30:00 PM)

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Michael D. Setzer II, the leader of the project once known as Ghost for Linux (G4L), recently received a cease and desist email message from a lawyer representing Symantec. The company is demanding that the project change its name because the use of "Ghost" violates a trademark held by Symantec for its Norton Ghost disk imaging software.

Chelseaa Bush, from the law firm of Heller Ehrman, emailed Setzer in late September, saying:

We ask that you not use GHOST, SYMANTEC, NORTON or any other Symantec trademark as the name of your program or in any other trademark sense. In addition, changing to G4L is not sufficient. The G in the acronym stands for GHOST so that you are still making reference to and drawing off of Symantec's proprietary name and products. Please adopt a new name for the program that does not draw upon or make any reference to GHOST. Ghost for Linux and G4L should be replaced with this new name everywhere--on all web sites, in the program itself, etc.

Setzer has asked the Software Freedom Law Center for guidance. "I do this 100% for free, and don't even accept donations, so I have no resources for doing any legal battle, but will take the legal help that I can get," he says. Unfortunately, the SFLC says it is unable to help with the matter, other than to point out that Symantec's lawyer should be able to provide the serial or registration number for the mark in question.

When asked, Bush did provide the registration number for the trademark on Ghost. It was first registered to a corporation in Illinois named Gimix, Inc., in 1978. The USPTO database reflects a change of address in 2003 from the original registrant to that of the law firm now representing Symantec in this matter, but the Gimix registered mark had nothing to do with the Ghost software product. Symantec acquired the software in 1998, when it purchased Binary Research, a software development firm in New Zealand, which had originally put Ghost on the market in 1996.

Setzer notes that the term ghosting has been in usage long enough to warrant a number of its own definitions on Wikipedia, one of which is given as "The act of creating a completely identical copy, or a ghost image, of a hard disk using backup software such as Ghost, on to removable media or a network drive to be used as a backup copy of a PC in case a restore of that PC is required. Also known as disk cloning."

As of now, Setzer has removed all references to ghost, Norton, and Symantec from the website, the code, and the documentation. He's hoping to be able to keep the name the same, but Symantec wants the G removed, too. Setzer doesn't want to do that, but can't afford a legal fight with anyone, let alone a firm the size of Symantec. He is still hoping to hear something from the legal staff at SourceForge.net which would allow him to keep the name unchanged. Our parent firm, SourceForge, Inc., owns both Linux.com and SourceForge.net, which hosts the project. They were copied on the original email from the Symantec legal team, but so far Setzer has heard nothing from them.

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on Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 192.18.43.225] on October 05, 2007 06:29 PM
Removing the "G" is not reasonable, and I suspect cannot be enforced. Trademark law is designed to prevent confusion; nobody will reasonably confuse "G" with "Ghost". Their argument is that G "means" Ghost, only those who know the history of the project will know that, and those people are not going to be confused by the term.

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 168.226.40.113] on October 05, 2007 06:30 PM
Well, I remeber the first time I see the name "Ghost for Linux", wander if that was legal.
I guess it wasn't.

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 193.39.119.81] on October 05, 2007 06:49 PM
What kind of an ill society is allowing trademarks on common words, and now on letters too?
This is ridiculous!
Symantec, your legal action is pathetic! What's the next step?
Legal action against Scotland? Ghost is pretty common there.
Legal action against Paramount Pictures?
Legal action against GHOST Ltd, UK?
Or what?

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Re: Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 62.121.101.201] on October 07, 2007 09:27 PM
What you say is unfortunately true, but doesn't apply in this case. Trademarks apply to particular domains. E.g. you can have "Opus Pizza" and that doesn't infringe on "Opus Car Hire". In the case of copying software, ghost is probably a term that didn't exist before Symantec started using it. It's a pretty non-obvious term and so if it wasn't in use before they used it it's perfectly protectable. The arguments about the G would probably be more subtle. The better argument is that the name is now generic since everybody talks about "ghosting".

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Re(1): Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: msetzerii on October 07, 2007 11:05 PM
Just as a note. Another company had trademarked the word ghost in the area of computers, and don't know how they had used the word, but the trademark search shows them with the trademark, but somewhere in the system it was later transfered to symantec. And with the original create of the Ghost program, it was an acronym. From Wikipedia. The name Ghost originated as an acronym for "General Hardware-Oriented System Transfer". Again, I wasn't the one that created the project, and it would appear that like others, the creation of these projects was a result of Ghost not doing the job for whatever reason. I agree that Ghosting at the very least has become a generic term, but don't know how that would link to the root of the word ghost. Thanks for taking the time to reply. I do check on all of the replies, good, bad or otherwise. Just waiting on word from Sourceforge on my options.

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What goes around , comes around

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 193.195.15.45] on March 10, 2008 11:39 AM
Interesting that you admit you weren't the one who created the project, as I understand that the code for G4L was taken from G4U with no acknowledgement of the original author and his Open Source License. Glad that Symantec are taking you to task rather than Hubert Feyrer. As we say in Europe, what goes around, comes around

--
Steve Brook

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Re: Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 66.147.119.193] on October 08, 2007 12:04 PM

How about 'Shades and Spirits for Linux'?

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 204.180.114.254] on October 05, 2007 06:51 PM
How about FUS?

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Re: Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 168.168.67.112] on October 05, 2007 07:08 PM
"How about FOS"

Fixed that for you :)

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 128.152.20.33] on October 05, 2007 06:54 PM
call it phantom different name same thought!

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 189.154.48.18] on October 05, 2007 06:56 PM
The Ghost thing is nonsense ... Symantec is going mad or what ?

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Re: Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 204.156.112.211] on October 05, 2007 08:01 PM
Just U.S. (and probably other jurisdictions) law: protect a trademark or lose it.

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.121.105.169] on October 05, 2007 07:15 PM
This is hardly an unreasonable request. An IT manager that doesn't eat/breathe/sleep Linux (most don't) would be confused or at least forced to wonder what the relationship between G4L is with Symantec. Also bear in mind that Symantec could have come out *way* harder than it did, but unfortunately a corporation can't start a conversation like this without a cease and desist even if all they want to say "dude, change the name please." C&Ds are the legal equivalent of a tap on the shoulder - don't look any deeper than that. They've given the G4L team a simple way out of the problem - take it and move on.

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Re: Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 193.39.119.81] on October 05, 2007 08:37 PM
An IT manager should manage the IT infrastructure and learn the best way to do it (most don't). He's not a lawyer to start wondering about crap.

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Re: Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Joe Barr on October 05, 2007 08:38 PM
See what you turn into if you don't eat your Linux, children? :)

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Re: Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 75.58.40.192] on October 06, 2007 12:18 AM
Agree totally. This is a clear violation of Symantec's trademark and their request is remarkably restrained and professional.

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Re(1): Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 193.39.119.81] on October 06, 2007 12:52 PM
Well, next time you use red ink to write the "+" sign, don't. You are infringing a Red Cross patent, trademark, whatever. Has everyone got mad in this sick world?.

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Re(2): Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Jeremy Akers on October 06, 2007 05:49 PM
"next time you use red ink to write the "+" sign, don't. You are infringing a Red Cross patent, trademark, whatever."



No, it's not that simple. Context matters. If you were using it as a symbol to to entice people to donate money to you, then you would be clearly violating it. If you're just putting a plus sign next to a number on a spreadsheet, it's not violating anything.



You should do your research before you make such bold statements.



Creating a product that performs the same job as another product, and then naming it such that it uses the same name as the competing product, is a clear violation of that trademark. Now, if 'Ghost for Linux' was a FPS game that featured a ghost that goes around killing things, this probably would not be an issue. The context around the use of the trademarked word/phrase is what really matters. A trademark is registered only to a specific set of goods or services. It doesn't protect all uses of the word or phrase.



This is not to say that I agree with what's happening, but in general this is how trademark law should and does work. No-one is (seriously) contesting that. What's in contest here, is whether 'GHOST' is a valid trademark. According to wikipedia:



"The name Ghost originated as an acronym for "General Hardware-Oriented System Transfer"."



A good description of what can and can not be considered a valid trademark can be found at:



http://trademarkmyname.com/trademark-law.html



Now, if the G4L author had the money to pay for a good lawyer, he could probably fight this and he might win. However, he doesn't have the money for one, so he'll probably just have to change his name and move on. It's not really worth the hassle of fighting it.

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Re(3): Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 162.6.228.120] on October 12, 2007 08:46 PM
It's funny you chose to mention this particular case, because The Red Cross is actually being sued by Johnson and Johnson for using the Red Cross symbol on retail packaging.

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 206.19.210.8] on October 05, 2007 07:21 PM
SSICUTHG4L (Symantec Says I Can't Us The Name Ghost For Linux)
Last I heard the letter "G" is not trademarked.
If you must rename, pick a synonym for Ghost (ghost, shade, spook, wraith, specter, spectre, etc)
Tsohg for Linux

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 85.92.172.28] on October 05, 2007 07:55 PM
G4U calls theirs "ghosting for Unix" so they get around the use of the word "ghost", perhaps "ghosting for Linux" would be appropriate.

Nice captcha...
Are you human? "lovely"

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 129.9.163.234] on October 05, 2007 07:58 PM
How about SPIRIT: Symantec Pressed Injunction, Rattling Inane Trademarks?

Apparently G4L just got the validation it needed as a Ghost Replacement.

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 63.95.189.67] on October 05, 2007 07:59 PM
Of course the SFLC was unable to help - their wasn't any upside in it for them.

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Re: Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 84.202.106.41] on October 06, 2007 08:15 AM
Stop trolling -- This is an obvious trademark violation, and the lawcenter is not a law *changing* institution. Why persue a lost case??

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 86.142.116.6] on October 05, 2007 08:04 PM
You can't legally Trade Mark an individual Letter from the Alphabet! Also you Cannot Legally Copyright the word "Ghost".
BP Tried several years ago to trademark the colour "Green", But were laughed out of court for being ridiculous.

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Re: Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 63.251.108.100] on October 05, 2007 11:55 PM
The word "Ghost" in the context of software for cloning a hard drive is most definitely trademarkable, and Symantec does indeed hold a trademark on it, so there's no chance of them being laughed out of court, or even of losing. "Ghost for Linux" (and the G does indeed stand for that; until not long ago, it was even written out as Ghost for Linux on the Sourceforge G4L site. This would be a slam dunk for Symantec in court. Ghost is software for cloning a hard drive. Ghost for Linux is software for cloning a hard drive. That's sailing pretty close to the wind for G4L, considering that trademark law requires Symantec to defend their trademark or risk losing it.

(BTW, I suggest you educate yourself on the difference between trademark and copyright; they are not at all the same thing.)

Two insightful comments made here by others were that a C&D is the legal equivalent of a tap on the shoulder saying "Please stop doing that." The other was to rename G4L to Phantom, which is a cooler name anyway. We've seen some pretty crazy C&Ds against software project, etc., but this one is actually pretty legit and would easily hold up in court.

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Re: Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 75.58.40.192] on October 06, 2007 12:14 AM
Tell that to 3M Corporation:

http://solutions.3m.com/en_US/

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Re: Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.137.137.202] on October 07, 2007 10:22 PM
Actually, many colors _are_ trademarked. A few well known colors would be Tiffany blue and Coca-cola red. You cannot use a Pantone combination that's been trademarked to a particular company in a manner that would cause confusion. For example, you could probably print some kind of poster using the specific color combination that results in Tiffany blue, as long as that poster wouldn't cause confusion with the Tiffany brand. Try making a gift bag with that color and see how far you get. Nowhere.

As to the BP lawsuit to which you refer, I think you'd better read again. Like a lot of lawsuits, the publicly known version and what finally happened after the news media left are very different things. Read this for an update: http://www.jenkins-ip.com/mym/autumn2001/green_means.htm

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Geist

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 204.136.26.41] on October 05, 2007 09:39 PM
How about changing the name to Geist? Symantec doesn't hold a trademark on Geist or the letter G.

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 199.120.75.116] on October 05, 2007 10:26 PM
I sugggest GHost4Linux with the G standing from GRAB as in GRAB Host, makes perfect sense to me.....

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.235.226.233] on October 05, 2007 11:47 PM

How absurd. How can they hold rights to a word in the English dictionary? Or a letter from the alphabet of many languages spoken the world over? Goes to show how crazy the big guy$ have become.

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Re: Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 12.169.163.241] on October 06, 2007 10:11 AM
" How can they hold rights to a word in the English dictionary?"

Windows?

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 198.60.121.1] on October 06, 2007 12:10 AM
They're not claiming copyright on the word "Ghost", merely the reference and what it entails. Saying "Ghost4Linux" suggests Symantec Ghost, because why then would you say "Ghost for Linux"? You're insinuating that the product is available on other operating systems by saying it's for Linux, otherwise you wouldn't need to distinguish it, you could just say Ghost and people would think "Oh, program for Linux.". It would be the equivalent of WINE changing their name to WINWE, or WINE Is Not (a) Windows Emulator. The mere reference to Windows implies Microsoft Windows, and so they too would receive a cease and desist (Probably worse). Microsoft doesn't own the word Windows, they own the product that it references in a certain context. Same for Symantec. It makes sense.

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.188.193.183] on October 06, 2007 12:15 AM
While I agree that Symantic is being a bit petty about this, we have to be cautious here. We as FOSS users, developers and supporters need to be the better class of people. Ghost is Symantics product name. All other products should indeed distance themselves fron non-FOSS apps enough that there in no mistaking the uniqueness of the FOSS project. If you think it's stupid to be aple to copyright a word, fine. I agree. But, that isn't the point here. Symantic does not want their names used outside of their control, and that Is their right. We should support that, and insist that the developers of G4L immediately rename the project to meet the full intent of Symantic. Not because they are right, but because it is the right and legal thing to do. We have freedoms we wish to protect with FOSS. Those freedom come with the responsibility to respect others as well. If we don't, what makes us any better that them?

Keith

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Re: Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: msetzerii on October 06, 2007 01:26 AM
Just to point out a few things. First, I am not the original author and didn't setup the project or come up with the name. It has been around for about 4 years or longer. The references to Ghost and Symantec where marked (and I assumed correctly), and the program has (I've modified it to remove it) and info screen at the beginning that stated that it was not related to Symantec, and even gave the web link to the Symantec site. Again, that had been done by the previous author, and was there to prevent any confusion. When I was contacted, I quickly removed the references from the Sourceforge and Freshmeat sites to the word Ghost, Norton, and Symantec (except for the G in G4L). I also when thru the script, and only the info page had any reference to the word Ghost, Norton, or Symantec, and that was to prevent confusion rather than to have users confuse Norton Ghost for G4L. Actually, in the script it shows up as Gh*st for LInux, but if Ghost is a problem, I would agree that use of the * instead of an o isn't a real change. I even looked at the outdated document file on the site, and it doesn't include Ghost, Norton, or Symantec as far as I could tell in a quick search, it just used G4L. If it was just me, I wouldn't care what the name was, but I've recently been getting between 9,000 and 14,000 downloads of the various files each month. Don't know how many people actually use it, since I get very few comments on either web site. Hopefully, it is either that it works for them, or isn't want they were looking for.

To conclude, it is interesting to see what Ghost stands for according to Wikipedia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_(software).
Ghost originated as an acronym for "General Hardware-Oriented System Transfer".

P.S. My college has a site license from the original company that made it, before it was bought by Symantec, and still uses it in some locations. But years ago, I added Linux to my computer labs in addition to 98 and XP. Ghost continued to work until I upgraded to LVM partitions with Fedora Core 3 (I believe), and then it would fail in doing a regular Ghost image of the disk. Contact with Symantec resulted in not supported message. Even before this, the Ghost work, but cause a boot problem that required a resetting of Grub. It would work for imaging individual partitions, but would crash on the boot partition, which was an ext2, but no error on the LVM itself. It would also work if one did a raw backup, but then it was huge since it would backup unused sectors. So, rather than having to do 4 separate ghost images of each partition, and thus 4 restores, I found alternatives that worked. G4U worked great, but I had no knowledge of NetBSD, later found G4L, and it worked, but wasn't perfect, but this time I had the ability to make changes. I've since come out with versions 0.14 thru 0.23, with somethings added that I thought of, and some things that have been requested. Much of it though is based on using other open source projects. Just to name a few, ncftp, lzop, gzip, ntfsclone, syslinux, etc, and of course the previous authors.

Unfortunately, haven't done an even OK, job of keeping the documentation updated, but hopefully the program doesn't really require one to understand the inner workings to a high degree....

Hopefully, I will get some feedback from sourceforge on what exactly must be done. If they concur that G4L is a problem, I will have no choice but to look at changing the name. Not sure if there is a simple process to do this, or if it would require closing the current project, and creating a new one totally from scratch. If that is required, I probable would be able to do anything until the Christmas break, since I have 5 College courses, and am the Chair of our College Assessment Committee that takes a great deal of my time.

Again, it is nice to see all the comments.

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.80.99.62] on October 06, 2007 12:29 AM
Generateanimageofyourharddrive 4 Linux

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.252.240.243] on October 06, 2007 12:48 AM
Great point! Why spend time fighting over something this petty when there are so many more important battles to fight? Let's spend our time improving software apps for Linux rather than alienate a company that isn't trying to destroy it, just protecting its name.

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Ghost in different language

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 212.73.164.10] on October 06, 2007 12:50 AM
Gast in swedish means ghost

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 201.20.218.221] on October 06, 2007 03:09 AM
What about Clone 4 Linux. After all is cloning software. C and G are very similar visually and Symantec would not enforce any trademark over the "C" leter (I think :-). Also here there are no references to a Linux version of a Windows software but just a cloning software for GNU/Linux OS.

Armando

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I will have to agree with symantec

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.62.190.241] on October 06, 2007 04:21 AM
Sorry, but at one point this tool was referred to as ghost. IMHO, a trasition to G4L, could indeed confuse *some* people initially that this is somehow an officially endorsed ghost product. And when people look for ghost partitioning or imaging in a search engine, this might come up. This does draw people in because it uses (or rather once used) the name of a popular tool that does the same thing. Symantec at least provided a very professional request. From the looks of it this has to be one of the most polite cease and desist notices I've ever seen.

My opinion is that the name should be changed to avoid any further conflict.

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Re: I will have to agree with symantec

Posted by: msetzerii on October 06, 2007 06:53 AM
Just as a point of information. As Far as I know, the name has always been G4L, and is more directly linked to G4U. Which is Ghosting for Unix, and in a search it would come up as well as the word Ghost. It was also interesting that when looking at the page when the word ghost was included, google ads on the page would have one that was another companies backup program and it had Ghosting in the ad along with their web address, and also had ads for Free Norton Ghost. Now the ads still show up, but generally have different words. Personally, I think ghosting has become a generic term for disk imaging, but don't know how that would effect the word ghost, since ghosting is "to ghost". Finally, Ghost was not originally a word, but an acronym according to wikipedia. The name Ghost originated as an acronym for "General Hardware-Oriented System Transfer". So, hopefully the people at sourceforge will give me a clear path to take.

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Its our common interest to not let firmas ocupy common words

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 217.175.174.176] on October 06, 2007 07:06 AM
I think the reservation of common words by firmas for their product is a desrespect of the whole people, and we should nothing buy from them. Worser even the reservation of single characters like G ...

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 161.12.7.4] on October 06, 2007 08:23 AM
Perhaps he could use "ghosting 4 Linux" as the name.. Or "g4L - Ghosting software 4 Linux"

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it's not the name similarity making Free implementations findable.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 80.98.100.42] on October 06, 2007 12:17 PM
I never used a ghost software, so maybe I am not the right person to give advices, but something like hd clone, clonedisk, diskclone would be perfect for me. It's not the name similarity what makes a software's Free Software implementation "clone" findable or great. Do you all know qtparted? Or I could mention a lot more. Just fork your own project and mark it dead on the old site, linking to the new one. Keep up the good work, maybe I'll also need a clone tool sometime and I am 100% sure I'll find THE NEW project! :-) Maybe SF can even "ghost" your project to a new name for you, saving a lot of work. :-)

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Re: it's not the name similarity making Free implementations findable.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 80.98.100.42] on October 06, 2007 12:19 PM
I forgot to mention: I don't think it should be something like spirit, specter or whatever, just forget ghosts and give a good name fitting well to what the software actually does. -LionKMP

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.130.25.75] on October 06, 2007 12:34 PM
I thought that you could not trademark any common household word, such as Ghost.

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.197.202.245] on October 06, 2007 12:55 PM
I'd say, keep the G4L name, and reply the email from the Symantec lawyer with the answer that you dropped the name "Ghost 4 Linux" and changed it to "Generateanimageofyourharddrive 4 Linux" or one of the funny above, hence not referring to Ghost in any means anymore. There we go, G4L. If they do drag you to court, and you'd be asked what G4L stands for saying it's Generateanimageofyourharddrive 4 Linux (which you offcourse made clear on the website), Symantec will be laughed at :)

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: msetzerii on October 06, 2007 01:01 PM
Again, I didn't start the project, so had nothing to do with the name, but it has been using that name for almost 4 years that I can see from when it was created on freshmeat and sourceforge, and had its own web page somewhere before that. Just did a google search and "g4l ghost" results in over 41,000 hits. "Ghost and Norton" results in over 2,000,000. "Symantec and Ghost" results in over 600,000. Ghosting comes up with 575,000. "Ghost, image, disk" result in almost 350,000. Again not all matches are about diskcloning, but it shows a good relationship between the terms. I've had some messages on sourceforge, and some have commented on names that are more in line with what the program can do. It not actual a ghost for linux, since it can backup backup many more OS's than just Linux. So maybe something like disk image with linux. I'm still not clear on whether I can the formerly know as g4l, or have people going to the old site directed to the new site. With 41,000 links with g4l, it would make all those searches fail if something can not be done. Also, all the messages and comments and solutions from those sites would be lost as well. Sourceforge seems to be in some process of moving, but hopefully I will get something next week. At worst, the project might get shut down completely, and I wouldn't really be able to do anything till December in regards to setting a new one up, if it can not be migrated. Just too much going on with teaching classes and other work at the college.

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 64.81.224.97] on October 06, 2007 03:40 PM
Just change it to something like Great disk imager 4 Linux and keep G4L. IANAL but I'm pretty sure they can not force you to change G4L unless that is also trademarked.

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It's Google cache the guilty one.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 81.193.84.54] on October 06, 2007 05:08 PM
IMHO, I think you should not change the 'G' letter from G4L.
Your project is having a lot of downloads and changing that single letter could break project/users relationship.
Try to keep the 'G' letter arguing that belongs to Geist or Gast as somebody else referred.

Also, maybe Symantec is getting over this because Google displays first result for your project page with keywords "ghost linux":
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=ghost+linux&btnG=Search
But since the project have already the word Ghost removed.. Someone have to tell Symantec that is Google cache the guilty one : )

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Ghosting for Linux...

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 66.41.223.118] on October 06, 2007 06:29 PM
...would be a good name for it. Ghosting is an actual term, and also not copyrighted by Symantec. Plus, it's kind of a spit-in-their-face at the same time. :)

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 124.169.109.47] on October 07, 2007 08:47 AM
How about we require Symantec to provide truth in product branding and have them label their PC security suite - "Crap for Windows" as it slows down every PC that I have seen it installed on to a crawl. They would then presumably try and trademark the word CRAP and the letter "C".
I am a network admin for over 500 PCs and have used Ghost (since back when it was Norton Ghost) for many years. It USED to be a good product but recent versions have been increasingly problematic to use on a Windows network (which is kind of the point to using Ghost (tm) - or shall we refer to it as the G-word (no tm)). Also, the license fees have grown to the point where I am considering going to CLONEZILLA as Symantec are simply rapacious.
A question - If I die and come back and haunt Symantec - do I have to where a stupid TM sign around my neck or would I be breaching their trademark? Or can I just get away with it by calling myself a poltergeist?
I think trademark and copyright lawyers are bottom-feeders. When they go after people such as the G4L creators they should be called out as the impediments to trade and commerce that they are and any actions should be thrown out of court. Why? BECAUSE SYMANTEC DON'T HAVE A PRODUCT CALLED GHOST FOR LINUX!!!! If they created one they MIGHT have a point. However, given that someone beat them to it they would have to prove prior intent since they cannot show prior product. Trademarks are messy to claim and trying to enforce them to the point of claiming to own the letter "G" presumably for "GRUBBY GREEDY GRAB for cash". I also think that they (Symantec and their lawyers) should be banned from using ANY open source product or service (such as Linux, Firefox or any site that uses Apache for example) and see what they think about the place of open source when they aren't allowed to use any of it.

Symantec you suck and your lawyers suck.

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Different market => no confusion.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.212.49.168] on October 07, 2007 03:18 PM
Symantec can spill the [censored] all it wants.

It doesn't work in Linux market nor under Linux platform => No confusion. End of Story.

Though looking realistically at extremities of U.S. "Intellectual Property" nazis, of course G4L stands no single chance.

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Seems reasonable

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 202.14.141.254] on October 07, 2007 09:26 PM
Symantec's actions do seem reasonable to me - the G4L project *is* using their trademark. Forget this silly business of trademarking common English words - G4L isn't a completely unrelated use of the term 'Ghost'. It's a direct reference to Symantec's product, basically describing themselves as the Linux version of the same. Which they're not - they might be an *equivalent*, but their name implies a closer link than that.

Really, some of the open-source projects should be more careful than this. I mean, some companies are overly trigger-happy with their lawyers, but this is about as straight-forward a case of trademark infringement as you could ever fine.

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Re: Seems reasonable

Posted by: msetzerii on October 07, 2007 11:13 PM
I don't recall what the state of things might have been about 4 years ago when g4l was created or when g4u was created earlier than that. I do wonder what has caused this to pop up at this point in time. You do a google search on ghost disk imaging, and it comes back with 243,000 hits. Again, I've removed all words Ghost, Norton, and Symantec from the web, and even done so to the script, that only had the info page stating that it wasn't related to Norton Ghost, and gave symantecs web site, so the user could go there. Before removing it the web site did list the (c) and (tm) with Norton and Symantec, perhaps not in the 100% correct format, but that had been done by the previous author, and I had just left it unchanged. Again, thanks for taking the time to comment, and hopefully, I will get some solid information from Sourceforge on what to do.

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 204.136.26.41] on October 08, 2007 06:17 PM
An alternative to using Geist or Gast: G4L could stand for G4U 4 Linux. If Symantec has a problem with the G4U name, it's out of your hands.

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 89.101.143.33] on October 09, 2007 04:27 PM
Call it Residual Image instead

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.22.35.238] on October 10, 2007 02:24 AM
I Agree with several suggestions of G4L thats like MS isnt that Mississippi? or Micro$oft? maybe they should sue the state or is it missouri i dont know, anway if not G4L why not C4L Clone 4 Linux it sounds similiar and has nothing to do with spirits or the like. :)

Mark

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 38.113.0.254] on October 10, 2007 07:50 PM
I thought GHOST as in COPY was trademarked before Symantec anyway?

Remember playing hard driving with the "GHOST" competition in the 80s

Thats where GHOST comes from from my recollection. Now anything thats a copy and has the term 'GHOST' to me doesn't shout any trademark at all. When I copy a folder to a new hard drive, I'd call that a GHOST (have done so for decades). I didn't use anything by symantec to do it.

Anyway, Symantec have it trademarked and lawyers know their stuff, so best to do a Ghandi and Passively resist ;-)

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Allan Gabston-Howell on October 18, 2007 01:37 AM
Handle it the Open Source way:



1.) Wait on your donzels, to see what they have to say.



2.) If "Nay!" switch to "Poltergeist!" as the product name and trademark it.



3.) Put up a web page explaining why you had to make the change, and explaining that "Poltergeist!" is the same product that G4L was.



4.) Whenever the issue is raised, discuss it within the context of Symantec Corporation unjustifiably leaning on a lone individual performing good works.



5.) Print-out and frame your C&D email.

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So? Lesson from GNU, Rename it "KING"

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 80.220.68.42] on October 18, 2007 10:17 PM
That's how we've always dealt with these.

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.88.21.253] on October 20, 2007 02:02 AM
Just call it wraith, spectre, spook, shade
fantasm, phantasm, phantasma, phantom, shadow, or apparition 4 Linux and get on with life...

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Just call it wraith, spectre, spook, shade fantasm, phantasm,

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.88.21.253] on October 20, 2007 02:04 AM
Just call it wraith, spectre, spook, shade fantasm, phantasm, phantasma, phantom, shadow, or apparition 4 Linux and get on with life...

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 84.254.50.150] on November 02, 2007 09:51 AM
I guess some people don't get the point. How a single common word can be trademarked? Its ok for "Norton Ghost" or "Symantec Ghost" to be trademarked but not for a common english word such as "ghost". Maybe I should go on and trademark all the english words, then start suing all the world for trademark violation. LOL @ Symantec.

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: cgullcharlie on November 02, 2007 02:44 PM
How about 4GL "4 Ghosting Linux" as used in 4GL for "Fourth-Generation-Language". 4GL as an acronym has probably been around longer than Symantec.
Anyway whats the point of using G4L when "dd" does this anyway?, "dd" works, its on just about every platform linux to BSD it works for any partition or filesystem present or future. "dd if=/dev/hda1 of=mybackupfile". Short, easy and sweet. Stuff G4L in the bin so many of these projects do what can easily be done already with all the GNU utils from the command line.

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Symantec asks G4L to stop infringing on Ghost name

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 12.32.90.119] on November 29, 2007 01:37 AM
If I were symantec I wouldn't worry about it. I can't figure out how to get G4L working on my network and I assume it's the same for most other people. Change the name to a random string of characters and focus energy on getting someone to write documentation or start a wiki.
[Modified by: Anonymous on November 29, 2007 01:41 AM]

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