GNU Privacy Guard

Werner Koch wk at
Thu Feb 19 13:46:43 CET 1998

I think we should now choose a name.

A lot of good names have been suggested, but GPG sounds best.

To avoid any legal conflicts this name should only be used 
for the binary itself and --version etc. should tell what the
real name is.

We may get troubles with all TLAs and FLAs are to long to type :-).
My /usr/bin shows 68 TLA programs - they are all free software;
I guess legal conflicts could arise for everyone of them if 
this would be the case for /usr/bin/gpg.

Snippets from some mails:

Anand Kumria <wildfire at> writes:

> I think you are talking about If so I don't think there would
> be a problem, I couldn't find any trademarks or product names (computer
> related) that use GPG.
Richard Stallman <rms at> writes:

> A name that is too similar to PGP could get us in legal trouble with
> the corporate owner of PGP.  We need to avoid that.  I think FreeGP
> is probably different enough.

Wim Vandeputte <bunbun at> writes:

> Isn't a GP the UK for doctor? Free medcare?

Anand Kumria <wildfire at> writes:

> Same here. Using the name GPG would likely bring a trademark suit. However
> using the name 'GNU Privacy Guard' is unlikely to. If you need/want an
> acronym you can always use 'GNUPG'. People may have a tendancy to refer to
> it as 'GPG' but since that isn't its name (or abbreviation) you aren't
> infringing on any trademarks.
> This is similiar to a product called 'CocaCola' whose official shortening
> is 'Coke' being called 'cola'.

Curt Clark <wcclark at> writes:

> Imagine an attorney (who represents PGP, Inc.) presenting his case:
> Atty: "But your Honor, the TLA GPG contains the same letters as the
> acronym copyrighted by my client, PGP, Inc."
> Judge: "So what? Does one word or name in the TLA of GPG stand for
> any of the words or names used in the TLA PGP?"
> Atty: "Only one, your Honor."
> Judge: "I think you need more similarity than one equivalent word
> and the use of the same two letters in reverse order to constitute
> copyright infringement. Case dismissed."
> >This is similar to a product called 'CocaCola' whose official shortening
> >is 'Coke' being called 'cola'.
> Again, I respectfully disagree. The 'CocaCola' example demonstrates the
> high risk in using a shorten or abbreviated form of an existing,
> copyrighted product name. GPG is not a shortened or abbreviated form of
> PGP. Nor is GNU Privacy Guard a shortened or abbreviated form of Pretty
> Good Privacy.

Maybe there is better name than "GNU Privacy Guard" for GPG? 


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