On 10/18/19 7:13 AM, Patrick Shanahan wrote:
- Axel Braun firstname.lastname@example.org [10-17-19 16:12]:
Am Donnerstag, 17. Oktober 2019, 18:13:15 CEST schrieb Scott Bahling:
On Thu, 2019-10-17 at 08:45 +1030, Simon Lees wrote:
On 10/16/19 6:10 PM, Stasiek Michalski wrote:
I asked this question in form of "How restricting would openSUSE be in case we used it as the foundation name?", however, afaik, it never got past the board, just because we still had/have(?) no clue about the final form of the foundation, so it wasn't/isn't(?) worth it to get the lawyers involved.
This is basically correct, the initial discussions we had with a more general lawyer around the time this was first discussed was it could be quite restrictive, but followup with a trademark lawyer has suggested that it should not be restrictive at all.
This is why the board would really like your opinion on a name change without taking this issue too much into account. If most want to change the name anyway then its a non issue, if an "openSUSE Foundation" does end up being too legally restrictive for whatever reason then the board will propose using something else (but if most people want to not change the project's name we won't change the name of anything else). But the current advice the board has is it shouldn't be legally restrictive so we hope to just be able to follow the result of the vote.
Aha? That is an important piece of information I somehow missed in the threads up to now. I was under the assumption that the name change was exactly because there was fear of legal restrictions hurting us in the future.
We (the board) consulted a specialized lawyer for trademark issues, and talked to a judge as well. It pointed out that both independent legal entities (openSUSE and SUSE) can keep their brands and go into competition with each other, so trademarks would not be a show-stopper.
My opinion is that a brand name change should NOT happen based on popular opinion, but done to work around foreseen and otherwise insurmountable issues. I believe that is pretty much standard advice for anyone serious about brand integrity and recognition. Has the board sourced any expert advice in this area? Including what would be best for the success of a new foundation (starting with a new name vs using an established name)?
then there is not reason for the vote unless it is *only* to change the name of our distribution.
why are we having a vote?
Because some people would like to change the name of the distribution along with all the other parts of the project so the name openSUSE doesn't exist anywhere.
As it is nearly impossible to change the name of a foundation once it is established the board thinks it would be silly to have a "openSUSE Foundation" and go to the effort of resolving all the issues around that when in 12 months the community might want a different name instead. As such the board thinks its wise to have this issue settled before we start further detailed work on the foundation.