2011/5/31 Cornelius Schumacher firstname.lastname@example.org:
On Monday 16 May 2011 20:25:02 Alberto Passalacqua wrote:
I would specify who decides this and how, so to make the process more transparent and let the reader know immediately who to ask for info. In the past requests were sent back and forth mainly because who requested permission did not have a clear idea of who was responsible of taking care of this, since it was not written in the guidelines.
We have a "contact" section in the guidelines, which tells where to direct questions and requests. Of course this contact has to be responsive, but that's out of the scope of the actual guidelines.
It is very ambiguous to have statements like "partial instructions are ..." and "We cannot, however, tell you categorically what will and will not qualify as a "fair use.", especially if you have to deal with a legal office which won't let you take any risk. I know common sense should apply, but it does not happen when it comes these things, and such ambiguous statements simply make it harder for the contributor. In the case of the trademark, where is the trademark registered should tell you what is fair use too, for example. In other words also for this it would be useful to have some definite set of cases when it is clearly "fair use".
The problem is that it's really hard to list complete instructions and define "fair use" generally, as it depends on your situation. The guidelines already contain a lot of pretty concrete rules. I think, at least for now, that's as good as we can do. Maybe we can put some more thoughts and effort into a later revision of the guidelines.
Thanks for the clarification. My point was that I do not see a lot of difference in terms of legalese compared to previous version. If you have to deal with a legal office in your institution, the new guidelines will give origin to the exact same procedure and, most likely, to the same result as before: a no go.
My suggestion was to give complete instructions not for everything, but especially for the de-branding part. In other words something along the lines "If you remove this and this and this, we won't make any claim". What we currently have sounds, between the lines, like "SUSE reserves the rights of changing this policy at all times and evaluating each case individually" (I know it's not written, but it is not excluded either), which is not going to help in making the process slimmer and faster for contributors who work in institutions, especially public ones.
Thanks for all the work done on this.