Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-marketing (197 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-marketing] openSUSE Trademark Guidelines Released
  • From: Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier <jbrockmeier@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 05 Mar 2009 09:11:24 -0500
  • Message-id: <49AFDD8C.20406@xxxxxxxxxx>
On 03/04/2009 12:26 PM, Michael Loeffler wrote:
On Wednesday 04 March 2009, Cornelius Schumacher wrote:
On Tuesday 03 March 2009, Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier wrote:
Since it's easier than ever to create customized versions of
openSUSE, we've seen a lot of interest in the branding of
derivative distros. When is it OK to call a distro "openSUSE," or
"powered by openSUSE," and when does the branding need to be
removed entirely? The guidelines are an attempt to answer as many
of those questions as possible in one concise document.
The guidelines are currently relatively strict about modified
openSUSE versions. Wouldn't it be good to have something like a
"weak" trademark which can be used more freely. So that I could for
example call my openSUSE version where I updated KDE to the latest
version something like "openSUSE powered" or "smells like openSUSE"
or "once was openSUSE" or whatever? This would give openSUSE more

I'm fully in agreement with that and like to add a few comments to the
discussion in general:
- a company needs to shield its trademark to maintain ownership of it
- we shouldn't be more holy than the pope (german saying - don't know
it this translates good into english), eg. Martin's example of the
danish openSUSE documentation. Why should Novell have something
against this? At least I can't find a reasonable answer

No reason Novell should mind Martin doing Danish documentation (or any other language...), but there's a chance of confusion between "official" guides and documentation / publications produced by the community if we allow any use of openSUSE in publication titles/subtitles.

We could do one of three things here:

1) Allow use in publication titles. But this may mean someone chooses to publish "The openSUSE Guide to Administration" (or whatever) which is unclear whether it's a project document, or simply about openSUSE.

2) Request that authors ask permission to use openSUSE in the title. This could be a burden for authors/publishers, but doesn't rule out the use -- it only means they have to say "is this title OK for this work?" This doesn't strike me as unreasonable, but it would be on Novell to provide a quick turnaround.

3) Allow use of openSUSE in publication titles, but specify use cases that aren't permitted: i.e., "The openSUSE guide to..." isn't allowed unless it's from Novell or the project, but "A guide to openSUSE" might be allowed. This might be the best way to go, but it requires us to provide a set of examples and may still lead to questions to permission@xxxxxxxxxx

- with permission@xxxxxxxxxx we do have now an official way to ask for
permission, and yes, we (Novell) needs to show quick turn around
times here and need to adjust the guidelines if reality requests that



Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier
Twitter/ jzb
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