Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (325 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] Project name and logo discussion

On pon, Jun 3, 2019 at 8:06 PM, Sébastien 'sogal' Poher <sogal@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Le lundi 03 juin 2019 à 02:17:46, Richard Brown a écrit :
On Mon, 3 Jun 2019 at 13:53, Sébastien 'sogal' Poher <sogal@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> What I like to know is if the issues with the trademark can be overcome or
> not. I do understand that it will be limitating at so point, but what
> consequences are we to expect ?

My expectation would be that if we do not change the name, an
"openSUSE Foundation" would likely face much stricter restrictions on
what it can use the openSUSE Trademark for, and stricter limitations
on allowing other people or organisations to use the trademark.

So, taking that as an example, my expectation would be that if we go
down this road of having a Foundation without a rename, we could end
up in a very similar situation to ownCloud.

The openSUSE Project could lose the current influence that it enjoys
regarding the use of its trademark due to the unique nature of the
openSUSE Board simultaneously being representative of the community
and the company.
This unique legal duplicity (where the Board can be seen to be 'part
of SUSE' least through my role) will not be the case under an
openSUSE Foundation.
Even with all plans ensuring SUSE will retains influence and a close
relationship over the Foundation, for all legal matters regarding
Trademarks and such, I am almost 100% certain the entities will NEED
to be considered separately, leading to the comparative reduction in
community influence over the openSUSE Marks compared to the status

The removal of the communities influence regarding the Project's
Trademark is a situation I personally would find very distasteful,
which is why I outright reject Sarah's suggestion that ownCloud is an
example we should aim to emulate in this case.

They stand as a good example of a 'worst case'..the sort of worst case
we'd be able to avoid by renaming the Project.

Thank you for this input and the analysis of the ownCloud example.
Maybe the ownCloud example is not the only possible solution. Is there no
such thing as "trademark delegation", where SUSE still owns the name but
delegate us the right to use as we please ?

In __any__ case, be it with SUSE signing a contract with us for use SUSE part
of openSUSE or letting us use openSUSE, but them still owning the trademark, if
they go down, we go down with them. There is no way around this part. There
is a chance of them giving us some sovereignty with signing a contract to use
SUSE as part of the brand name, but it's a patch, not a fix, their branch
changes too much: we need to remake the patch from scratch.

If not I think that it is the unique opportunity that this project will have
to make such a big change (I'm talking about the name change here). That
would be a pity to do a lot of work to set up a foundation in order to gain
more independance and, in a few years, to be blocked in some projects we may
have in the future "just" because of a trademark issue.

I would call this "the only" opportunity, we have very slim chance of getting
name change in an established foundation, with established trademark, which
will cost additional money, which foundation won't have out of nowhere. This
kind of discussion really needs to happen before anything is set in stone.

As some participants to this thread said, a lot of people are confused (or
keep on confusing themselves) between the names SUSE and openSUSE, some of
them even think that "it is the same". Having our own, different name may
help us to that regard.

But changing the name will require a huge amount of work, in all the aspects
of the project. Do we have the manpower it requires ?

Change wouldn't have to be instant obviously, and nothing wouldn't need to be
backported, because there is no point. After the codebase is dead, it's dead,
so the most we would have to sign with SUSE would be an agreement to continue
using the name until our current distributions (or the entire Leap 15 series)
are EOL. That's ~2 years to rebrand (if we reach the conclusion quickly at

Whatever the conclusion ends up being, I will just have more work to do in
artwork/branding repositories, and I don't mind this at all (I will have to
work on logos/colours/fonts etc anyway ;)

LCP [Stasiek]

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