Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (325 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] Project name and logo discussion
On 6/4/19 5:28 AM, Richard Brown wrote:
On Tue, 4 Jun 2019 at 11:05, Vojtěch Zeisek <vojtech.zeisek@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Again keeping it short, No, the board has been given quite some
guarantee we will be able to continue to use openSUSE as long as we need
/ want. If that was to ever change and we no longer could i'd be all for
creating a "fork" to a new name based off, "openSUSE is changing its
name because it's working relationship with SUSE has come to the point
were we feel we can no longer share the same name". This would generate
more then enough press that whatever we change to will become instantly
recognised, it would equally create enough bad press for SUSE that they
would consider whether the choice is wise. But until that point comes
hopefully it never does i'm all for keeping the existing name it is
known and represents everything the project is so well

I fully agree here. I see the tight bound between openSUSE and SUSE as very
As explained elsewhere, the change would require huge amount of work and IMHO
we already do have a lot of work to do, so I don't think the change is worth
of the work needed.

:) I'm sympathetic & respectful to your point of view, and will
certainly back it with my full energies if the eventual vote shows it
as the majority view.

But, I do feel compelled to point out that both options, renaming or
sticking with "openSUSE" have significant costs.

For example, right now openSUSE has granted the right to use our
trademark to various merchandise suppliers, sticker producers,
hardware OEMs (eg. Tuxedo Computers who sell openSUSE laptops), and of
course various regional groups of the openSUSE Project.

If the Project keeps its name as "openSUSE", then I would expect
additional terms and conditions on the openSUSE Trademarks to be
imposed as a result of the creation of the Foundation.
These terms and conditions will likely limit/risk the projects ability
to grant similar permissions in the future and possibly put those
existing arrangements at risk.

The consequences of such a course of events could dramatically limit
openSUSE's ability to market itself compared to our current
arrangements - and Marketing is an area which I think everyone would
say we should be expanding upon, not limiting ourselves.

I dont want to be a doomsayer, this dark future I paint is admittedly
a worst case, but it's a worst case backed and imposed by the nature
of international trademark law.
I'm confident that both SUSE & openSUSE will want to do all that we
can to mitigate those negative aspects of any decision.
But figuring that out, discussing with lawyers, researching laws,
drafting policies, getting those policies approved by the companies &
communities involved, will ALSO be a huge amount of work.

Unlike the consequences of renaming which can be spread around, it's
work which will likely be highly concentrated on the shoulders of a
few volunteers, who's wellbeing and enthusiasm I will be greatly
concerned about if we find ourselves going down that road.

So, everyone please, don't fool yourselves into thinking there is one
'easier' option out of the two presented here.

I agree either way there is a lot of work. I still would consider a complete re-branding effort to be more taxing than dealing with possibly handling additional clauses on the use of trademark issues.

Given that the trademark issue is being pushed very strongly I am getting the feeling that the foundation push is really more about control of the mark then being able to receive donations in a structured way that makes those that want to donate feel comfortable with where the donations are going.


As a Project we've got a lot of work to do either way.
Which is why this debate is so healthy and productive to have - as a
community we've got to pick the poison we're happiest to drink ;)

Distinguished Architect LINUX
Technical Team Lead Public Cloud
IRC: robjo
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