Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (325 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] Project name and logo discussion
  • From: Richard Brown <RBrownCCB@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 5 Jun 2019 15:51:43 +0200
  • Message-id: <>
On Wed, 5 Jun 2019 at 15:04, Robert Schweikert <rjschwei@xxxxxxxx> wrote:

The name of the Project, the name of the Foundation, are supplementary
discussions that spawn from that, and the Trademark issues are not
things to be ignored or brushed over lightly.
The harsh realities of trademark law will shape and impact what the
Project will be able to do as a Foundation.

Fair, then go get the facts from SUSE and stop the speculation, that's
part of your job isn't it.

and I've got 'the facts from SUSE' - you and most of the people on
this list know me, and my default setting of community first. It
should be obvious to anyone who knows me at all that my advocacy for
addressing this issue, and all the issues I raise, are entirely
informed by information I've received as part of my job.

The only reason I qualify all of my remarks with words like "should",
"possibly" and other qualifiers is because we have strong commitments
from SUSE that they will do everything they can to help openSUSE
regardless of it's decisions.

So we have the luxury of this discussion not being under undue
pressure from our corporate sponsor. And thusly, we can all discuss
this frankly as community members with my 'communication of SUSE's
interests' being part of my regular, relaxed way of conducting myself
in the community.

But please don't mistake that casual nature as neglecting my responsibilities.
And even if you do, please refrain from publicly questioning my
commitment to my work duties in the future. Not only do I find that
behaviour unprofessional, but it sure makes it harder to do my job.

There's no ulterior motive in bringing this up for discussion now, but
if we don't discuss it now, it will be too late to consider those
implications once we've started signing contracts and forming legal

if we keep the name, we'll have the challenges of figuring out how to
operate a legal entity without absolute control of our trademark.

True, but that is not a stated goal of the foundation, you just said
that yourself above. So maybe a bit consistency would be helpful.

If control of the mark is important then that should be stated as a goal
of the foundation. Which then pretty much ends the discussion as we all
agree that in order to control the mark a re-name is necessary.

It's not a stated goal. Because it isn't a goal.

But, its an environmental reality, trademarks are a thing, openSUSE
has one, and we need to figure out how we're going to handle it.

Having a trademark & product name separate from the primary legal
entity is possible - see The Document Foundation and Libreoffice

But, at the same time, such an arrangement can be seen to be highly
problematic - with other prominent sponsors of Libreoffice including
corporate entities like Collabora, the TDF/Libreoffice/Collabora
relationship is a complex one which generates tensions from time to

"Who is in charge of Libreoffice?" can be an awkward question, which
can lead to complex situations when it comes to the very sponsorship
and contract signing goals we seek to solve with our Foundation.

With SUSE continuing to be a close sponsor of openSUSE, we run risks
of similar complexity.
I'd personally prefer that openSUSE avoids such a complex arrangement.
I'm a strong advocate that the Foundation should be the primary legal
representation of the Project, and should share the name with the

"Who is in charge of openSUSE?" should be easily answered with "The
openSUSE community, represented legally by the openSUSE Foundation".
Anything else just hinders the ability of the Foundation to be able to
do it's business and to be broadly seen as the authoritative entity
behind this community.

And while many of the points I have risen in this thread suggest such
clarity will be easier to achieve with a name other than openSUSE, I'm
not suggesting that it is the only way forward.
As I've stated repeatedly, I do believe we might be able to come up
with a satisfactory arrangement with the current name and Trademark.

But it _will_ be a heck of a large amount of work, for at least, the
Board, SUSE, myself and probably a good chunk of other people too.

So if we go down that road, those people are going to need to be
absolutely sure it's what the community want, and that the collective
decision was a well informed one.
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