Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (325 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] Project name and logo discussion
On 6/5/19 9:26 AM, Pierre Böckmann wrote:
On Wednesday, 5 June 2019 15:03:59 CEST Robert Schweikert wrote:
On 6/5/19 8:29 AM, Richard Brown wrote:
On Wed, 5 Jun 2019 at 14:19, Robert Schweikert <rjschwei@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
But again it all comes back to my earlier question why do we pursue this
avenue? Initially the answer was, paraphrasing, ability to better handle
financial transactions and attract sponsors. As the discussion moves on
it appears to me that the real reason is control of trademarks and more
independence. If the later is really the underlying reason, then yes a
name change would be the pill we have to swallow. But if we primarily
care about being able to properly handle financial transactions then a
name change is not needed and I am certain there are reasonable ways to
deal with the trademark topics that come up.

Please do us all a favour and kill the conspiracy theory talk :)

How is describing what I am observing conspiracy theory?

The talk at the openSUSE conference was focused on financial
transactions as the reasoning for the foundation and probably more than
60% of messages, or more, in this thread focus around issues w.r.t.
trademark and control thereof.

The primary motivator for the Foundation is to better handle financial
transactions and to attract sponsors - period.

Well if that is the case then maybe you should make equally offensive
accusation against those that are focusing and speculating about
trademark restrictions and focus the discussion on legal issues when we
have no statements from SUSE about if there would be any additional
restrictions on the use of the mark or not.

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.

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.

There are no easy answers on that route, but the challenges are not

Actually the answers are fairly obvious if we'd choose to properly
formulate the goals of the change.

- Financial only -> keep what we have

- Financial and control the mark -> rename

If we change the name, we'll have the challenges of rebranding. There
are no easy answers on that route either, but the challenges are also
not impossible.

So, I think you can stop going back to your earlier question instead
look forward.
The only question for the Project is which is our preference?

How can you ask the preference when the goals are not clearly formulated?

If we want control of the mark, which is what many in the thread appear
to be advocating, there is only one choice. What's missing here is a
clear statement whether or not control of the mark is part of the
driving factor of the foundation.


Controlling the brand and trademark and owning the copyright for the name
isn't the main factor. The main factor is: Do we want the risks that I
described which are a direct consequence of using openSUSE as a name for the

And your statement is not consistent with statements made in the open Board meeting at Osc and not consistent with what was stated by Richard, let me repeat:

The primary motivator for the Foundation is to better handle financial
transactions and to attract sponsors - period.

I am not implying that related topics should be ignored, but we should give them proper weight.

The discussion in this thread mostly focuses around control of the mark and why that may or more may not be important.

Based on that it appears to me that the first question we need to answer for ourselves is if it is important to control the mark, and how important it is?

And that is being discussed with arguments on either side of the topic.

The rest follows from there. The original question, paraphrased, "change the name or not?" becomes superfluous once we agree, possibly vote on, whether complete control of the mark is something that we want or not.

But again it all flows from the answer to the question, what is the driving factor, or more broadly formulated, what are the driving factors? And then the follow on question, what is the relative importance of the various factors.

Based on the discussion it would appear that topics around the mark are more important than handling the finances. Otherwise one would think we'd talk about how it would work to open accounts, where they would be located, if there would be membership dues, if we get hardware where that would be located etc. Basically things around financial and sponsorship topics. None of those topics are going to be straight forward. Yet the majority of the messages are around the mark.

And here is the crux, two different answers to the same question. One person proclaiming the main factor is financial and another proclaiming that risks associated with not owning the mark are the driving factors.

And yes certainly we can in some way construct a way in which owning the mark is connected to money.

If we want we can continue to call all projects openSUSE Leap, openSUSE
Tumbleweed and so on until maybe some day we are not allowed to further use
the brand. That's a possibility here.

So the question isn't alone what goals there are for the foundation but under
which conditions we want that foundation to operate, too.

The conditions are determined by the choices we make.


Distinguished Architect LINUX
Technical Team Lead Public Cloud
IRC: robjo
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