Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (325 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] Project name and logo discussion
  • From: Axel Braun <axel.braun@xxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 05 Jun 2019 21:33:08 +0200
  • Message-id: <2190035.6gqGgnlR1X@t520.axxite.internal>
Am Mittwoch, 5. Juni 2019, 18:24:07 CEST schrieb Robert Schweikert:


There is only a crux, conflict, or confusion if you conflate the topic
of this thread with all the other aspects of the Foundation discussion
we're going to need to discuss eventually.

But I'd say it would be hell of a lot better for everyone if we
actually kept this thread on topic and just addressed the Name/Logo
topic here and now.

And how can one form an opinion about that if one does not know if
collectively we think that control of the mark is important or not?

We need to answer the underlying question....

...and probably we need to ask 'Why and under what circumstances should one
change a brand name?'

I talked to a marketing and communications expert this evening. He is CEO of a
communications agency in Germany.

There are two reasons why you should change a brand:

1) the brand is damaged, e.g a company that went bankrupt and tries a restart
(Example: Schlecker, a retail chain in Germany, would have been such an
example). Or you are associated with bad practice or problematic goods
(Monsanto maybe?)
In this case it makes clearly sense to change the brand to get a 'clean
reputation' before going back into the market.

Is the brand perception of openSUSE damaged? Clearly not. SUSE is the oldest
Linux distro alive, and has a very good reputation esp. among professional
users. Newbies may tend to Ub***u, but we can work on this.
In general, openSUSE perception is positive as well.

2) for legal reasons of whatever kind.
Here we are back in the discussion about the trademark 'openSUSE'. And this is
something that needs to be solved and discussed with SUSE. Ideally SUSE grants
openSUSE (Foundation, I assume) the unlimited and non-revocable right to use
the brand 'openSUSE' under the terms and conditions of the foundation charter.
In this ideal case there is no legal issue.

Assuming that SUSE still wants to keep the relationship I see a good chance
that this right is given to the foundation. Board has to discuss terms and
conditions with SUSE legal counselor, and report this back to the community.
Only in case there is a real issue we should consider a name change.

Under no circumstance - never ever - we should change the brand without a need
(in german: in vorauseilendem Gehorsam), as this has no benefit to the brand.

We would need to put some effort in a new CI/CD, and a massive investment in
communication, under the risk that we end up as 'just another Linux distro'.

So, lets clarify terms and conditions for trademark usage, and then see if
there is a need to change names.

For the moment I would not continue this discussion, for the above reasons.


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