Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (325 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] Project name and logo discussion
Top posting because I'm not responding to a single post but is still
relevant to the thread as a whole.

I've had a chat with our friends at SUSE Legal about this topic,
especially the possibility of the Foundation owning / controlling the
trademark.

While SUSE does not wish to formally rule anything out at this time,
their opinion is that, if the openSUSE Project was to formally request
that SUSE transfers ownership of the openSUSE trademarks to the
Foundation, then SUSE would almost certainly have to decline that
request.
This is because it is highly unlikely any trademark law anywhere would
be compatible with the idea of a legally separate organisation owning
a trademark that contains another organisations trademark.

One possibility open for consideration is the idea of licensing the
openSUSE Marks to the Foundation.
Such a thing will need to happen even if the Foundation forms under a
different name but if we were to wish to continue using the openSUSE
name in our distributions.
It is possible that such a license could be exclusive and maybe non-revokable.
But any such license will likely have to come with conditions, which
could restrict Foundation from some activities which could be seen to
be competition with SUSE's business of providing support for software.
While there is further investigation required, it is not expected that
any such restriction would impact openSUSE's current activities which
include 3rd parties redistributing openSUSE in a commercial setting
(Box sets, pre-installed on hardware, hosting).

And it should go without saying, but for absolute clarity, there isn't
a desire from SUSE to overly restrict the openSUSE community from
being able to do what it wants.
Whatever the community decides to request in regards to the
Foundation, Trademarks, etc, there will be an extensive effort to find
the most reasonable accommodating solution that works well for all
involved.

I think the discussion has reached a point where as a Project we
should consider a straight 'Yes/No' vote for the question of "Should
openSUSE continue to use the openSUSE name and trademarks?"

If there are no objections I'll be reaching out to Stasiek and other
volunteers to start the process of a formal member vote this week.

And as I've had to play devils advocate and messenger repeatedly on
this thread, I'm aware that people may be having difficulty
interpreting my view on this topic.

I will be voting "Yes" for the proposed question or any similarly
worded referendum on this topic.
I feel the best course forward would be for openSUSE to continue to
use the name openSUSE, and I'm mostly comfortable with the Project's
ability to stomach the consequences of such a decision.

The only way I could see myself changing that opinion would be that,
as we negotiation the details around the Foundation, if any legal/tax
or other circumstances were to arise that would limit openSUSE's
ability to be reused and redistributed at least as widely as it is
today.

But we can reopen such a topic if we find such a condition arising.

Regards,

Richard

On Mon, 17 Jun 2019 at 08:05, Michal Kubecek <mkubecek@xxxxxxx> wrote:

On Friday, 14 June 2019 22:46 Ronan Chagas wrote:
Hi LCP,

Em 14 de jun de 2019, ?(s) 13:57, Stasiek Michalski
<hellcp@xxxxxxxxxxxx> escreveu:

If we do require that openSUSE Tumbleweed, openSUSE Kubic, openSUSE
MicroOS and openSUSE Leap do have `openSUSE` always attached to it,
it will also get annoying fast.

What is the point? Isn?t this similar to the discussion about
GNU/Linux vs Linux?

I would rather say "Apache" vs. "The Apache http server" (or whatever
the official name is supposed to be) - except Apache Foundation doesn't
seem to be so jealous of its flagship project. With "GNU/Linux" it's
somene else who fighting the holy war for "proper name".

Come on, we _do_ want people to answer the question "Which distribution
are you using?" with "openSUSE". If we try to convince them to answer
"Leap" and if we succeed, the response will most likely be "Hm, never
heard about that one." Is it in our interest to pretend there are two
distributions, "Tumbleweed" and "Leap", rather than two flavors of one
"openSUSE"? Hell no, that's path to becoming one (two, actually) of the
hundreds (thousands?) nameless distributions for handful of people.

This is really getting out of hand... :-(

Michal Kubecek


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