Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (80 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] Election Committee Set to Open Vote on Project Name
Hi All,

As the board we thought it would be a good idea to clarify a couple of things and provide a brief summary of the arguments made in the previous thread.

Firstly I am going to start with trademarks because the board has some updated information here. The legal advice that the board now has says it should be possible for a "openSUSE Foundation" to hold the openSUSE Trademarks and SUSE to hold the SUSE trademarks with the two being able to be in competition. There are many examples of similar named companies competing in the same space often as a result of companies being split up.

This is not to say that an openSUSE foundation will neccesarily hold the openSUSE trademarks which is a much more complex matter, SUSE has spent alot of legal resources in the last few years defending the trademarks as they are legally required to has the holder. If the trademarks transfer this responsibility becomes that of the openSUSE foundation. The one thing the board decided on this matter at its face to face meeting is that if the trademarks are not initially transfered then we would like a contract / clause where by the trademarks would be transfered to the foundation if SUSE stopped investing in openSUSE.

Additionally I should say that if the Name change vote results in no change but the board recieves information in the future that contridicts our current advice we will likely recommend creating the foundation without openSUSE in its name but won't recommend rebranding the project away from openSUSE in the short to medium term.

Now onto a summary of the arguments made

== For keeping the current name ==
* Loss of brand recognision even if somewhat offset by an expensive marketing campaign.
* Changing the name might give the impression that the relationship between SUSE and openSUSE is strained.

== For Changing the name ==
* we are endlessly complaining about wrong capitalization (and will for the
rest of time), even SUSE has it easier with "only" SuSE, SuSe and Suse [
* FSF complains about `open`, although that works with openness of the
collaboration, more than `free` or `libre` would (not to mention that we do
have non-free repos)
* Differences between openSUSE and SUSE can be confusing to people new to the brand. Some people have been known to shorten openSUSE to SUSE.

== Depends on your view ==
* Closely tied to SUSE


Simon Lees (On behalf of the board)

On 9/30/19 5:24 PM, Ish Sookun wrote:
Dear members,

Following discussions about the “openSUSE Project logo & name change”
that started in June on the openSUSE Project mailing list [1], the
Election Committee received a request from the Board to conduct a vote
whereby openSUSE members can indicate whether they are for or against
the project name change.

The voting will start on Oct 10 and end on Oct 31, which will provide
three weeks for members to vote. The result will be announced on Nov 1.

The voting exercise is limited to openSUSE members only.

The voting procedure will be similar to the board elections. Members
will receive a voting link on their membership email alias, i.e Members should verify that their openSUSE email alias is
working and redirecting to the correct email address. If you experience
troubles with your email alias, please email admin@xxxxxxxxxxxx to
resolve the issue.

Members who wish to change the target address of their email alias can
do so by sending the change request to admin@xxxxxxxxxxxx.

Those who wish to become an openSUSE member they can apply for
membership by following the instructions specified on the openSUSE Wiki
page [2].

The Election Committee can be reached through



Ish Sookun

(from the Election Committee)


Simon Lees (Simotek)

Emergency Update Team
SUSE Linux Adelaide Australia, UTC+10:30
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