Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (265 mails)

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

Am Freitag, 4. Oktober 2019, 13:43:07 CEST schrieb Carlos E. R.:
On 02/10/2019 22.08, Christian Boltz wrote:
IANAL ;-) but I'll try nevertheless.

The short summary is that it's legally possible to let the openSUSE
foundation use and/or own the openSUSE trademark, and let SUSE and
openSUSE be competitors in the Linux market.

Of course this will need negotiations and finallly a contract
SUSE (who currently own the openSUSE trademark) and the openSUSE
foundation to hand over the openSUSE trademark, but I'm sure this is
doable and - personal opinion - worth the effort.

If we decide to change the name, we won't need such a contract (or
only for the transition period) - but OTOH we'll have to spend lots
of marketing efforts to make the new name known. My feeling is that
this would be much more work than negotiating a contract with SUSE
about the openSUSE trademark.

If one of the vote options would be to "keep name under the above
conditions" I would vote for it.

Which is not "keep name under the current conditions.

"Current conditions" is relative - with the foundation, some conditions
_will_ change for sure.

As an example: Today, SUSE could in theory go crazy and deny using the
"openSUSE" trademark instantly - simply because they own the trademark.
(To make it clear: there's no indication they'll do this, and they would
probably harm themself by doing so.)
OTOH, when we have a foundation (and decide to keep the name
"openSUSE"), we'll make sure that the foundation gets non-revokable
permissions to use the openSUSE trademark, or even owns the trademark,
which means SUSE wouldn't be able to stop us from using the name

The vote thus must have several options, not two...

I tend to disagree ;-) - having several options ("keep name if ..." /
"change name if ...") would make things more complicated for voters, and
would also make the result harder to interpret (what if one of the "if"
conditions can't be held?)

IMHO the major part of your voting decision should be purely "feelings-
based" - do you like the name "openSUSE" and think we should keep it, or
do you hate it and want another name?

Of course both options will cause lots of work - either for SUSE and the
board to negotiate a contract about the openSUSE trademark, or for lots
of marketing experts (and also all community members) to find and
advertise a new name. However, and I might hate myself for saying that,
"amount of work" should not be the reason for your decision.
The goal of this voting is clearly not "avoiding work" - if we'd look
for that, we'd simply stop any work towards a foundation ;-) and keep
everything as it is today.


Christian Boltz

PS: non-random signature ;-)
There are two hard things in computer science:
cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors.

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