Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (265 mails)

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

On 10/8/19 4:08 PM, Stephan Kulow wrote:
Am 08.10.19 um 07:28 schrieb Michal Kubecek:
On Monday, 7 October 2019 17:36 Christian Boltz wrote:
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

If you want to go down this path and consider what could SUSE do to harm
openSUSE project if they went crazy, do you think the name and trademark
issue is the biggest problem? To me, it sounds a bit like the famous "If
someone gets the password to your system, he can log in and change your
desktop theme."

So to me the whole stunt sounds like a vote between:

1. do you want to take an active role in making openSUSE truely independent
of SUSE?
2. are you ok with SUSE basically owning the project and you surf along?

The board has never discussed the name issue in these terms. There was a discussion started by the community with no clear consensus and strong opinions on both sides, as such the board feels the best way to settle this impasse is by asking the community its opinion.

Because there is hardly a middle way.

I'd like to propose that a middle way is what the board is working for and to a larger extent is already something that is achieved in some parts of the project. If you take openSUSE Tumbleweed as an example, there you will find SUSE pushing forward developing its ideal next distribution. But at the same time you will find other companies and community members pushing forward what they think should be the future of the product. Yes it is true that if you look at the "core" parts of the distro it is mostly SUSE employees doing the work with community members somewhat working on the outer, but there are also examples of some working on "core" functionality.

The aim of A foundation is to extend this somewhat middle ground into parts of the project beyond development, you could take finance as a example. Currently it is very hard for anyone other then SUSE to contribute at all in many of these area's (except for the bits handled by the board were SUSE has intentionally structured it so they can not have full control). In many ways I see the idea of the foundation us aiming to mirror what happens with tumbleweed in further areas where the vast majority of the "core" is still provided by SUSE but where other parties can come in and begin to explore area's that may not be of as much interest or priority to SUSE.

The Board, SUSE Management and hopefully most of the community all understand that in there current structures openSUSE cannot survive without SUSE and SUSE cannot survive without openSUSE, if anyone is unsure of that you can watch the following 2 video's Thomas' keynote [1] and the board discussion [2].

Finally coming back to the issue of this discussion the name vote, the board's current legal advice is that its likely the openSUSE project could operate under the openSUSE name and "1. do you want to take an active role in making openSUSE truely independent of SUSE?" could be true (yes when the name vote was started this was less clear). Likewise "2. are you ok with SUSE basically owning the project and you surf along?" could still happen and work with the project being called something completely different. So for now the vote is simply about whether the community would prefer to continue the project under the current openSUSE name or some other name. The board will then attempt as best we can to implement the community's wishes as we then go forward with the foundation creation.



Simon Lees (Simotek)

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