proposal to change GNOME's trademark guidelines

Various people have pointed out that a part of the GNOME Foundation
Trademark Usage Guidelines for Third Parties could be improved.

The Guidelines are at:

The section entitled "Use Proper Notice of Trademark" reads:

> Identify GNOME Trademarks appropriately as a registered trademark
> (using the circled-R symbol ? ®), or as an unregistered trademark
> (using the ?TM? symbol ? ?) or an unregistered service mark (using
> the ?SM? symbol ? ℠). Check the list of GNOME Trademarks found
> at to verify the correct
> symbol to use for each name.

This section is quite broad, and is only modified by the somewhat vague
"Fair Use" section. Unfortunately, if taken literally, it would prevent
the use of the name GNOME in emails and package names without using the
appropriate notice characters, as well as in other places where it would
probably be a hassle to include. We don't want this, right?

I'm proposing this additional language (which is based on text in other
free software trademark policies) to be added in the same section, after
that paragraph:

> This requirement is waived in all contexts where such marks are not
> normally included, such as email, online discussion, package names,
> non-graphical advertisements (when permitted), and academic papers.
> We encourage the use of the symbol whenever possible, but recognize
> that many non-commercial and informal uses will omit it.

We want to make sure that people can use GNOME software and talk about it
freely without unreasonable restrictions. The aim is to adopt this
amendment to the policy in two weeks if there are no objections. Public
discussion here about it would be great, and folks can contact me
privately too if they want to.


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