Re: Minutes of the Board meeting of October 29th, 2013


On 11/21/2013 09:01 AM, Vincent Untz wrote:
Le lundi 18 novembre 2013, à 08:51 +0000, Ekaterina Gerasimova a écrit :
Can they not use the GNOME foot at all?

Yes, under nominative use when referring to GNOME itself. The logo and
trademark guidelines are available at

So I guess I didn't notice the time where we started to enforce this. I
do have issues with the guidelines, as I believe they're not working
well for a community driven project (and product!).

I agree with this. We do want to maintain brand integrity so that we can
protect the trademark against *real* abuses, but clearly a very strict
trademark policy has not worked for us (the cost of policing it has been
very high).

I mean:

 - "Always ensure that the logo is black or white, depending on the
    background color (other colors are not permitted)"
    => we fail at this, as we produced relatively recently stickers with
       a yellow foot, and I'm pretty sure there are still many cases
       where this is ignored

 - "Always ensure that the logo is not embedded within other images or
    => we fail at this with the GNOME.Asia logo

 - the page seems to imply that we must always have the full logo (ie,
   not just the foot, but also the word GNOME). Clearly, this is not
   respected by way too many people, including ourselves.

 - we keep insisting about using the TM (which, btw, we don't use in the
   control center in the system details panel) -- that is a big pain and
   makes things ugly. My recollection of various debates about this from
   when I was on the board is that it's not even required, but just

The TM is optional for the trademark (and I for one advocated for
dropping it for purely aesthetic reasons in the past). The insistence on
using it was, IIRC, a *recommendation* (not requirement) from our
lawyers several years ago (also, I believe the GNOME foot is a
registered trademark, so you can/should use R instead of TM).

That said, for the first 2 points, I think you missed a nuance: The
trademark guidelines are the set of things you can do with the logo by
default *without permission from the trademark owner*. You can do pretty
much anything with explicit permission from the trademark owner -
trademark owners grant licenses for logos that do not conform with
trademark guidelines/nominative use all the time. Ubuntu is one example.

That was why we came up with the user group trademark license which was
a click-through license which gives slightly more liberty with the mark.
And I would encorage people like user groups to request permission to
use "hacked" GNOME feet in their logos from the board, and would
encourage the board to grant exceptions frequently for such community uses.

This is, by the way, the alternative that Luis was looking into IIRC
(this, and the concept of the Community Mark proposed many years ago by
Chris Messina for logos that enter the zeitgeist).


Dave Neary, Lyon, France
Email: dneary gnome org
Jabber: nearyd gmail com

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