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

Apologies, I'm just going to jump in and respond here as there really was
a lot of discussion I missed and I can't respond to everything. I'm also
on the road even though I'm back from vacation (speaking at a conference
in Ecuador), so I haven't been able to read everything.

Firstly, I think it's really awesome that so many people care about
GNOME's trademarks and are invested in us getting this right. I definitely
think this is more of an opportunity to include people in our community
rather than alienate them.

As a lawyer I want to point out that the main thing about our trademark is
to make sure that users (under the law: consumers) aren't confused about
what comes from GNOME and what doesn't. This is extremely helpful when you
have real jerks who try to distribute software that isn't GNOME or free
software but use our name and logo to fool people into downloading it.I
have seen some really bizarre uses of our logo and to my knowledge we have
only enforced when we think the use is confusing. As was also pointed out
by someone else, we've had many friendly discussions that have resulted in
better uses of the marks for all.

On Mon, November 25, 2013 5:41 am, Dave Neary wrote:
I think maybe GNOME is now at a point where "let a thousand flowers
bloom", and welcome anyone who is happy to use the GNOME label who has
any relationship with GNOME, would be a better strategy. Reaching out to
Cinnamon, MATE, even XFCE, and welcoming them (if they want to come, and
it's unclear that they would) under the GNOME banner may be the best way
to make the GNOME brand relevant in future.

For the record I (and others) have been reaching out and I agree with you
in principal. I even invited some of those developers to meet at GUADEC :)

However, we do need to make sure that we have a clear policy on our
trademark use without permission (so that we can still stop those real
jerks when they surface, in addition to making sure that we're clear about
what GNOME is distributing). We can grant permission for usage outside of
the policy and that is what we were discussing in the Ubuntu situation
(some of the examples listed in earlier emails were of uses that were
explicitly permitted).

I think having a very friendly discussion about what the right solution is
and then making sure that it is implemented makes sense. I think it's
perfectly reasonable to work with people who are using our logo to
encourage a less confusing, nicer looking solution. I think everyone wants
to encourage this use of GNOME!

I also think that Allan is right that we can improve our trademark
guidelines (and think it's great he's started to do it). Perhaps we should
set up a working group for this? I've been somewhat afraid to touch this,
as I understood the policies we had were a product of a lot of work and
discussion but on the other hand it's always been confusing, even to me.


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