Re: Question to candidates: Best use of Trademark Fundraiser money?

On Sun, May 24, 2015 at 07:23:01PM +0200, Andreas Nilsson wrote:
As part of the GNOME Trademark Fundraiser [1], the Foundation raised $102
608 USD.
Since the trademark claims from the other part in the issue was withdrawn,
it was never taken to court and the money was never spent on that.
What, in your mind, is the best use of these funds now? Kept as a War Chest
[2] or spent on something specific?

As stated in the fundraiser, "If we are able to defend the mark without
spending this amount, we will use the remaining funds to bolster and
improve GNOME.".  That applies to *all* money directly donated to GNOME,
as well.

If, in working with the people we worked with on the Groupon issue, we
get legal advice that suggests we'd be in a stronger position to defend
GNOME by registering trademarks in additional countries, or otherwise
getting specific legal structures into place, I think it makes sense to
use some of the funds for that purpose; however, that would be a *very*
small fraction of the funds raised.  I also don't think it's worth
keeping all of that money aside in a "war chest" in anticipation of a
future legal issue that may never arise.

So, I would suggest that after we consider any potential follow-up legal
protections we're advised to take, we place the funds into the general
GNOME Foundation account as we would any donations directly to the
Foundation.  I don't think it makes sense to earmark these funds for any
particular purpose other than legal issues, and legal issues should not
take up any significant fraction of these funds.  I also don't think it
makes sense to plan a project that involves spending that entire sum at
once, rather than putting it in the GNOME Foundation account where it
can be used as needed towards purposes that improve GNOME.

- Josh Triplett

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