Questions for legal about updating trademark guidelines
pbrobinson at gmail.com
Fri Aug 5 19:45:48 UTC 2011
On Thu, Aug 4, 2011 at 6:53 AM, Toshio Kuratomi <a.badger at gmail.com> wrote:
> At today's Board Meeting there was discussion of Fedora's trademark policy
> and how it applies to various products that are produced by Fedora
> Contributors and third parties. Some of the perceptions from the meeting
> (note, this is *not* a complete list of perceptions. It may be one-sided.
> If other attendees of the meeting wish to add to this, they sho9uld speak
> up. If non-attendees to the meeting wish to add to this they should also
> speak up.):
> * The trademark policy allows third parties to create Fedora Images that
> consist solely of software in Fedora for use in cloud hosted providers
> without explicitly asking for permission to use the trademark.
> * This is a good thing as pushing for explicit licensing would simply
> our own well. ie: we want people to be able to install Fedora on their
> cloud hosts. If we make the cloud providers go through the same rigorous
> approval process that we demand of "official" Fedora images, we'd quickly
> lose support.
> * The process for Fedora Contributors to be approved to use the trademark
> for their spins is quite a bit more onerous than this. It's a quite hefty
> review by several different groups within Fedora whose criteria for
> judging are not written down.
> * Various people have ideas of how we can change the trademark guidelines
> but We don't know what is needed in order to "defend the trademark" from
> a legal standpoint so we can't actually approve any of those changes.
> So we're soliciting input here for questions that we need to pose to Legal
> in order to compose a new policy and input on what changes we'd like to
> to the policy we have.
> One proposal from the meeting that we'll need to find out if Legal would
> approve is:
> "if the image consists solely of software from Fedora it can use the Fedora
> marks without explicit review and approval from the Board" and the Board
> would forgo explicit review of images in those cases. (images == spins/AMI
> Ideas from this thread will be discussede by the Board at their next
> and then forwarded to Legal.
> Board members are highly encouraged to put forth any of their ideas in this
> thread so that the public has the opportunity to see the discussion and
> comment but, as is the case whenever the Board has a phone meeting, ideas
> may be presented at the meeting that have not previously been discussed on
> this list and those may go on to the next stage of review by legal without
> prior comment by the public.
I've thought about this a bit since the meeting and I was wondering whether
a process similar to third parties wanting to use the Fedora name in their
URL might be appropriate. Its obviously not exact the same but its a similar
style of issue. Hosting organisations like amazon (I work for a hosting
provider that does cloud stuff and we deal with this) have to do licensing
processes for various other OSes so I wouldn't have thought it would be a
major problem or change of process for them. Max might be able to comment on
that though. We could put some simple guidelines in place that wouldn't have
to be repeated for each release so they basically agree not to modify etc
and it would protect and enforce the trademark. spot might be able to
comment on the process and whether something similar might be an appropriate
compromise between the spins process and nothing at all.
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