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Trademarks: Open Source Friendly (TM)

Keir Thomas calls trademarks a menace to open source, but I couldn't disagree more. When used properly, like copyright, trademarks are a handy tool to protect and promote open source projects.

For the last few months, the openSUSE Project (or at least a few of its contributors) had been knee-deep in creating what we hope is a workable trademark policy to allow as much remixing and redistribution as possible by community contributors -- while ensuring that there's clarity around what is (and isn't) an "official" openSUSE release or use of the openSUSE name.
Far from being a "menace," we've found that trademarks are a good way to protect the project. Granted, providing clarity around trademarks is not easy for FOSS projects, but trademarks are not the hazard that Thomas claims.

Competitive Disadvantage

Nothing about free or open source licensing is meant to guarantee competitors an equal playing field when it comes to sales and marketing of a codebase. It doesn't, as he claims, severely limit "all activity," it simply limits branding modified and redistributed code as the original product.

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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

Software: Liberation of Code, GNU Parallel, Devhelp

  • When should you open source your software?
    It’s 20 years this this since the term ‘Open Source’ was coined. In that time the movement for free and open software has gone from a niche to a common method of distribution and a normal way of operating for businesses. Major technology shifts are now driven by open source technologies: Big Data (Hadoop, Spark), AI (TensorFlow, Caffe), and Containers (Docker, Kubernetes) are all open projects. Massive companies including Google, Facebook, and even Lyft regularly release Open Source tools for the world to use. Microsoft – whose former CEO once described Linux as a cancer – now embraces the concept.
  • GNU Parallel 20180422 ('Tiangong-1') released
    Quote of the month: Today I discovered GNU Parallel, and I don’t know what to do with all this spare time. --Ryan Booker
  • Devhelp news
    For more context, I started to contribute to Devhelp in 2015 to fix some annoying bugs (it’s an application that I use almost every day). Then I got hooked, I contributed more, became a co-maintainer last year, etc. Devhelp is a nice little project, I would like it to be better known and used more outside of GNOME development, for example for the Linux kernel now that they have a good API documentation infrastructure (it’s just a matter of generating *.devhelp2 index files alongside the HTML pages).

today's howtos

Android Leftovers