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From Shane Curcuru <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] CloudStack PMC taking on direct management of our trademark?
Date Wed, 16 Jul 2014 18:07:40 GMT
(Apologies for breaking threading; not on the list)

+1 to having a branding guideline; these are really helpful.

I've been quite impressed with the organization and independent
governance the CloudStack PMC has shown over the past few years, as well
as your work on promoting the brand.  So having CloudStack work on your
own specific policies for self-managing branding approvals makes sense,
and something I support.

The issue is that when dealing with trademark questions from third
parties, both the issues (i.e. trademark law) and the consequences (i.e.
withdrawing a mistaken approval is much harder than reverting a code
change) require more care than most of our other work - like on code,
communities, or the like.

Similarly, when a community member asks for permissions to use Apache
marks for such-and-such purpose, they're not generally asking for
personal permission, but rather, their company asking for permission.
The issue is that companies change leadership and direction (and
lawyers) over time, so we need to ensure we're presenting the right
message up front on branding permissions for third parties.

Personally, I'm hoping that we can clearly document delegating normal
approvals (for cases already in the policy) to the CloudStack PMC
directly, by whatever documented process you're comfortable with.  I'm
also hoping that you'll have documentation and comments on the process
that we can use for pushing this general process to other Apache
projects as well.

In particular, the CloudStack community seems to be very good at both
thinking through branding issues, as well as keeping an eye on
independent governance.  Any tips or comments you can provide on how you
do this are helpful, especially so that we can better explain Apache
brand policies to other Apache projects.

Separately, in terms of writing branding policy: it may sometimes feel
that official policies are stricter than we expect actual use to be in
some cases.  The issue I see is that: for any place in our policy where
we explicitly allow some kinds of use without any permissions, we need
to be careful to write it so that even when some "unfriendly"
organization reads it, it's clear to them what our limits are.
Realistically, we are much more liberal with our allowed uses by third
parties than most other trademark holders.  However we do need to ensure
that our written polices are clear enough that if we do ever need to
take legal action against a trademark infringer, we have the ability to
do so.

Does that make sense, in terms of how we publicly present some policies?

- Shane

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