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Re: Fedora Trademark Guidelines Revised Draft Comments



On Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 10:05 PM, Tom Callaway <tcallawa@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On 03/29/2012 01:08 PM, inode0 wrote:
>
>> My feathers are admittedly ruffled because I find it absurd that the
>> work that we have done for years is resulting in our being singled out
>> as a group that needs to be micro-managed by Fedora Legal. I'm sure
>> that isn't the perspective of Fedora Legal, at least I hope it isn't.
>> But I have not been given any reasonable justification for treating
>> Ambassadors this way and no one else.
>
> Sometimes I'm rather stunned at how people jump to the conclusion that
> they're being singled out as victims.
>
> In this case, the opposite is true. The intention is that Fedora
> Ambassadors are especially entrusted to produce branded non-software
> goods. Red Hat is not willing or able to say "anyone can produce branded
> non-software goods", because that is what is known as "naked licensing",
> and that adversely affects Red Hat's capacity to retain and defend the
> trademark. Red Hat also must maintain quality control and "adequate
> supervision" of the production of the branded non-software goods.

Five weeks ago I explained why I didn't want this section to single
out ambassadors as non-ambassador contributors also have done this
work with us. I asked if there was a way we could "describe these
sections a bit more generally to not exclude people who do make
contributions this way who are not in the ambassador group when they
do it." I did not ask that anyone be allowed to do it. I don't think I
"jumped" to a conclusion here, I patiently waited weeks for the
explanation that arrived today and, yes, I expressed some frustration
based on my being in the dark about why this section had an ambassador
only focus. Transparency is a great way to avoid confusion and
mistaken impressions from forming in the minds of those who care about
the work they do and who have concerns about changes being made that
directly affect their contributions to the project.

Can we just say we had a communication failure and move forward? I
appreciate the substance of your reply today. It is very helpful and
provides a basis from which to work productively toward a solution.

> I spent a lot of time working with Pam (in Red Hat Legal) to simplify
> the requirements that must be met, and they boiled down to these three:
>
> * We need to have a measure of quality control over the vendors that we
> use to produce the goods. This simplified down to: We shouldn't be using
> vendors who provide a poor quality product or who are otherwise
> extremely hostile to deal with. We also can assume that all vendors are
> good until proven otherwise. Lastly, we can assume that Ambassadors are
> the best people to let us (Red Hat and Fedora) know when a vendor is
> "bad" and should not be used. The practical expectation here is that
> most (if not all) vendors will never be flagged as "bad", and that will
> only be necessary in extreme cases.

I really have no problem with the above. In fact, we have mostly kept
track of vendors we have used and we do note vendors we've had
experiences with that were problematic. That falls into the
institutional knowledge sort of thing now though as we don't document
it. We haven't advertised which vendors we don't intend to use again
in public and that is my only objection to the wiki Good Vendor/Bad
Vendor section. I don't mind reporting bad vendors to you or to Red
Hat or to the Fedora Project. Institutional knowledge only goes so far
and it would be better to document the problems we have with vendors
and I'm comfortable doing that in a non-public way.

> * We need to not have a blank check on the sort of items that can be
> produced. For example, it would almost certainly be unacceptable for the
> Fedora logo to be used on a condom. We can't effectively generate a
> blacklist of all of the items that would not be acceptable, so we chose
> to generate a whitelist instead. If there are items missing from the
> whitelist, please let us know. The fact that the whitelist contains
> items that have not been widely produced (or perhaps not at all) is a
> reflection of our effort to try to be as extensive as possible.

The suggestion that we might make condoms with a Fedora Logo on them
doesn't make me feel trusted. Just as a blacklist can't include every
preposterous item no whitelist can include every reasonable item. My
preference would be that you say this group has demonstrated good
judgment in selecting merchandise types for the past five years and we
will trust their continued good judgment until such time as they screw
up. If that can't happen and if the process of adding one is simply
dropping you note asking you to add "usb sticks" to the list then I'm
fine with doing that too. How or what is involved in getting a new
type approved was not specified in the draft beyond getting approval
from Fedora Legal by following some process that would be linked to
later so I had no way to know what that process might entail.

> * We need to have some method to ensure that the logo is used in a way
> that is in compliance with the trademark and logo guidelines. We talked
> about a lot of ways to do this, and we decided to try to go with the
> following logic:
>
> We generate a list of all of the designs that have been used in existing
> branded non-software goods and provide those designs in an easy to parse
> page, which contains those designs in as many different formats as
> possible (sticker, shirt, hat, balloon, etc). Everything on this list is
> known to be okay and Ambassadors can simply use those designs on
> acceptable types of goods as they need to.
>
> Ambassadors will be able to authenticate through FAS and get special
> access to download high-quality, pre-formatted files for the designs on
> this list.
>
> Any current designs which don't meet the trademark/logo guidelines will
> be cleaned up so that they do meet the guidelines and added to this list.
>
> We've already reached out to the Ambassadors to try to generate this
> list, and we've been working with Mo and Fedora Design to try to make it
> as comprehensive as possible.
>
> If an Ambassador wants to make a new design, it just needs to be quickly
> reviewed for compliance with the Trademark/Logo guidelines (should never
> take more than 2 business days). The people doing this review will be
> the same people who currently process the logo queue (Ian, Mo, me). All
> approved designs will be added to the list and can be used by
> Ambassadors without needing to seek additional approval.

I'm not really sure how well this will work for me. I'm not against
trying it but honestly as someone not very inclined to producing my
own designs I normally show up with an idea and a template from a
vendor and ask Mo to make it happen for me. I'm not sure I could wade
through piles of variously formatted designs and be successful finding
what I would need. Maybe it can be cleverly organized so even I can
find stuff though.

> The same process also holds for new types of goods. The Fedora Board
> tasked the responsibility of reviewing approved types of goods to Fedora
> Legal. Should never take more than 2 business days for Fedora Legal to
> determine acceptability of goods, and in all cases, the Board will be
> notified of approvals/rejections of new types, in case it disagrees.

This is nice to know too. The switch from asking the Board like pretty
much everyone else to asking Fedora Legal was a curious thing to me
without this explanation of it.

> ******
>
> So there you have it. I hope this makes it clear, but if you (or anyone)
> has a different model which meets the above minimum criteria, we are
> open to considering it.
>
> Also, if there is a different subset of Fedora Community members that we
> should be trusting with this responsibility, please suggest that as
> well. Keep in mind that the answer cannot be "everyone".

If Fedora Community members or Fedora contributors is too broad I
don't know if I have a suggestion. Even the ambassador group is very
broad when compared to the small number of ambassadors who have done
this work. Aside from a different FAS group I don't really have a
suggestion for capturing the subset of the community who contributes
in this way.

Thanks Tom for the explanation tonight. I'm a lot less worried about
where this will end up now than I was for the past weeks while I was
clueless about what was actually needed from the legal side. If we
replace <LINK> here and there with drop a note to legal@ or drop a
copy of your design to logos@ or something similar the draft would be
less scary to people.

John
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