[Foundation] Trademark thoughts

Colin Madere colin at vedalabs.com
Thu May 24 11:05:41 CDT 2001


Well spoken, Ryan.  I must, however, disagree :)

I believe the trademark issue and the forming of this foundation can be
worked on in parallel and shouldn't hinder each other.  I also think that
the "oh well, Jabber.com has the trademark so we must do their bidding"
isn't a very smart way to advance an open-source project.

Although I can understand the young age of the foundation and Jabber.com
waiting a while before selling/giving/trading the trademark to it (in fact,
I kind of expect that), Mr. Bauer (who seems to be the official j.c rep in
this discussion) has never suggested a solution which includes ANY entity
(aside from already existing FREE products) using the word "Jabber" in their
company or product name.  To me, this means it is unlikely to ever happen.
j.c, according to posts by those who have read into the trademark issue,
can't legally enforce the trademark right now anyway due to the fact that it
is already in-use in the market.  If they retain the trademark and do start
enforcing for X months then they WILL have legal control (if I understand TM
stuff correctly).

See Jer's suggestion a few emails back, I think the community wouldn't argue
with that one. :)

Major points:

1) Other for-profit companies are unlikely to fully commit to contributing
to Jabber since they can NOT share in the direct benefit of the Jabber name.
2) "Jabber" is the whole idea and the community adopted and nourished it,
the community (read: Foundation) should control the name (albiet with GREAT
respect for the contributions made and being made by Jabber.com)

Thoughts:

I guess it seems to me that many people from the j.c arena want to see this
wrapped up and want the rest of the Foundation to agree to the
soon-to-be-official j.c offer when no one has really expressed that they
find the offer acceptable.  I (and I believe the rest of the community)
understand from a market perspective that j.c wants to control the name
"Jabber", but does j.c understand the concerns of the rest of the Jabber
world about them owning the name of the protocol?

I don't want to see j.c being the ONLY company to benefit by name
recognition from the fact that they support the Jabber open-source effort,
or they will BE the only company supporting the open-source effort.  If a
name is the main reason jabber.com will be the market leader in commercial
Jabber servers, clients and solutions, then they've got bigger issues to
worry about.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ryan Eatmon [mailto:reatmon at jabber.org]
> Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2001 9:16 PM
> To: members at jabber.org
> Subject: [Foundation] Trademark thoughts
> 
> 
> 
> I can't speak for what exactly will be in the statement that Michael
> Bauer is going to release, but I think I can give you a preview, or at
> least my perspective of a preview.
> 
> Let me preface this with some thoughts.  The Jabber Foundation is
> greatly needed.  We all agree with that.  But right now it is being
> bogged down in a dispute over something that is not really 
> disputable. 
> Jabber.com owns the trademark.  The Jabber community arguing over this
> is not going to make Jabber.com want to give it us.  That said...
> 
> I proposed something to Michael Bauer.  I proposed that 
> Jabber.com keep
> the trademark and setup the licensing as presented before.  The
> Foundation will be responsible for handling all non-profit uses of
> Jabber and the "Powered by Jabber" statement.  Jabber.com will retain
> the trademark, but will include the Foundation in all requests from
> commercial companies and listen to any suggestions that the Foundation
> will make.  We would get a say in those matters, not a final 
> say, but a
> say.  Jabber.com can do whatever they want to with our suggestions. 
> After a period of time, the trademark issue would be reevaluated by
> Jabber.com and the Foundation.  If the suggestions that the Foundation
> have made seem reasonable and show due respect to Jabber.com, 
> they might
> reconsider granting the trademark to the Foundation, on the other hand
> we may abuse this privilege and show them they were right in 
> keeping the
> trademark and protecting it.
> 
> Right now the community is asking Jabber.com to give up something very
> valuable to them, and we are asking them to give it to a collection of
> people who have not proven themselves (in their eyes) to be good
> stewards of that thing.  You wouldn't easily give your only car to a
> teenager who just got his license.  You would give them small
> responsibilities and watch what they do with those first.  This is no
> different.
> 
> We need to start showing Jabber.com that we are all working 
> towards the
> same goal.  We need to ask them for responsibility, and then show them
> that we can handle it when it is given to us.
> 
> Like I said at the start.  I can't tell you exactly what 
> Bauer will put
> into his proposal.  But I think it will be along the lines of 
> what I've
> laid out here.
> 
> In the meantime.  We don't have the trademark.  But we don't have a
> Foundation either.  Let's try to work on one before worrying about the
> other.
> 
> -- 
> 
> Ryan Eatmon                   reatmon at jabber.org 
> ------------------------------------------------
> Jabber.org - Perl Team    jid:reatmon at jabber.org
> _______________________________________________
> Members mailing list
> Members at jabber.org
> http://mailman.jabber.org/listinfo/members
> 
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