Open Source & Trademarks: Oil and Water

I am in the process of finalizing a new trademark and legal policy for the OpenStack community and I have been working on the rules that allow anyone to take the software from our open source project and distribute, resell, etc using our OpenStack trademark. We have looked at several other open source community trademark policies in the process of creating our own but the common element in all the policies is who can and cannot use the trademark. Perhaps you were expecting who can and cannot use the software but in the world of open source, the trademark is all you can protect.

In fact, the only item a community has any true ownership of is the trademark as the code (regardless of open source license) is not owned by a single person or company but is a collective solution owned by all the contributors. The trademark is usually protected in the following manners:

* Anyone can use the trademark for general community promotion

Read more at NetworkWorld

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