Fedora: Freedom is a Feature.

Paul Stauffer paulds at bu.edu
Fri Oct 5 16:46:53 UTC 2007

On Fri, Oct 05, 2007 at 12:08:55PM -0400, Máirín Duffy wrote:
> while the slogan is a pretty nice statement of a defining quality of 
> fedora - omfg will the world end if someone else uses it?
> e.g., if $DISTRO starts using it AND actually backs it by you know, not 
> shipping patent-infringing codecs in their distro... well isn't that 
> what we WANT? you know, others to follow our lead? and, if they pick up 
> the slogan and continue to produce a not entirely free distro, well they 
> just look stupid then! :)

I guess my initial comment regarding trademark was spurred by seeing the
phrase used in conjunction with the logo in your mock-up, Mo.  It looked
really good.  They looked like they *belonged* together.  I instantly
foresaw them being linked together in a myriad of contexts all over the
Fedora multiverse.  In such a scenario, where the slogan and the logo are
closely linked, it felt natural that the phrase would be serving a very
similar role to that of the logo itself, and thus they should be treated

That was my leap in thinking.  It doesn't necessarily need to be done that
way.  If we continue to use only the logo in a really trademarky way, and we
just throw this phrase around as a marketing slogan wherever it feels like
it fits, then I agree that it needn't be treated as a trademark any more
than any other catch phrases we repeatedly say in our Fedora evangelism. 
But if we do end up using it closely linked with the logo, and we're using
it as a mark of Fedora's identity, then yeah, I think it needs to be treated
as such.

For now, I think it's safe to set the issue a bit to the side, and wait and
see how and if we actually end up using the thing.  But we should maybe at
least make a mental note of when we're using it in conjunction with identity
marks such as the logo, and if it seems like we're doing that more often
than not, I think it's something we should readdress.

- Paul

Paul Stauffer <paulds at bu.edu>
Manager of Research Computing
Computer Science Department
Boston University

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