My thoughts on the GNOME trademark dispute

Unless you’ve been living under a rock today you would have seen that Groupon™ have been trying to use a trademark that belongs to GNOME™. Today GNOME™ started raising money to fight a legal battle.

I know there have been ongoing private discussions for months, and even though I have no idea what was said I do have full faith that if it got to the point of GNOME threatening to take legal action, it’s because they felt they needed to.

It seems to have worked.

Communities Unified

What I loved to see most about this was I opened my G+/Facebook/Twitter feeds to see all of my KDE colleagues resharing this piece and donating money. Even /r/linux on Reddit, normally a somewhat feisty community, was filled with comments like “I don’t use Gnome, but I’m going to support them”.

Working together, supporting each other is what us open source communities should be about.

We’re Not Easily Pushed Over

I don’t think there was any attempt or conspiracy to try and destroy Gnome, but I do think there must have been some decision maker thinking “it’s only a small charity software project, they’re not going to bother fighting back, we can walk over them”.

We, collectively, showed them wrong and I like to think the next company won’t think the same thing.

Money Well Spent?

To everyone in engineering, the idea of having to spend money on legal mumbo jumbo is, at best, thoroughly depressing.

However, I saw a number of people making the rather silly comment “this is money that they should spend on developing instead”. This was a fundraiser, which means it’s “new” money that GNOME™ wouldn’t have had otherwise.

Case in point; KDE™ and GNOME™ both have constant drives for developer funds which don’t recieve anywhere near the level of interest this got.

If you feel that’s where money should be spent, please please donate there and put your money where your mouth is.