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Open-Source Movements Bicker Over Logo

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the you're-both-pretty dept.

Open Source 158

colinneagle writes in with a story about open source organizations fighting over logos. "A gear logo proposed to represent and easily identify open-source hardware has caught the eyes of the The Open Source Initiative, which believes the logo infringes its trademark. The gear logo is backed by the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA), which was formally established earlier this year to promote hardware innovation and unite the fragmented community of hackers and do-it-yourselfers. The gear mark is now being increasingly used on boards and circuits to indicate that the hardware is open-source and designs can be openly shared and modified. OSI has now informed OSHWA, which is acting on behalf of the open-source hardware community, that the logo infringes on its trademark. The issue at stake is a keyhole at the bottom of the open-source hardware logo, which resembles a keyhole at the bottom of the OSI logo. The gear logo was created as part of the contest hosted by the group that founded OSHWA, and the mark was released by its designer under a Creative Commons license, opening it up for the community to use on hardware."

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158 comments

Happy Thursday! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40927389)

What's the hardest part of a vegetable to eat?

The wheelchair.

Re:Happy Thursday! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40927563)

You know they should not bicker over the logo! For fuck's sake have some taste already.

They should bicker over whether to call them "coons" or "niggers". That would at least be amusing.

The most pathetic development in Open-Source (5, Interesting)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927669)

While the open-source movement itself has been under constant attack from patent trolls, copyright trolls, trolls of all sizes and from all sides, now we have this ....

PLEASE, GIVE ME A BREAK !!!
 
STOP BEING SO MOTHER-FUCKING CHILDISH !!!

I sincerely hope that there are still some adults left in the OSI and it's time for the adults to lead the movement

WE ARE TIRED OF ALL THE COPYRIGHT / LOGO / PATENT DISPUTES !!!
 

Re:The most pathetic development in Open-Source (5, Funny)

DemonGenius (2247652) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927805)

Am I the only one that read this in the voice of Samuel L. Jackson?

Re:The most pathetic development in Open-Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40927889)

It's all in your head!

Re:The most pathetic development in Open-Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40927937)

I read it in the voice of scar-face

Re:The most pathetic development in Open-Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40929409)

nope, you're not the only one...

but eehhmm i don't know who's first but when you center the keyhole of the OSI logo :
http://www.bordbia.ie/industryservices/information/alerts/Pages/Danishmarketfocusesonenvironmentalinitiatives.aspx

Re:The most pathetic development in Open-Source (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40929497)

No, the only voices I can imagine when reading posts on Slashdot are either the whiny and shrill voices of Linux fanboys or the lisping and foppish voices of Apple fanbois.

Re:The most pathetic development in Open-Source (2, Insightful)

datavirtue (1104259) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927851)

It does look like they both come from the same firm or other collusion. This is not good, and I see why they are calling them out on this. It is not childish. What if an organization (such as Microsoft) founded an "open source" company and used a similar logo with the intent to obscure the original trademark. Logically, you simply cannot let ANYONE infringe--no matter who it is. They should have created some type of agreement. I agree that this is stupid, stupid on the part of OSHWA.

Re:The most pathetic development in Open-Source (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40928095)

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

Re:The most pathetic development in Open-Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40928585)

Don't "let" them infringe.
Grant them a license.

Re:The most pathetic development in Open-Source (5, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about a year and a half ago | (#40928055)

I sincerely hope that there are still some adults left in the OSI and it's time for the adults to lead the movement

Certainly more than there are in Slashdot.

If you made the effort to check the OSHWA site instead of the clickbait NetworkWorld beatup, you'd see there's no headbutting, just two teams working together to solve a mutual problem.

The OSHWA team have been offered a license to use the trademark, which would allow OSI to continue defending its mark as needed. Instead of the aggression implied by our sensationalist, error-ridden TFA, the reality is two groups of sensible people negotiating the best paths forward for both their communities.

This is truly ugly journalism. We should be discussing how crap like this is promoted to the frontpage of Slashdot, not pretending outrage at OSI and OSHWA.

Re:The most pathetic development in Open-Source (3, Informative)

snowgirl (978879) | about a year and a half ago | (#40928077)

WE ARE TIRED OF ALL THE COPYRIGHT / LOGO / PATENT DISPUTES !!!

I'm sure the OSI is as well. And I'm sure that the OSI likes the logo, and filed regretfully...

Why would they file if they don't want to file?

Trademarks are use-'em-or-lose-'em. If you see something that is potentially infringing, and don't do anything about it, then when someone else comes along and actually does infringe, and you don't like it, they can point to you giving up your rights to your trademark in the previous case, and POOF! There goes your trademark entirely.

It's a shitty situation, but this is where trademark law has left us. For the OSI to have a trademark, they have to sue the OSHWA over this...

Re:The most pathetic development in Open-Source (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40929063)

False dichotomy. There are other approaches other than "sue and protect" and "not sue and lose rights". For example, TFA suggest that OSI could have granted permission for the OSHWA logo to exist and be used.

Re:The most pathetic fail in basic logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40929197)

OSI didn't file -- OSHWA and OSI are in discussions initiated by OSHWA.

There is no legal need to file where discussions are already taking place, if discussions fail and OSHWA says they are going to continue using their logo - then OSI needs to file suit at that time. Hell the fact that they are having discussions show how much better these organisations are behaving than most corporate entities.

 

Re:The most pathetic development in Open-Source (1)

Sigg3.net (886486) | about a year and a half ago | (#40929403)

Maybe you should cut down on the coffee?

It's perfectly valid for the OSI to protect their brand. Say you had a company with a specific logo that you'd paid someone to design, registered and all that. Let's say a bunch of spotty 14 year olds stood behind a similar enterprise and made a logo very similar to yours. Say this other company was complete crap, almost criminally so, and you started getting feedback from prospecting customers suggesting that they would have nothing to do with you..

See where I'm going?
This is not because OSHWA or the OSI are either party. But a brand is a brand, and if you work behind it you must answer for it.

The rumors are 100% true. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40927401)

I've switched to Gamemaker, and I'm better off for it. Gamemaker can do anything, and you can do anything with Gamemaker. Gamemaker's the best. You can't be a True Programmer without Gamemaker.

Return, my friends. Return. Return... to Gamemakerdom!

Return, return, return, return, return to Gamemakerdooooooooooooooom!

Re:The rumors are 100% true. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40927479)

Anything? I'll shove it up your ass then. You did say...

Which group is the stalking horse (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40927409)

Presumably one of those groups is a Microsoft shill disguised as an Open Source company. Which on is it?

Re:Which group is the stalking horse (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year and a half ago | (#40929753)

Presumably one of those groups is a Microsoft shill disguised as an Open Source company. Which on is it?

Sounds more like an off.

This sounds very familiar (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40927425)

Where have I seen this before? Something about round corners...

The bane of Open Sores... (-1, Flamebait)

ChrisKnight (16039) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927477)

The stupid problems with politics and egos...

Re:The bane of Open Sores... (4, Informative)

ChrisKnight (16039) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927499)

For those too young to remember... 'open sores' is a reference to a User Friendly comic. I miss that comic.

Re:The bane of Open Sores... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40927705)

User Friendly is still very much alive.

http://www.userfriendly.org

Re:The bane of Open Sores... (2)

mortonda (5175) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927861)

It has been doing reruns for a quite a while now. But I still read 'em. :D

Re:The bane of Open Sores... (3, Informative)

ChrisKnight (16039) | about a year and a half ago | (#40928013)

Sadly, no. There hasn't been a new strip in years. For example, today's strip is a rerun from 2001.

Re:The bane of Open Sores... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40928869)

Re:The bane of Open Sores... (1)

arth1 (260657) | about a year and a half ago | (#40929029)

User Friendly is now considered old - so much so that people here might be "too young to remember"? WTF? Are there any posters here born in 2009 or later?

Re:The bane of Open Sores... (1)

Telvin_3d (855514) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927553)

In this case I think it is more than egos.

I casually follow the open source/maker scenes and try and keep up to date with the general state of things. And without any other information I would have assumed these two logos represented either formally associated groups or even different projects branches of the same group.

Re:The bane of Open Sores... (4, Insightful)

Anrego (830717) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927701)

Yup.

Shitty situation, but I can actually see OSIs point. If I saw the OSHWA logo without prior background I probably would assume it was some how tied to OSI due to the similarity, which kinda defeats the whole point of a trademark.

Also as I understand it, when it comes to trademarks if you don't make efforts to protect it, you lose it.

Hopefully they come to some kind of amicable agreement. I think both sides are reasonable enough that they can come up with some way to fix this without us reading about the ongoing court battle for the next 2 years.

Re:The bane of Open Sores... (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927971)

The OSHWA only needs to change that logo. Trademarks are supposed to uniquely identify something. If you do not defend your trademark proactively you may find out you lost the right to use it. Their rant against using OSI licenses, if real, is nonsense of the worst kind. OSI stores a bunch of licenses someone else conceived which they perceive as having the right kind of attributes according to their charter. You are not hurting OSI in any way by not using the licenses.

Re:The bane of Open Sores... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40928011)

Trademarks are supposed to uniquely identify something.

Really, is that why the OSI logo looks like a pallet-swapped version of this logo [archive.org] from before OSI existed?

Maybe OSHW should ask that logo's owner for terms, they might be more favorable.

Re:The bane of Open Sores... (1)

rgbrenner (317308) | about a year and a half ago | (#40928047)

according to archive.org, that logo was placed on the site in 2002.

opensource.org was created in 1998

Re:The bane of Open Sores... (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year and a half ago | (#40928049)

If their logo is registered with the USPTO, predates OSI's trademark submission, and they still pay for the trademark to be active they can sue OSI.

Re:The bane of Open Sores... (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year and a half ago | (#40928089)

I cannot find flashenabled's trademark at the USPTO website. I can find OSI's though.

What about Slashdot's usage? (2)

Maow (620678) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927501)

Slashdot uses the OSI logo as seen on this very story, so I wonder what the rules are on that.

The OSI web site FAQ [opensource.org] says:

Can I use your corporate logo on my web page to link to you?
        Yes. You can always use a trademark in a truthful manner to refer accurately [wikipedia.org] to an entity.

What about logo usage not linking to OSI?

Well, I read about Nominative Use [wikipedia.org] and ... don't understand.

The nominative use test essentially states that one party may use or refer to the trademark of another if:

        The product or service cannot be readily identified without using the trademark (e.g. trademark is descriptive of a person, place, or product attribute).
        The user only uses as much of the mark as is necessary for the identification (e.g. the words but not the font or symbol).
        The user does nothing to suggest sponsorship or endorsement by the trademark holder. This applies even if the nominative use is commercial, and the same test applies for metatags.

Seems like dilution to me, but IANAL, etc.

Also, it says [opensource.org] the symbol can be used for linking to the OSI website.

Finally, it seems that the logo is to be accompanied by the text, "We recommend using the Futura Md BT Medium fonts as complementary fonts to the OSI Logo."

Having rambled on through all that, I have to assume Slashdot is in compliance and I'm too tired to make sense of it all.

Re:What about Slashdot's usage? (4, Insightful)

The Mighty Buzzard (878441) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927699)

Trademark is not copyright. It is not a right businesses have but a consumer protection and only applies when a moron in a hurry might mistake one product for the other. Is there any chance you might mistake a news for nerds site for a piece of opensource hardware?

Er... (1)

darkfeline (1890882) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927521)

I can't be the only one who thinks something's seriously wrong here?

Re:Er... (3, Informative)

MtHuurne (602934) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927727)

The logos look similar enough (in my opinion) that people might assume they are related. The way trademarks work is that if you let others use them without any kind of control over how they are used, you lose them. So the options the OSI has is to let go of their trademark altogether or to come to some kind of agreement with the OSHWA about the conditions under which the similar logo can be used. The problem with the former is that they would then be unable to prevent anyone from using their logo, even on software that is not open source. The article says negotiations between the two groups are in progress. I don't see anything wrong here, unless you're opposed to the concept of trademarks itself.

Re:Er... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40927925)

Maybe the whole pile of shit that is IP laws and regulations is starting to crack? We are a bunch of billions of people on the planet. Why should one guy be able to suddenly claim something like this?

Re:Er... (2)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about a year and a half ago | (#40929119)

or the OSI can apply the same principles to their logo as they want you to apply to your software - the gear does look similar to the OSI logo, intentionally so I should think, so the same broad design can be identifiable as an open-source-something.

I can't really see that the OSHWA logo somehow dilutes the OSI "brand" at all. If anything, you now have 2 different-but-nicely-similar logos that enhance each other.

The article says negotiations are still ongoing after a year, this should have been a "yay, that's great" story at the beginning with the 2 groups supporting their common goals.

Bickering? (5, Funny)

Theoden (121862) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927523)

Open source groups bickering over something insignificant? Really? Better fork it!

Why not merge? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40927663)

Does OSHWA have a philosophy very different from OSI, the way FSF does? If not, egos aside, why not come together (like X-Open & OSF once did to form OpenGroup) and include hardware in Open Source coverage? At the most basic level, hardware is nowadays increasingly represented in HDL code, which makes it the hardware equivalent of software source code. So similar FOSS licenses can cover them. Unlike software, it'd be easier to make money off open hardware, since one can't just take a Verilog model of something out there and toss it around: the least that would have to happen is that an FPGA would have to be programmed, and people can't just lend them around like CDs. So yeah, OSI should cover both, taking into it OSHWA

Re:Why not merge? (2)

WrecklessSandwich (1000139) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927907)

The vast majority of what is being released as OSHW is most certainly not represented in HDL. As nice as they are, FPGAs are not cheap and most OSHW tends to cater to the hobbyist market (think SparkFun, Adafruit, etc), which is mostly people that do not have any formal educational background in electrical engineering, and thus have likely never heard of HDL anyways. What you're dealing with here is largely simple electrical schematics and accompanying PCB layout files (usually made in Eagle or Kicad) that have the gear logo on the silkscreen. The Arduino is the classic example, although ironically enough it doesn't actually have the gear logo on the silkscreen. The recommended license is CC (with the exception of -NC variants -- a policy I happen to disagree with, but that's quite off-topic).

3D model files (largely from Thingverse) is a whole other field of OSHW, but those don't generally have the OSHW logo stamped directly on them like a PCB silkscreen does.

Re:Bickering? (5, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927809)

Open source groups bickering over something insignificant?

It's not insignificant, it's trademark violation.

You may think it's insignificant, but it's the same reason why there's Debian IceWeasel, and CentOS. The former to prevent confusion with the trademark of FireFox, the latter gets rid of all RedHat references. You see, trademark law is very clear on this - use it and defend it, or lose it.

If CentOS slapped the RedHat logo everywhere, RedHat could find themselves with a logo so devalued to the courts that we can have Microsoft RedHat Windows, Apple OS X RedHat, etc. Ditto Firefox - there's the danger that well, Microsoft could rename Internet Explorer to FireFox with impunity.

Same as this - the OSI and OSHWA could find their logos devalued as confusing, enabling everyone to slap the OSI label on stuff NOT open-source, or the gear logo on hardware NOT open-hardware (like say, a Windows 8 RT tablet).

It's brand preservation and recognition. There are strict rules on how you use the logos spelled out in many agreements. They may be out in the open like many open-source projects (which usually boil down to you must be using that project from that branch - forking and reusing the logo is not allowed),

The OSI may lose their logo in the end because the OSHWA inadvertently made it a bit too close and since both are used widely. (Even the OSHWA may lose it because their logo looks too close to the similar OSI one).

All it would take is some company with deep pockets to start slapping the logos on everything they make and arguing that the logos mean nothing.

It's why Apple, Jack Daniels, etc. send C&D letters to the most seemingly fleeting resemblances (though with very different tones - an Apple C&D is very lawyerly, while the Jack Daniels one is more friendly, but it's still a C&D).

Re:Bickering? (2)

Baba Ram Dass (1033456) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927967)

Uh... but they aren't "slapping" the OSI logo all over the place. They have their own distinct logo which *contains* a keyhole symbol. OSI is grasping here. Their brand is not in danger of being confused with the OSHWA brand in the least.

Re:Bickering? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40928051)

No, but it could look confuse people into thinking they are affiliated or a related company.

Re:Bickering? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40928009)

Fantastic insight. However, in this specific case, I hope the underlying principle of "open source" can be united by the keyhole, whether it's software, hardware, or robotics. It may in fact be the case that the OSI mark suffers if, for some reason, the OSHWA or OSRF marks gets abused, but I believe it is worth the risk. OSI needs to trust that OSHWA and OSRF have more expertise in their respective fields and are just as committed in policing use of their fields Open Source trademark.

Ultimately, I believe it's *worth the risk* for the power that unified logos would give the open source movement. The keyhole is critical to that unification and I hope more open source groups out there use it!

Why can't they be just like Larry Ewing? (1)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about a year and a half ago | (#40928023)

Why can't they be more like Larry Ewing, author of the most famous open source logo of them all, that fat dodo that looks like Homer Simpson after eating a school of tuna? I can understand Redhat and Canonical defending their logos to prevent third parties selling Trojaned or crapwared copies, but aren't the open source and the open hard movements distributing ideas, and the more viral the logos go, the popular their ideas become?

Re:Bickering? (0)

macattack2k (2704133) | about a year and a half ago | (#40928037)

Fantastic insight. However, in this specific case, I hope the underlying principle of "open source" can be united by the keyhole, whether it's software, hardware, or robotics. It may in fact be the case that the OSI mark suffers if, for some reason, the OSHWA or OSRF marks gets abused, but I believe it is worth the risk. OSI needs to trust that OSHWA and OSRF have more expertise in their respective fields and are just as committed in policing use of their fields Open Source trademark. Ultimately, I believe it's *worth the risk* for the power that unified logos would give the open source movement. The keyhole is critical to that unification and I hope more open source groups out there use it!

Re:Bickering? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40928103)

There is a potential problem with that. Assuming you can't trademark the keyhole, other companies unrelated to open source could begin using it in their logos as an attempt to confuse and misrepresent themselves as aligned with open source.

Re:Bickering? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40929275)

So are you saying they're trying to lock something down and control it and not give it away free for everyone to use as they want? And you're defending that..
how interesting..

Re:Bickering? (3, Funny)

Pivot (4465) | about a year and a half ago | (#40928083)

I'm surprised the logo isn't a picture of a fork!

Re:Bickering? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40928163)

It better not be a salad fork!

I vote for a pitchfork.

Re:Bickering? (2)

arth1 (260657) | about a year and a half ago | (#40928781)

I vote for a pitchfork.

The FreeBSD trademark lawyers will be contacting you shortly.

Re:Bickering? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year and a half ago | (#40929835)

Open source groups bickering over something insignificant? Really? Better fork it!

Spoon it. Knife it. Chopstick it.

Ok, forget the spoon.

Jeez... (1, Troll)

atomicxblue (1077017) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927579)

Want to know why Free and Open Source software gets such a bad rap? It's shit like this!

Next time you wonder why the Year of the Linux Desktop is going to be a long ways off, if ever, remember all of these petty disputes. What about all the bickering whether we should call it Linux or GNU/Linux/X11/Gnome/Mahjong? So much time is wasted over trivial things like this. Both sides should be happy they are in the Open Source movement and focus only on that.

Re:Jeez... (3, Funny)

dadioflex (854298) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927729)

Somewhere between one guy coding in his bedroom to "there's a committee for that", something goes wrong. You know the definition of politics? It's what happens when more than two people gather in one place.

Re:Jeez... (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927791)

Do you really think this kind of thing doesn't go on in the corporate world, too, and nearly every day? The difference is whether it's behind a veil or out in the open. But what you can't see won't hurt you, right?

Re:Jeez... (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#40928203)

Oh you want to watch 'em foam like rabid dogs, then talk about whether BSD should be counted like GPL under the FOSS banner and watch the fireworks!

But lets face it, the whole FOSS movement is fractured all to hell anyway, that is why you have 50 text editors, a bazillion distros, everybody reinvents the wheel rather than learn to get along. Kinda sad really, if all that energy would have been put into say 3 distros, one for home, one for enterprise, and one for mobile? You'd probably end up with an OS so damned good it would smack the shit right out of Ballmer and Cook but as long as everyone is bickering there is no worry about that.

Re:Jeez... (4, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about a year and a half ago | (#40928479)

Oh you want to watch 'em foam like rabid dogs,

Yet more anti-FOSS FUD from Hairyfeet.

Here's the reality"

The current leadership of the Open Source Initiative (OSI, opensource.org) has brought to our attention that they feel the Open Source Hardware ‘gear’ logo infringes on their trademark.

US Trademark law requires OSI to protect their mark and to notify potential infringers when they become aware of them. OSI has indicated that they would grant a trademark license to OSHWA. This would give OSI the means to protect their trademark.

http://www.oshwa.org/ [oshwa.org]

Re:Jeez... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40929429)

Yes. People defending their trademarks are completely unheard of in the non OSS world.

Thanks for clearing that up.

Too similar (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40927619)

I think they have a point. Those two logos really look quite similar. Upon first look, I`d suspect, that I am dealing with different chapters of the same legal entity. And this is not the case. They should at least change either color, font, size or shape of the logo, to better distinguish themselves. Just my oppinion.

Re:Too similar (3, Insightful)

InfiniteZero (587028) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927739)

Seconded.

Not only is the logo too similar, but frankly it sucks. To the uninitiated it looks like a broken gear. You can only imagine the jokes down the road whenever something doesn't work.

For all its merits, graphic design is one of those areas where the open source movement lacks serious talent.

Re:Too similar (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927991)

Are you being sarcastic? The open source hardware one is a light blue semi-circle with squared off here, reminds me of the KDE logo except it's missing a bottom tooth. The open source initiative one is a green semi-circle with a dark green outline and no teeth. There is no way the two could be confused.

Re:Too similar (2)

mellyra (2676159) | about a year and a half ago | (#40928135)

Are you being sarcastic? The open source hardware one is a light blue semi-circle with squared off here, reminds me of the KDE logo except it's missing a bottom tooth. The open source initiative one is a green semi-circle with a dark green outline and no teeth. There is no way the two could be confused.

the issue is not that they could be confused but that they look extremely related. the similarity of the logo together with the text arrangement makes it look as if the organizations represented with these logos are related - which they are not.

it seems extremely likely that the open source hardware logo was directly inspired by the OSI logo and tries on purpose to look very similar.

Re:Too similar (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about a year and a half ago | (#40928367)

Have to disagree, the open source hardware is much more similar to theirs [kde.org]. I still fail to say how the other two can be seen as being related in any way, unless it's because they both have the word "open" in their titles.

Drop the green! (1)

Grindalf (1089511) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927677)

Drop the green, that's a nasty mistake!

Re:Drop the green! (1)

Tapewolf (1639955) | about a year and a half ago | (#40928393)

When it's etched on a PCB, it's either going to be two shades of green (if part of the traces) or white if it's silkscreened on along with the part numbers.

Dilution? (1)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927691)

Not sure -- IANAL, after all -- but don't they risk some other, more nefarious, party hijacking their trademark if they don't defend it?

Re:Dilution? (1)

caspy7 (117545) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927939)

Extend the license to allow them to use it. Done.

Re:Dilution? (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about a year and a half ago | (#40928517)

Almost.

OSI has offered them a license. Being a community-driven organisation, they've asked their users if they'd prefer licensing the logo or developing a new one.

The open source hardware logo was chosen by the community and has become a de facto standard over the past year and a half. As the founding board members of OSHWA, we feel that it is not our right nor our place to decide this issue for the community without further input.

http://www.oshwa.org/ [oshwa.org]

fUZZY kITTEN (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40927695)

i THINK tHE nEW lOgO OuGHT TO BE A fUzzY kITTEH
kIttEh hAs Always Been A bIg PArt Of tHE kEYbOARD,
lOOK AT All thAT fUr In bETwEen ThE kEyS

Really? (1, Insightful)

epp_b (944299) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927709)

Do they really not see the irony here? Really??

Re:Really? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927901)

Sadly irony is incompatible with trademark law...

I've got to say I can see the issue - the OSHWA logo does look enough like the OSI logo that it was almost certainly inpired by it, and it would be a reasonable guess that it represents a related group. Which means that , due to the nature of TM law, OSI is in the position of defend it or lose it. Of course we could argue about how valid a trademark that's little more than a ring-arc in one of the four primary orientations really is to begin with. I mean come on, it's a shape most vector-drawing programs can draw natively. What's next, trademarking a square? Then again a big yellow "m" has been successfully defended for years.

I'm not sure about the details of the law surrounding trademarks, but I wouldn't be altogether surprised if the negotiations result in OSHWA admitting similarity and being permitted to continue to use their logo so long as they adhere to certain OSI - mandated organizational standards, which just happen to be perfectly compatible with their existing standards anyway. I think it's mostly the fight that matters as far as the law is concerned, not the details of the outcome.

Chill down. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40927919)

They are talking. Ditch the sensationalist IDG piece and go for the source:

  (look for "Update 3")

The people involved are *far* more reasonable that we have come to expect from their corporate counterparts. All is well. Relax.

Re:Really? (1)

timeOday (582209) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927929)

Superficially, yes. But in reality everything has limits. Open source has always been a bit different from public domain, just as Communists have locks on their doors and Libertarians support laws against murder.

Re:Really? (1)

fermion (181285) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927995)

I think it is important to remember that the reason we can't just put stuff out there is because when it becomes useful someone is going to put limits on our rights to use it. So we have the creative commons, the GPL, and other copyleft licenses to insure that everyone can use open intellectual property respectfully, but cannot take it away.

What if MS decided to use the OSI Logo for it's program that allows certain customers to view code, it's version of open source. Would OSI be allowed to fight for trademark dilution? I think it would. And in this case it seems pretty clear to me that OSHW wants to implicitly associate itself with OSI, which may be fine and good, but what assurances that OSHW won't become a less open organization? It seems that OSHW would have little difficulty finding an original logo that would set it apart.

Easy solution (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40927723)

See which one RMS picks, then pick a different one.

RMS is a hypocrite the most damaging part of the free software movement.

Re:Easy solution (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927945)

A hypocrite, really? I can thing of many derogatory terms that could be leveled against RMS, several of them arguably justified, but hypocrite isn't one that jumps out at me. From all that I've heard the man is fairly unflinching in his position, even if his personal eccentricities do leave him open to ridicule in many circles. Would you care to defend your claim?

Yeah, yeah, I know, I shouldn't feed the trolls.

Re:Easy solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40928467)

His copying of Symbolics’s intellectual property under license and then passing it off to LMI was hypocritical. If he really believed in his cause he should have been giving it away to the whole world rather than trying to fuck one company with another. I think if you look closely, you’ll find he still does the same thing. Just with more subtlety. He is a politician, nothing more.

On the One Hand . . . (1)

OnionFighter (1569855) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927811)

It would make sense for organizations with such similar goals to have similar symbols.
Then again, I can understand being concerned about being associated with another organization over which you have no control.

Reading between the lines (2)

TheSpoom (715771) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927849)

So, a few things are evident.

OSI have a point, the logos are so similar as to imply a connection / sponsorship. (Look at TFA, the similarities are really striking.)

OSHWA almost certainly must have been intending the similarity.

OSHWA didn't seek out approval in advance.

Thus, to keep their trademark, OSI are compelled to protect it. But this makes one wonder, what about OSHWA does OSI not like? Otherwise, one would think they would extend a license to the trademark. Alternatively I suppose that OSHWA might not want to abide by any restrictions set by OSI on use of the mark, but then I'm curious what restrictions were proposed.

There has to have been some conversation already, right?

Reading the actual lines (1)

Fred Ferrigno (122319) | about a year and a half ago | (#40928225)

OSI is willing to license the trademark, OSHWA's Gibb wrote in the blog entry. However, accepting such a license would establish OSI as the owner of the gear logo, which could put members at risk of litigation.

"It would make OSI responsible for deciding where and when the logo can be used, effectively giving OSI control of defining what can and cannot be labeled as open source hardware. It could also place OSHWA in the uncomfortable position of needing to enforce OSI trademarks," Gibb wrote.

In other words, OSHWA doesn't want to be beholden to another organization. If OSHWA and OSI were to disagree on whether a particular piece of hardware is "open source" or not, OSI would have the final say.

Codehaus Logo Keyhole (3, Informative)

Bob9113 (14996) | about a year and a half ago | (#40927869)

I happened to be grabbing a fresh copy of Jetty and noticed that Codehaus's logo [codehaus.org] has the same keyhole.

Re:Codehaus Logo Keyhole (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40928629)

Except that for they keyhole in the OSHWA logo lines up pretty much exactly with the OSI logo, the one you posted doesn't, and that indian bank one certainly doesn't.

NQOSI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40927881)

Hey everyone, this hardware is open! That means you can look at it, tinker with it, take it apart, make your own versions and so on! Except that logo, don't touch that.

Fuuuuuck! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40927923)

Fuuuuuck!

gYes! fp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40928005)

To stick something Polite to bring

Titanic Revisited (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40928007)

So, while the Open Source movement founders and is in retreat in many fronts, the people who should be holding the fort are embroiled in this bullshit.

Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, are we?

Come up with a better logo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40928149)

One tooth short of a KDE? A keyhole to represent that something is not locked down? Dysfunctional gear?

FireGear (1)

Required Snark (1702878) | about a year and a half ago | (#40928197)

A gear composed of red fire.

I donate this idea to the open source hardware community.

Glad to fixt that up for you. Get back to work.

Re:FireGear (1)

Rob_Bryerton (606093) | about a year and a half ago | (#40929719)

FireGear? Your idea has merit, but I'm just going to fork IceGear...

Now all we need is for some of the projects to start building "defensive" patent war-chests. Then they can be like the big boys!

It'll be great! Everyone loses. (Translation for /.'ers: Everyone looses)

The logos compliment each othr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40928527)

They really are different sides of the same coin, and the cool thing is they both easily overlay each other for when you have open source software on open source hardware.

wel.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40928657)

Seeing as the open source hardware logo was deliberately made to resemble the opensource software initiative logo, I think they have a very good case.

With apologies to Monty Python (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40929045)

BRIAN: Are you the Open Source Hardware Initiative?

REG: Fuck off!

BRIAN: What?

REG: Open Source Hardware Initiative. We're the Open Source Initiative! Open Source Hardware Initiative. Cawk.

FRANCIS: Wankers.

BRIAN: Can I... join your group?

REG: No. Piss off.

BRIAN: I didn't want to sell this stuff. It's only a job. I hate Closed Source as much as anybody.

O. S. I.: Shhhh. Shhhh. Shhh. Shh. Shhhh.

REG: Stumm.

JUDITH: Are you sure?

BRIAN: Oh, dead sure. I hate Closed Source already.

REG: Listen. If you wanted to join the O.S.I., you'd have to really hate Closed Source.

BRIAN: I do!

REG: Oh, yeah? How much?

BRIAN: A lot!

REG: Right. You're in. Listen. The only people we hate more than Closed Source are the fucking Open Source Hardware Initiative.

O.S.I.: Yeah...

JUDITH: Splitters.

O.S.I.: Splitters...

FRANCIS: And the Free Software Foundation.

O.S.I.: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Splitters. Splitters...

LORETTA: And the Open Source Initiative.

O.S.I.: Yeah. Splitters. Splitters...

REG: What?

LORETTA: The Open Source Initiative. Splitters.

REG: We're the Open Source Initiative!

LORETTA: Oh. I thought we were the GNU Project.

REG: Open Source ! C-huh.

FRANCIS: Whatever happened to the GNU Project, Reg?

REG: He's over there.

O.S.I.: Splitter!

RMS turns round and sticks two fingers up to the O. S. I.

What about Vulcan copyright law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40929755)

Seriously. Rotate that thing 45 degrees and you have the IDIC. Gene Roddenberry shall rise from the grave and file a lawsuit shortly.

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