At Framasoft, we don’t like (and don’t believe in) intellectual property.
But we live in a world that does, and need to protect ourselves and our work.
So we have registered some trademarks (PeerTube, Mobilizon, Framasoft…), and here is what we pledge.
1. We don’t plan to attack
Registering trademarks is a defensive move. It’s to protect our work both from people who might otherwise register the names we work hard to make known, and from those who would sully the names of the projects we are building with our values, political stances and passion.
2. Don’t Panic
We will only use trademark law in last resort. We are not trademark trolls looking forward to extorting money though legal violence. We just want to protect the reputation of names we are working hard to make known.
We really intend to settle any problem we might have with you by talking it out together. If you act in good faith, there’s no need to panic. We’re sure we will understand eachother and find an elegant solution.
3. Don’t fool people
If you say, or imply that you are us or that you are the “official one”, we will use trademark law against you. If we start getting messages of people who think your actions come from us, we will contact you to talk and find a way to make it clear that you are you, and we are us.
In our experience anyway, people are not fools, and honesty is a very powerful way to bond with them. We will use trademark law, in last resort and if needed, to protect this relationship of trust and honesty we have built with people.
4. Don’t be an asshole
Really, it’s that simple.
Being assholy includes things that are forbidden by French law (promoting Nazism and fascism, pedocriminality, endangering others, fake news…), especially discrimination (against sex, gender, race, religion, orientation, minorities… well, you know the drill…).
If you are using names of things we’ve worked hard for to be an asshole, we will use trademark law against you. If you try to push the limits, want to test, provoke and question society, well good for you, but we don’t have time for this: don’t use our trademarks. If you think there are too many rules, or that it’s too complicated not to be an asshole: don’t use our trademarks.
If you fear you might be an asshole without knowing it, by ignorance even though you try to keep yourself educated: you’ll be fine.
5. Let’s respect each other
If you’re not sure, come and talk with us. If we have a problem we’ll try to come and talk to you first.
If by using the names of our projects, your actions start to soak up our time and energy, if you’re giving us a bad name, we’ll definitely have a problem. To avoid that, just remember that there are people who worked hard to give the names you are using their honest reputation, and just respect that work.
If we find ourselves having to answer for your actions, we’ll need to talk.
When we talk together, if you’re trying to be a smart ass and negotiate every word, if you don’t want to hear and consider our position (be assured we always try to do the same with others), then we’ll probably settle our disagreement using trademark law.
But we don’t want to, so let’s find a way to understand each other.
June 8, 2021.