[haiku] Re: Haiku User Groups

  • From: "Jorge G. Mare" <koki@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: haiku@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2010 20:10:29 -0700

Hi Nickos,

Nickos V wrote:
> Nickos V wrote:
> > Suggestions:
> >
> > 1) different background (and menu?) color(s)
> > 2) noticeable disclaimer saying not official Haiku site and where to
> > locate
> > official site
> > 3) Use HAIKU in plain text, not trademark logo with leaves
> > 4) Permit use of theme on case by case basis/approval by Haiku Inc.
> > 5) Have HUG accept terms & conditions of proper use - with Haiku
> > allowed to revoke use at any time or for misuse.
> > 6) Not profit from Haiku logo. Should only allow official Haiku
> > site to use the trademark Haiku logo. Using Haiku logo makes it look
> > very much like Haiku's site and official.

Jorge wrote:
> If we had a HUG policy that defined the criteria for becoming a
> recognized user group, and any given HUG met that criteria, then I don't
> see what the problem is with allowing them to have the same official
> look. AFAICT, that's the approach that Ubuntu and Fedora take, and it
> seems to work well for them.

Jorge,  I fully understand what you are trying to say.  You want same
theme for every User Group to give impression of global and unified
community.  ie: we stand as one in the world

But what would worry me about having exact official look to Haiku is:
1) Community would believe HUGs are officially representing Haiku.
Which is not the case.

Although this may not be formalized, it already happens all the time: many contributing community members represent Haiku one way or another in many different venues, such as conferences, meetups, hacking sessions, in interviews, etc., and that's a good thing. Personally, I don't think HUGs should be looked at much differently; in most cases, HUGs are formed by already known community members (such is the case of Russia, Italy, Japan, etc.).

2) Haiku would have NO control over them - they could do and say
whatever they wanted.

Again, this is already the case. People setup Haiku booths or give talks at conferences with little to no oversight. The thing is, you can't police every move everyone makes. You have to set a direction, provide the tools, and trust the community.

Will mistakes be made? Most probably yes, and we will have to live with that. Otherwise you tie up too much the hands of the communities and thus severely limit the scope of their advocacy activities.

That means: a) HUG could misrepresent Haiku, with or without intent

This can always happen, no matter what you do. Having certain guidelines and the tools to make it easy for HUGs to comply with them as part of your HUG strategy would actually provide if not oversight at least the basis for the HUGs protraying themselves adequaltely, and being well-informed to provide accurate information.

b) HUG could cause trouble (legal issue) which may affect Haiku directly afterwards

I am curious: specifically, what kind of legal trouble do you anticipate from the use of the trademarks?

c) they could profit (heavily?) from using Haiku logo ( I prefer only Official Haiku get money from merchandise with Haiku logo ). I do
not mind if HUGs use HAIKU in plain text, not logo, to sell stuff.

I think this fear that somebody would pretend to be a HUG in order to profit and thus cut into Haiku's revenue streams is very exaggerated.

There needs to be some level of differentiation between Haiku site
and the HUGs and what is or is not allowed with Haiku logo. It is debatable to what degree of difference there should be. ie: I noticed
two other posts that said just changing the background color might be
enough of a change for the theme. I think it should go further than that, like what I listed above.

What kind of visual identity you give the HUGs depends on how you want to position the user groups relative to the project as part of your overall strategy.

If you prefer user groups that act independently from the project and from each other, then it is natural for each HUG to have its own personality and visual identity, thus not needing to use the Haiku theme or logo. This approach, though, is more prone to inconsistencies in the information, as you are making it more propitious for each group to do what they like as they like.

In contrast, a more embracing approach where HUGs are portrayed as an integral part of the project based through guidelines for a common visual identity and consistent information would provide more incentives for the regional communities to join the project. In this case, the Haiku theme and logo are what would provide the visual connection between the regional communities and the project, so they are essential.

> In the same way that there could be a "Powered by Haiku" badge for
> hardware or software using Haiku, we could make sure that the HUGs
> comply with the trademark policy in their websites by creating and
> providing graphic signatures specifically for compliant user groups.
> This would actually reinforce the brand (rather that dilute it), and it
> would give the project a point of control, as it would be the project
> who provides the artwork, so nothing is left to the open interpretation
> of the third party.
If logo were allowed, then I would suggest creating different or adding
to Haiku logo for HUGs to set them apart.

Yes, that's what I meant by the HUG logo signatures in one of my previous messages. So that you get an idea of what this would look like, please see this:


This is just a rough mockup, that actually comes from the Northern California HUG...


...website which uses a variant of the old theme. Translate that to the new theme, and you will get the idea.

You still would not be able to
control content or decisions or direction or information.  You would
have to *trust* that each HUG acted in a responsible manner and that
no legal recourse could be taken against Haiku for HUG's actions.
Think of it this way. You have a brand (ie: Apple) and are allowing 3rd parties to use your brand. What would you expect from them? What issues could they cause you? What could go wrong? How would
 this affect your brand? Do you want users to think they officially
represent your brand?, etc., etc. Things may work out rosy but you just never know and should be prepared for and consider every possible outcome. Jorge, if things go bad, for one reason or another, then will you or Haiku be ready to deal with the consequences?

These fears are way too exaggerated IMO. Yes, you need to have a trademark policy to prevent liability in case of misuse. But over-restrictive measures such as the ones you describe don't necessarily provide more protection (crooks always find a way), and in the end you will only be penalizing the community.

Community contributions in the form of code, funds, advocacy, and any other skills useful to advance the Haiku cause (i.e., writing, design, translating, etc.) are and will continue to be the life and blood of the project. So rather than living in fear of what a few ill-intentioned people may do, I would be more concerned about the message of distrust that this approach that you propose would send to the many potential community members out there, and what that could mean in terms of segregating rather than embracing newcomers.

I have no issue with HUGs looking somewhat like Haiku site, to an
extent, but would not want them to look exactly the same. Plus, providing a few rules/restrictions to make them behave and ensure they act properly is good thing too.

Just my personal stance on this issue and everyone else will have to decide for themselves what they believe will work and is acceptable.
Jorge, I know how you feel about this - you're position is clear to me
but I feel a little different about it - maybe others will feel like you?
It is good to discuss and state your opinion on the list but at the end
of the day, I believe Haiku Inc. makes the final decision for this stuff (from my understanding - not me or you :-) ). Sooner or later you will have to talk to them about it and work it out with them. I only wanted to get my position out there. (ie: I have done my part and
will be up to Haiku Inc. to decide what is right and fair ).  Take care.

What comes out of this could have great impact in how the regional communities develop in the future and whether the right dynamics to grow the global community will fall in place or not. Thus, this is not just about trademarks and logos, but rather about a strategy that concerns the community at large; as such, I don't think this should boil down to Haiku Inc. making a decision alone.


Jorge/aka Koki
Website: http://haikuzone.net
RSS: http://haikuzone.net/rss.xml

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