The GNOME project will be familiar to the vast majority of our users, what you might not be aware of is that the project is currently facing an expensive trademark battle against Groupon with the latter having allegedly chosen to infringe upon GNOME’s trademark by launching a product with the same name (a POS “operating system for merchants to run their entire operation”).
I am not going to go into the details here, as they have been explained by the GNOME project over at http://www.gnome.org/groupon/ and the GNOME folk are in a much better position than me to provide more detailed information on the matter.
What I am going to do is appeal for your help. The GNOME project is looking to raise $80,000 to cover the legal costs involved in defending their trademark. At the time of writing this post the freenode network has 89,998 connected users. Users who are passionate about FOSS.
If each of us donated just ONE DOLLAR to the GNOME project they would cover the anticipated legal costs AND have some spare change leftover for a pint when the proceedings conclude.
Even if you do not use GNOME, please consider helping them out. This is bigger than just GNOME and I think would be fantastic if the FOSS communities could drum together to support our own.
If you head over to http://www.gnome.org/groupon/ you can make a donation directly via PayPal by clicking on the “Help us by donating today” button.
Update: Due to the controversial nature of PayPal, GNOME is now also offering other ways to donate .
Update #2: According to the Groupon blog and this article over at Engadget Groupon has issued the following statement: “Groupon is a strong and consistent supporter of the open source community, and our developers are active contributors to a number of open source projects. We’ve been communicating with the Foundation for months to try to come to a mutually satisfactory resolution, including alternative branding options, and we’re happy to continue those conversations. Our relationship with the open source community is more important to us than a product name. And if we can’t come up with a mutually acceptable solution, we’ll be glad to look for another name.”
I am assuming that this means that the trademarks filed will be retracted and that the GNOME project can go about business as usual. I am certain they will be releasing a statement with further details before long.