What's in a name (Drupal Trademark awareness)

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28.04.2008
What's in a name (Drupal Trademark awareness)
submitted by: lior

Towards the last drupalcon we at linnovate decided to create a new brand for our international activity: drupal.fm.
We wanted something that would be catchy and when we suddenly discovered a domain that was free which had drupal in it and with a whole marketing theme built in...
"Welcome to drupal.fm - You station for drupal", "Tune In" etc..
I felt really lucky to have found such a great domain and printed new business cards with my green linnovate tree and "drupal blue" leafs...
But as I was talking to different people in drupalcon (noticeably Robert Scales, Gabor, Michael Meyers, Gregles and ... Dries) they all pointed out that drupal association and dries might have a problem with us using the trademark for commercial use.
From that point I understood that drupal.fm might live on as something else but it will not be the name of our commercial essence.
So...
Even if you're a technical geek and never quite connected to the whole copyright (or left) thing.
Think again before you start brand yourself using drupal in the name...
Checkout similar dynamics here...
http://drupal.org/node/217731#comment-716909
So there goes 300 business cards (but hey I like my green linnovate tree better).

Comments

Well, it might be a great opportunity to run something fun on that domain. What if you were to aggregate all the audio podcasts or something like that?

The main issue with the use of Drupal in domains is commercial usage. I also happen to think that Linnovate and your green tree are a great brand in and of themselves.

That is our direction as well - get some feedapi magic in pulling in drupalmao, lullabot, sprydev and the all the *casts around...
Maybe taggin and ratin' as well.
We'll see - Once we finally get to it...
The Linnovate brand was based upon my linux geekery phase and the whole drupal.fm move was meant to somehow communicate our drupal passion.
Maybe we can go for DinnoBait :)
Lior

Drupal.fm is a special case because it IS the trademark, but there is no problem with simply having the word Drupal within in your domain name. Here are just a few examples:

http://www.nwiizone.com/
http://www.nintendorevolution.ca/
http://www.nintendowii.net/
http://www.nintendowiifanboy.com/
http://wiitracker.com/
http://www.wiipals.net/
http://www.wiihacks.com/
http://wiinintendo.net/
http://www.mywii.com.au/
http://www.wii-consoles.co.uk/
http://nintendowiipro.com/

Both Nintendo and Wii are trademarked terms, but you'll notice many of these sites don't even have a disclaimer.

Nintendo, whose trademarks are off the chart in value, doesn't have its lawyers jumping all over these domains. Why? Because it's a perfectly legal practice.

Thanks John,
I think this is where a clear policy from the drupal association is needed.
What Nintendo is doing is letting the advocates do their thing and spread the Wii buzz with these sites.
This is where the way "drupalcoder" was treated is sub-optimal.
If the target is to grow drupal substantially we'll need the "drupalcoder's" around to help and blog and spread the buzz.
If as Gabor stated something not fitting and not appropriate for the drupal brand happens, then maybe the association should act.
Regarding drupal.fm the thought did not even occur to me until we started wanting to communicate back to the world...
Lior

“I think this is where a clear policy from the drupal association is needed.
What Nintendo is doing is letting the advocates do their thing and spread the Wii buzz with these sites.”

Yes, I agree.

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