On Tue, Mar 22, 2016 at 7:07 PM, John Mark Vandenberg <jayvdb(a)gmail.com>
Again as I recall, many chapters tried to negotiate amendments to that
prohibition, and I vaguely recall the French chapter being successful,
and I vaguely recall the Italian chapter being unsuccessful.
I see the French chapter's shop is still open.
I do not see a shop for Italia or Deutschland, but locals may be able
to find what I can not.
Any details regarding the old chapters stores, especially German and
Italian, would be most welcomed to augment and possibly correct my
Sj, 99% of this happened during your time on the board, so it would be
great if you can help provide some clarity with whatever memories you
TLDR: If a local group comes up with a swag item and design, it should be
possible to get that into the hands of supporters and community members in
short order. What group produces the item, from where it is shipped in
what batch quantities, and who pays for the item, depend a bit on context.
I discussed this with lawyers on staff a number of times while on the
board. My understanding [lawyers, please weigh in to correct me as
needed] was that a separate agreement was necessary, but did not need to be
onerous, and could be worked out for stores run by established
organizations (such as french and german stores).
It is possible to be extra cautious to the extent of not allowing any swag
to use trademarks unless the central licensor has direct control over the
quality of the produced product, though some argue that this is not
necessary. This extra caution could be a reason not to allow one-off
initiatives such as a run of hats carried out by a user group. But
established chapters & thematic orgs with offices & administrative staff
should be able to run their own regional store (providing in-country
shipping, a website in the national languages, &c) which could handle any
one-offs requested by user groups or projects in the area.
Finally, for cases where the WMF is feeling trademark-conservative (smaller
stores, or any swag with a possibility of recipients feeling that there was
some trademark confusion), it has two further options: a] it can cover the
full cost of local swag (if you give things away rather than selling them,
you don't trigger the risk mentioned above, or iirc the related clause in
the affiliate agreements)... and b] it can arrange to make the swag in the
global store, and cover the difference in int'l shipping costs (or ship the
results in bulk to the regional affiliate for further distribution).
Actual data on which groups want stores and swag, and what they are looking
for, has been scant. I recommend organizing such plans and designs on
meta, and noting any open tm-related discussion threads there.
If it turns out that inspiring designs, requested by community groups, are
unable to be produced because the global store cannot produce them, local
groups cannot get a grant to cover their production, and local groups
cannot get a simple TM agreement to let them recoup their costs from the
recipients, then something need to be fixed. A fix, once there is a
specific problem in hand, should not be difficult.
 For a brief & incomplete review of relevant issues, see: