On 2 June 2013 00:22, MZMcBride <z(a)mzmcbride.com> wrote:
Craig Franklin wrote:
I'm sure that the legal team has done their
homework on this and would not
have made this recommendation unless they felt that the WTO had a credible
argument. Asking the Foundation to play chicken with the lawyers of a
major international organisation over a trademark claim on a relatively
new and easily replaced logo of ours does not offer a very good
risk/reward ratio in my view.
You mean "has done their homework on this this time," right? The General
Counsel position is one of the oldest in the Wikimedia Foundation and the
Legal and Community Advocacy team certainly existed before the previous
Wikivoyage logo contest. If this were an issue, you'd think someone
would've said something six months ago. And, of course, there's no
shortage of trademark, patent, or copyright trolls in the world. I've seen
both logos and while they're obviously similar, I'm sure there are a great
number of lawyers who could make a number of arguments as to why there's
no real issue here. Anyone can send a cease and desist letter, right?
The WMF Legal team are good, but they're not *that* good. I'm sure if
Geoff and the gang were capable of foretelling the future to see if they'd
get issued with a cease-and-desist, they'd be spending their lottery
winnings in the Caribbean rather than dealing with trademark issues.
There are also at least a few Wikivoyagers who are concerned that the
active participants of Wikivoyage weren't properly
enfranchised during the
last logo contest. That is, there's a concern that the people most
involved with Wikivoyage will get drowned out by the much larger Wikimedia
community in any contest of this nature.
Obviously this is a valid concern, but that's best dealt with by making
sure that the best process is in place for the logo competition, not by
complaining about something that, lets face it, is not going to change.
Obviously, for those that were unhappy with the last logo process, this is
an opportunity to have an improved contest this time around.
I would think some of these issues would be of concern to you. This isn't
about asking anyone to play chicken. It's about ensuring that communities
are free to choose their own identity.
Well, obviously I'd be happy for them to pick whatever identity, so long as
it's not infringing on a trademark. In other words, they can't have the
Golden Arches or Mickey Mouse ears! :-).
More seriously though, while I suppose the WMF might conceivably be
eventually victorious in court on this sort of issue, the expense would be
enormous and the legal team's time is much better spent on things other
than fighting battles over non-core principles with international
organisations. I also suspect that the WTO has a fair bit more cash to
splash around on fancy lawyers to fight this than we do. It's not a nice
situation to be in obviously, but it's better than the Foundation having to
waste its money fighting this in court.