[Wikimedia-l] Fwd: [Toolserver-l] [TS logo] Fwd: Free as in Wikimedia Foundation

Tomasz Ganicz polimerek at gmail.com
Wed Mar 20 07:49:41 UTC 2013

2013/3/20 James Alexander <jamesofur at gmail.com>:
> On Tue, Mar 19, 2013 at 2:00 PM, Nathan <nawrich at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I won't argue the fact that there is value in protecting the
>> iconography of the Wikimedia movement from abuse. What I argue with is
>> the approach of the legal department - to unilaterally, and without
>> notice, contradict the purpose of a set of logos by declaring
>> ownership over them, and then to at the same time suggest the
>> community hold a contest to create a whole new set of logos over which
>> the WMF will supposedly not take the same action.
> I'll be the first to say I think the idea of having a contest to create a
> new logo is a bit silly. I think we should continue to use the
> meta/community logo and that it's allowed use for the community should be
> very very broad (much broader then we would allow for the Wikipedia Globe
> for example). I think we have enough issues with  branding given what I
> would consider mistakes in the past and present and we don't need 'yet
> another' for the community (given that we also use all of the other logos
> to represent the community at times).

I agree - it hardly make any sense, especially because the story may
happen again. If the new logo is popular it will be trademarked by WMF
as well :-)

> I don't, however, think that they did the wrong thing here. I've been
> around meta and the community for a long time and I would have honestly
> assumed long ago that the community logo was trademarked and the foundation
> was just very free in letting it be used. All of the foundations trademarks
> were going through registration processes around the world because they
> realized that our portfolio did not cover us very well. This made total
> sense to be included in it.

Well, actually the legal situation is defined by trademark policy of WMF:


According to this policy it applies to the following logos:


so it includes MediaWiki and community logos as well in similar way as
Wikipedia logo. You can read in the policy:

"The following basic guidelines apply to almost any use of the
Wikimedia Marks in printed materials, including marketing, articles
and other publicity-related materials, and websites:

"Proper Form - Wikimedia Marks should be used in their exact form —
neither abbreviated nor combined with any other word or words (e.g.,
"Wiki" or "MyWikipedia" rather than "Wikipedia");
Notice - The following notice should appear somewhere nearby (at least
on the same page or on the credits page) the first use of a Wikimedia
Mark: "[TRADEMARK] is a ['registered', if applicable] trademark of the
Wikimedia Foundation";
Distinguishable - In at least the first reference, we ask that the
trademark should be set apart from surrounding text, either by
capitalizing it or by italicizing, bolding or underlining it. In
addition, we ask that your website avoid copying the look and feel of
the Wikimedia websites — again, we do not want the visitor to your
website to be confused about which company he/she is dealing with.
Attention Paid to Visual Guidelines - any use of the Wikimedia Marks
should substantially comply with our Trademark and Logo Usage Policy
and our Visual Identity Guidelines. "

And  - when you take a look at:


and to:


you see that all of them (except originaly trademarked) broke the
trademark policy rules :-) The are combined with other words and
graphs, they have no notice, they do not follow any visual guidelines
etc. :-)  So - in fact they should be deleted as a WMF trademark
policy violation - or trademark policy should be modified.  Bear in
mind that even toolserver logo - which is obviously a derivative work
of community logo - should not be used according the current WMF
trademark policy. I think it is not intended, and WMF will never do
any legal action towards the creators and users of this derivative
logos - but all this situation is unclear at the moment. I think this
is a job for WMF Board of Trustees to clarify the situation - for
example by excluding MediaWiki and community logos from the rules
forbiding creation of derivative logos and  "Visual Identity

Tomek "Polimerek" Ganicz

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