[Marketing] [SoaS] Governance & Trademark in the Wiki

Sean DALY sdaly.be at gmail.com
Sun Oct 18 05:47:36 EDT 2009

There are several intertwined issues here and I would like to make my
position clear (or clearer ;-) on several points.

1. "Sugar on a Stick" is indeed a brand, and the Marketing Team has
been building it as a brand. It has "brand equity": value, a topic I
will elaborate on shortly in a separate post. We are building the
brand because it is a key part of the Sugar Labs strategy to make
Sugar known as an available alternative on classroom computers
(whatever they are). As a Sugar Labs brand, I have advocated for
months that it be trademarked.

2. Branding only works if the underlying value proposition - the
product, goods, or services - is of interest and value to the target
market. In non-marketing jargon, that means the product itself must be
good for the brand to grow, and to achieve a breakout of quick growth
(say 2 years instead of 10), the product must be great.

3. "Sugar on a Stick" can only grow as a brand if we carefully choose
how it is presented and promoted and perceived. Anyone wishing to
modify Sugar on a Stick should either do so and call it something
else, or consult with us so their contribution can be better
integrated into the project, and we can be sure confusion will be
avoided, and we can even leverage their initiative in our marketing.
Unfortunately, sugaronastick.com is damaging the brand, because it
creates confusion. Confusion is deadly to any growing brand. Caroline,
we can try to fit what you're doing with that site into the Sugar Labs
strategy, but opening that site without consulting the community may
have compromised that. Many of us have our work on that site, yet we
have no say in it, and that's not OK. Of course, there would be no
issue if the version and site were named differently.

4. As Martin Dengler has passionately and eloquently pointed out, at
this time no one is in a position to support Sugar on a Stick in a way
that scales. My view is that a for-profit ecosystem of integrators
working for schools needs to be developed. However, it's a wide-open
question at this point whether and how this should be done. Which is
why Sugar on a Stick's main role now and in at least the year to come
is not as a deployable solution for schools, but the best way of
spreading the word to teachers that an alternative exists. In this
light, I believe it is premature to present SoaS as school-ready. And,
we cannot encourage anyone to call any liveUSB Sugar implementation
"Sugar on a Stick", because unofficial versions will not be
supportable, and the result will be damage to the brand.

5. Everyone needs to make a living, and all of us are contributing our
valuable time, and many of us funds, to get Sugar off the ground. In
my view, a fair approach would be for expenses to be tallied and
reimbursed at such a time as we have sufficient funding to do so. I
certainly won't begrudge you the time, money and resources you are
putting into Sugar Labs, but I'm afraid there is a lack of clarity
between what you're doing for Sugar Labs and what you want to do for
profit. Imagine for example if I set up a marketing consultancy and
sold deployment kits to schools for profit - I would be wearing two
hats, and community members would rightly wonder in which best
interest I would be acting as I proposed media campaigns.

6. I believe we are breaking new ground with what we are doing, which
means it could fail. I cannot guarantee widespread positive perception
of Sugar, but I can guarantee that without Sugar Labs calling the
shots on Sugar on a Stick, we will have far greater difficulty growing
Sugar awareness.

Sugar Labs Marketing Coordinator

On Sat, Oct 17, 2009 at 10:08 PM, Caroline Meeks
<caroline at solutiongrove.com> wrote:
> Hi Peter,
> I can agree with a lot of what you say here.
> On Sat, Oct 17, 2009 at 2:05 PM, Peter Robinson <pbrobinson at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Hi Caroline,
>> On Sat, Oct 17, 2009 at 6:11 PM, Caroline Meeks <solutiongrove at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> > Hi Sean,
>> >
>> > What Sebastian means by this is that the Checksum must match.
>> > That means.
>> I think your missing the point and understanding of SoaS. Also don't
>> speak for Sebastian, he does have the ability to speak for himself so
>> he can do so for himself!
> Your right. I should say, what Sebastian told me when we spoke was....
>> > you can't change the default language
>> > you can't change what activities are in it or even which are in the
>> > favorite
>> > ring
>> > you can't add drivers
>> > you can't add an eBook
>> > you can't patch a known bug even with an accepted patch
>> You can add all of these and what ever else you like. But if you wish
>> to you can't call it SoaS. Running as a standard live cd its static
>> but as a properly configured 'stick' it has a writeable home directory
>> as which means the user can add what ever they like. As the user
>> settings for activities, eBooks, and the ring are stored in the home
>> directory they can all be changed.
> that is not what Sebastian told me in a lengthy conversation. I agree that
> its what you mean and I think a lot of other people may agree with your
> thinking. I think pinning down exactly what is meant is extremely important
> to this discussion.
>> > Also since Sugar Labs does not have a Trademark on Sugar on a Stick,
>> > only on
>> > Sugar, I'm not sure what you are going to ask people who want to do
>> > these
>> > very reasonable things to call it?  I think you have to insist they
>> > don't
>> > use the word Sugar at all.
>> Well, actually the word sugar isn't able to be trademarked as its a
>> generic word in common use your wrong there. As for the use of sugar
>> on a stick I think you are being in-genuine and trying to hop on the
>> cart to take advantage of it. But if you want to talk about trademarks
>> your making use of the SugarLabs trademarks and logos and I'm sure
>> they do have the rights to them so if you want to get into discussions
>> about trademarks why don't you remove those from your site to start
>> with? Because people might start to believe your not actually
>> associated with and endorsed by SugarLabs possibly and that might
>> impact your gravy train?
> The gravy train is pretty thin right now.  I'm running a pilot for free.
> Providing hosting for schools.sugarlabs.org and jabber.sugarlabs.org (with
> the support of our hosting provider Zill.net, thanks Patrick!) writing grant
> application, working on marketing etc.  and yes I agree it might well impact
> that.
> Why don't I remove the trademarks from the site?  Well first because I asked
> Walter, Mike Lee and Sean before I put them up.
>  and it was in compliance with the trademark usage at the time
>  and I'm talking to SLOBS about licensing etc.
> Second I think the site moves ahead our joint interests, include making the
> gravy train thicker for all. This includes sharing revenues with Sugar Labs
> and making us more attractive for grants, and increasing our audience in an
> important sector, parents who spend money on technology for their children.
>> > I do see that maybe we don't want the wild west with anyone doing
>> > anything,
>> > but I'm concerned that we are going to force the very thing we are
>> > trying to
>> > prevent by this level of control, the splitting of the brand and
>> > dispersion
>> > of the teachers and parents who want to use and improve on Sugar into
>> > different silos.
>> Brand is everything. Look at the way Fedora uses and enforces their
>> brand. Companies use their product but its not allowed to be called
>> Fedora. They can use the secondary Fedora Remix brand logos but not
>> the primary ones. See Linpus for example (http://www.linpus.com/). It
>> the Linux that ships on the Acer Aspire Ones for example. You can
>> install Fedora and any other package you like.
>> You talk about splitting the brand.... you are the one splitting the
>> brand. What you are doing is taking a product and modifying it. What
>> your are doing is something like taking a piece of Tupperware and
>> modifying it and still calling it Tupperware. They would sue your
>> butt.
> Sounds like we need to be really clear about what is and isn't modification.
> Sebastian was clear on his definition. If the checksum is different its
> modified.
>> > I want to promote Sugar in the geekiest 5% of the PTO (Parent, Teachers
>> > Organization) and bring those people together under the Sugar Labs
>> > umbrella.
>> >  But to do that we have to give them Sugar with the stuff they want. I
>> > don't
>> > think many of even that 5% care much about Ubuntu vs Fedora.
>> > I think a lot of people will want a Sugar on a Stick that is
>> > "customized"
>> > for:
>> I don't see that we're stopping you from promoting sugar, just asking
>> you to use your own name. Just create a new name for your solution as
>> the "geekiest 5% of the PTO (Parent, Teachers Organization)" will be
>> able to work out that what your offering is a supported sugar
>> environment, after all to use your term they are "geeks".
>  You aren't stopping me. - True.  I'm pretty stubborn and hard to stop. :)
> We are asking me to use a different name. This time I think its your turn to
> speak for yourself and not for the community.  You seem to be asking me to
> use a different name and let people figure out its Sugar. Based on what
> Sebastian told me he seems to want them not to figure out its Sugar because
> it might result in support requests.  What I think I heard when I talked to
> Sean was he wants it to be what he see's as Sugar and have the branding done
> in a consistent and positive manner.
>> > Their native language, especially if its not the dominant language where
>> > they live
>> > the age of their kids
>> > has books they like
>> > actually works on their hardware (remember the official release doesn't
>> > include any driver that isn't in the Fedora release)
>> So your solution offers native languages? My understanding of your
>> previous emails is that your only changes to the SOAS spin is that you
>> change any servers to point to your own. So what's that got to do with
>> native languages. The SugarLabs SOAS already offers all the current
>> supported languages. The changes will remain with a properly
>> configured stick, just like I mentioned above so please stop spreading
>> FUD about the official SOAS release.
> Yes all the languages are there its just English by default.  I believe that
> it would be attractive to people to have their language as the default and
> some books preloaded. I believe that that might increase the likelihood of
> someone downloading and trying it.  I haven't done it yet, but I might and I
> certainly think its a good idea for other people to do it.
>> > I want these people to know they are using Sugar on a Stick and tell
>> > people
>> > about Sugar on a Stick, not some other brand name.  I want them to be
>> > the
>> > ambassadors that bring Sugar on a Stick to their schools.
>> Yes, you want them to tell all the other people about your sugar on a
>> stick dot com so you can make money out it. Don't get me wrong. I'm
> I certainly wouldn't mind! Although I truely want it in schools more then I
> want the money.  You can believe that or not of course. However, I'm now
> working nearly full time on Sugar on a Stick and I feel like I'm making good
> progress.  Furthermore I feel like WE are making great progress. I want to
> keep working on it. That means I have to find a way to make money. I can
> apply for grants and be a direct drain on Sugar Labs or I can try to get
> parents who spend money on technology for their kids (like buying them their
> own netbooks!) to spend some on collaboration and backup for Sugar. If it
> works I get to keep working on Sugar! I get to goto conferences and talk
> about Sugar! I get to pay developers and trainers to further Sugar.  I get
> to share the money with Sugar Labs and support its work around the world. I
> get to inspire competitors who bring the idea around the globe. Sounds like
> fun to me. I do want it to work. And as we discussed earlier, I'm stubborn.
>> not against people making money. I like to do so myself :-) Why can't
>> you make your own successful brand like Linpus has by using the Fedora
> Because I don't actually want a successful brand. I want Sugar to be
> successful.  I want people to read sugaronastick.com download Sugar and use
> it without paying for the backup service. I believe that there are some
> people who will goto a wiki and download and others who will be far more
> likely to try it from a stie that looks more commercial.  I think the
> community needs both to break the 2% barrier.
> I want there people, even those who never pay for anything, which will be
> the majority,  to goto their school and tell them about Sugar. I want people
> to say to their schools you don't need to buy services from these people, I
> can set up an XS for you for free!  Then the school goes, wow, look at the
> thousands of dollars this guy is saving us, this is really valuable.
> I actually do think being able to have your kids in "the neighborhood" with
> their cousins in another state or country is pretty cool and worth paying
> for. I think it certainly makes Sugar way way cooler then just using it by
> yourself.
> Lots of people will just use Sugar and I want them to know that is what they
> are doing and tell all their friends. I want them to Blog about Sugar not
> about my brand.  I want them to Blog about how much they can do for free and
> how their schools should use it for free!  I don't want them talking about
> some other brand.
> I also think its valuable for Sugar services to have a value in the
> marketplace. People value what they pay for. They love to get things at a
> discount, to get a great deal. If its always free then you can't get a
> discount!  By putting the XS services up at a price, everyone who gives it
> away/sets it up for free are now giving something people can place a value
> on. (like me btw, we are hosting 2 schools right now and I've promised a
> couple of others if they have any issues setting up the XS I'll do hosting)
>   The world of school funding is very convoluted. There are grant
> applications where we have to make budgets and many of the Grantors want to
> see the project having a budget bigger then the piece they are funding.
>  There are also grants that schools can get that will pay for things like
> hosting but won't pay for a server and someone to set up an XS. and vica
> versa, but having a source of for-fee hosting doesn't keep anyone from
> setting up their own XS.
> I think it can all be done in a way that builds the Sugar brand and
> convinces Schools and Countries to stop spending millions of dollars on
> software that does less and is not as good for learning.  And I think I can
> make a paycheck. And I think I can make money that will help pay for
> marketing and conferences and such for Sugar Labs.
> So I'm here to work together to build the Sugar Labs brand, to increase the
> use of Sugar for free and to make a paycheck and I want to stay deeply
> involved in the Sugar community building an educator community that develops
> and shares best practices.  And I want it all under the Sugar Labs brand.
> We've lost too many good people to them having to go out and get real jobs;
> Marco, Greg Smith. I don't want to have to leave for economic reasons.
>> product without in-genuinely using the names that are already in use
>> by SugarLabs. Why don't you go and read the Fedora Trademarks [1].
>> SugarLabs has used the Fedora processes for other things like the
>> Feature Process and I personally think those trademark guidelines are
>> what we should adopt.
>> Regards,
>> Peter
>> [1] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Legal/TrademarkGuidelines
>> > ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>> > From: Sean DALY <sdaly.be at gmail.com>
>> > Date: Thu, Oct 15, 2009 at 9:36 AM
>> > Subject: Re: [SoaS] Governance & Trademark in the Wiki
>> > To: Sebastian Dziallas <sdz at sugarlabs.org>
>> > Cc: SoaS <soas at lists.sugarlabs.org>
>> >
>> >
>> > I support these changes.
>> >
>> > Thanks Sebastian.
>> >
>> > Sean
>> >
>> >
>> > On Wed, Oct 14, 2009 at 2:05 PM, Sebastian Dziallas <sebastian at when.com>
>> > wrote:
>> >> From:
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Talk:Sugar_Labs/Governance/Trademark#Sugar_on_a_Stick_Guidelines
>> >>
>> >> --Sebastian
>> >>
>> >> ------
>> >>
>> >> I am herewith proposing the following changes to the section 5a. This
>> >> has been derived from Fedora's trademark guidelines [1] and might need
>> >> to be adjusted to cover more cases, as listed in those guidelines. By
>> >> referring to Sugar on a Stick, the following draft means the project
>> >> located [2] and hosted [3] here.
>> >>
>> >> - You *may* use the term "Sugar on a Stick" whenever referring to the
>> >> official Sugar on a Stick product and its releases, as well as when
>> >> distributing unmodified copies of it.
>> >> -- However, this usage *must not* imply any endorsement by Sugar Labs
>> >> or
>> >> the Sugar on a Stick project, unless this is case and an appropriate
>> >> agreement has been reached.
>> >>
>> >> - You *may* modify Sugar on a Stick and create remixes of it.
>> >> -- However, when distributing or selling this modified version, you
>> >> *must not* call it Sugar on a Stick.
>> >> -- When not exposing the resulting product to the public, you *may*
>> >> still call it Sugar on a Stick, though. A deployment might adjust Sugar
>> >> on a Stick for its needs and still say it deployed Sugar on a Stick, as
>> >> long as the modified version is not distributed publicly.
>> >>
>> >> [1] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Legal/TrademarkGuidelines
>> >> [2] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Sugar_on_a_Stick
>> >> [3] http://git.sugarlabs.org/projects/soas
>> >> _______________________________________________
>> >> SoaS mailing list
>> >> SoaS at lists.sugarlabs.org
>> >> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/soas
>> >>
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > SoaS mailing list
>> > SoaS at lists.sugarlabs.org
>> > http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/soas
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > --
>> > Caroline Meeks
>> > Solution Grove
>> > Caroline at SolutionGrove.com
>> >
>> > 617-500-3488 - Office
>> > 505-213-3268 - Fax
>> >
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > SoaS mailing list
>> > SoaS at lists.sugarlabs.org
>> > http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/soas
>> >
>> >
> --
> Caroline Meeks
> Solution Grove
> Caroline at SolutionGrove.com
> 617-500-3488 - Office
> 505-213-3268 - Fax

More information about the Marketing mailing list