Python Software program Basis Information: Defending the Python Logos



Who’s the Logos Working Group?

The Python Software program Basis Logos Working Group was created by the PSF Board of Administrators to  monitor and authorize (or prohibit) use of logos held by the PSF.  The WG—initially dubbed committee—was created in 2008, and has been co-chaired by me since 2010, including Marc-André Lemburg in 2013.  We have had a wide range of different members over time, with Iqbal Abdullah being a great and useful member of the WG for the final couple years.

You possibly can write to us any time at on the Logos WG mailing record.  For those who ever wish to use one among our marks, please do write to us.  Even for these makes use of which can be utterly non-contentious, we might fairly shortly approve them and have a file within the mailing record archives than simply not know in regards to the use (the archive just isn’t public, nonetheless, since authorized points, even potential litigation, are generally mentioned).

We might welcome participation by extra Python neighborhood members (being a PSF member just isn’t strictly required, simply an curiosity in serving to Python keep its branding).  Serving to with the working group is a fairly small time dedication, however as with many volunteer efforts, of us usually drift away from such efforts over the course of years.  By all means contact us when you have an curiosity in logos and an hour or two every week to spend serving to us in these discussions.

Our Objectives

The PSF holds registered logos in numerous jurisdictions—incrementally rising in quantity over time—and “use logos” worldwide.  Clearly, authorized regimes round mental property, and logos particularly, range considerably world wide; for probably the most half logos serve the same goal in all places although.

We do not need the model and repute of Python for use in a misleading method. Nonetheless, Python being free and open supply software program (FOSS), and the PSF being dedicated to such freedom, the licensing coverage adopted by the PSF may be very liberal and serves the goal of selling the use and data of Python fairly than attempting to acquire business benefit (as many for-profit product marks are used).

Let’s return to what marks the PSF maintains.  The identify “Python” is a wordmark that’s registered in lots of locations.  Nominative use of the identify is all the time permitted when it’s used to explain the Python programming language. In contexts equivalent to books dedicated to the language or about related libraries, instruments, and so forth. we ask publishers to incorporate a small discover within the entrance matter that mentions the PSF trademark.  We’ve got an official utilization coverage and a Often Requested Questions that element permitted utilization, with the FAQ having extra examples and a much less formal tone (most likely greatest to begin with the FAQ when you have questions).
Equally, the names “PyCon” and “PyLadies” are additionally wordmarks of the PSF. The insurance policies round use of PyCon and of PyLadies are every a little bit completely different from the Python wordmark, since they serve  completely different functions.  Primarily, we wish to ensure that when these names are used, they keep an identification and advance the objectives for which the marks had been created.  The PyLadies wordmark is monitored and approved by the PyLadies management fairly than the Logos WG, so electronic mail to them is the most effective place to ask questions of them.

Logos are Tough

The trickiest a part of what we do on the Working Group is approve use of the “two-snakes” Python emblem.  An amazing many actually great Python-related person teams, conferences, software program tasks, publications, blogs, and different efforts that do an incredible job of selling Python, understandably do not perceive the arcana of trademark legislation. Specifically, the foundations we have to keep about derived logos can really feel obscure and counter-intuitive within the FOSS world.

The important thing subject is that trademark just isn’t copyright.  For folks acquainted with copyleft and software program freedom, it appears like the suitable to create derived merchandise ought to be as little restricted as doable, maybe in no way. Whereas I endorse that wholeheartedly for copyright, that is not how logos work—nor, I consider, how they ought to work.  Trademark is as an alternative a form of client safety, it is a manner of claiming {that a} specific factor is what it purports to be.  In a manner, a trademark is sort of a signature or a seal (whether or not a bodily or a digital model of such); it is a testomony to authenticity of a factor.

Other than my specific philosophical attitudes about logos, the legal guidelines round them have a particular idea of dilution whereby merely allowing a use that makes a mark much less distinct can take away the safety altogether.  Particularly, it signifies that if the PSF permits teams to make utterly well-meaning, and sometimes even stunning, modifications to the form of the two-snakes emblem, we might wind up shedding the flexibility to cease malicious actors from misbranding their non-Python issues with the emblem.  To be clear, many derived logos are completely permissible, and the FAQ discusses what distinguishes permissible and impermissible derivations (and what might be “impressed by however not derived from”).

Fortunately, all the great actors we have handled, in my 15 years engaged on this, have come to know the considerations of the PSF, and have modified their personalized logos in ways in which enable us to authorize them.  It is barely unlucky that just a few others have slipped by just because the WG by no means knew they existed till they had been already in use, however we have labored with these teams (largely conferences and person teams, generally software program tasks) to make things better going ahead.  It is a bit little bit of politics, a bit little bit of professionalism, however principally it is simply reaching out to the really great individuals who make up our worldwide Python neighborhood.

David Mertz ([email protected])