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Python Software program Basis Information: Defending the Python Emblems

Who’s the Emblems Working Group?

The Python Software program Basis Emblems 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 quite a lot of different members through the years, with Iqbal Abdullah being a fantastic and useful member of the WG for the final couple years.

You’ll be able to write to us any time at on the Emblems WG mailing listing.  When you ever need to use considered one of our marks, please do write to us.  Even for these makes use of which are utterly non-contentious, we would fairly rapidly approve them and have a file within the mailing listing archives than simply not know in regards to the use (the archive shouldn’t be public, nevertheless, since authorized points, even potential litigation, are typically mentioned).

We might welcome participation by extra Python group members (being a PSF member shouldn’t be strictly required, simply an curiosity in serving to Python preserve its branding).  Serving to with the working group is a reasonably small time dedication, however as with many volunteer efforts, people usually drift away from such efforts over the course of years.  By all means contact us in case 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 through the years—and “use logos” worldwide.  Clearly, authorized regimes round mental property, and logos particularly, differ considerably world wide; for essentially the most half logos serve an analogous function in all places although.

We do not need the model and fame 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 function of selling the use and information of Python fairly than making an attempt to get hold of industrial benefit (as many for-profit product marks are used).

Let’s return to what marks the PSF maintains.  The title “Python” is a wordmark that’s registered in lots of locations.  Nominative use of the title is all the time permitted when it’s used to explain the Python programming language. In contexts akin 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 an official utilization coverage and a Continuously 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 in case 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 totally different from the Python wordmark, since they serve  totally different functions.  Primarily, we need to guarantee that when these names are used, they preserve an id and advance the targets for which the marks have been created.  The PyLadies wordmark is monitored and licensed by the PyLadies management fairly than the Emblems WG, so e mail to them is one of the best place to ask questions of them.

Emblems are Tough

The trickiest a part of what we do on the Working Group is approve use of the “two-snakes” Python emblem.  A terrific many truly fantastic 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. Particularly, the foundations we have to preserve about derived logos can really feel obscure and counter-intuitive within the FOSS world.

The important thing problem is that trademark shouldn’t be copyright.  For individuals acquainted with copyleft and software program freedom, it looks like the suitable to create derived merchandise needs to be as little restricted as potential, maybe under no circumstances. Whereas I endorse that wholeheartedly for copyright, that is not how logos work—nor, I consider, how they ought to work.  Trademark is as a substitute 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 selected 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 may wind up dropping the power to cease malicious actors from misbranding their non-Python issues with the brand.  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 nice actors we have handled, in my 15 years engaged on this, have come to grasp the issues of the PSF, and have modified their personalized logos in ways in which permit us to authorize them.  It is barely unlucky that a couple of others have slipped by just because the WG by no means knew they existed till they have been already in use, however we have labored with these teams (largely conferences and person teams, typically software program tasks) to make things better going ahead.  It is a little bit little bit of politics, a little bit little bit of professionalism, however principally it is simply reaching out to the really fantastic individuals who make up our worldwide Python group.

David Mertz (



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