[OpenWrt-Devel] [LEDE-DEV] Talks between OpenWrt and LEDE

Val Kulkov val.kulkov at gmail.com
Wed Dec 21 22:30:32 EST 2016

On 21 December 2016 at 17:01, Florian Fainelli <f.fainelli at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 12/21/2016 01:46 PM, Alberto Bursi wrote:
> > On 12/21/2016 09:42 PM, Dave Taht wrote:
> >> On Wed, Dec 21, 2016 at 12:29 PM, David Lang <david at lang.hm> wrote:
> >>> On Wed, 21 Dec 2016, Kathy Giori wrote:
> >>>
> >>>> From a PR perspective, I strongly suggest keeping the term OpenWrt as
> >>>> part of the branding of the project moving forward. It can just be
> >>>> cosmetic (web site, etc.) but the name has so much history, and
> >>>> positive connotation, that you don't want to lose that brand attached
> >>>> to the development moving forward.
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> I agree, I think this is an obvious choice to make. OpenWRT has a lot
> of
> >>> name recognition, it would be foolish to throw that away.
> >>
> >> Just to take the other side for rhetorical purposes, a purpose of a
> >> re-branding exercise is to show a change in the "product" or
> >> organisation behind it. OpenWrt is widely known... as a bleeding edge,
> >> sometimes unstable, somewhat hard to use 3rd party firmware. DD-Wrt
> >> and Tomato get a lot more press for some reason. So do things like
> >> Yocto. If lede were to succeed in meeting its other goals, coherently,
> >> preserving "lede" and moving forward as a separate project does make
> >> sense.
> >>
> >
> > +1 for this. OpenWRT brand isn't 100% positive recognition, it has some
> > downsides too. Many people (I know and/or have seen around the internet)
> > were discouraged from contributing or using it due to the weaknesses of
> > OpenWRT project.
> >
> > I like more the LEDE branding for this reason. It conveys that it is
> > significantly different, possibly for the better, from OpenWRT project.
> >
> > But I don't have enough information to say for sure what is the better
> > brand to keep, so this is just my opinion.
> Keeping or not the OpenWrt, or LEDE name is obviously part of the things
> that need to be agreed upon before proceeding with a merger. If not
> about the "brand", "recognition" or other more subjective criteria,
> OpenWrt is a trademark, so that needs to be factored in for the
> decision, in particular if there is any legal activity going on.

A trademark exists to protect its owner's rights. The "OpenWRT" trademark
is owned by SPI:

If there is no unauthorised use of a trademark, there is no legal issue. In
other words, if the merged project continues as "LEDE", there is no legal
issue in respect of the "OpenWRT" trademark.

SPI also has the right to oppose registration or use of a trademark that
appears confusingly similar to "OpenWRT". This seems to be a purely
hypothetical situation, but here it is: if OpenWRT and LEDE do not merge
and for some reason the LEDE folks decide to rename LEDE to FreeWRT or
alike, SPI may have a legal claim against the use of the "FreeWRT"
trademark that some people may see as confusingly similar to OpenWRT.

My main objection to "LEDE" is that I have no idea how to pronounce this
name correctly. I suspect that many English speakers will find themselves
equally confused about how to pronounce "LEDE". Is it like in "LEAD the
way", or like in "LEAD, a heavy metal", or like "LE DE"? While the core
LEDE community might know how to pronounce the name correctly, try
explaining it to the world outside. For this reason, "OpenWRT" is a better
choice imho.

However, I also agree with Dave, Alberto and Stefan that a name change may
be a really smart way to communicate the fresh start of the project, a
reboot, especially if the new name rides on the popularity of "OpenWRT". It
could be for example "OpenLD" (LD for Linux Device) or "LibreWRT". Of
course this is all conditional on the merge of OpenWRT and LEDE. If the
projects do not merge, the OpenWRT folks and SPI may have a claim against
the use of OpenLD or LibreWRT or alike.

By the way, there is a pending application at the USPTO for the
registration of "LEDE" trademark for use in some software or websites:

- Val
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