CollabMark is a project to provide information about how open source and free culture communities can use trademarks.

Trademarks empower communities to build a strong reputation to recruit new members and widely distribute their work. Trademarks also impose some restrictions that are challenging for groups that thrive on freedom and decentralization. We want to offer some strategies to collaborative communities, including a Collaborative Mark Policy that they can adopt to protect their name and logo in an open way.

CollabMark is created by Yana Welinder and Stephen LaPorte. We are two lawyers at the Wikimedia Foundation, where we work on applying trademark law to the work a great free culture community (but CollabMark is a personal project). We have also extensively written about this issue to start a conversation with policymakers about how trademark law can better fit collaborative communities. But until trademark law evolves to accommodate collaborative work, communities can use the trademark hacks on this site to reconcile that conflict.

While we talk about the law, nothing on this site is intended to be legal advice. In other words, IANYL. If you have specific legal questions, you may want to talk to a lawyer or an organization that specializes in open source and free culture legal issues, like Software in the Public Interest, Software Freedom Law Center, or Software Freedom Conservancy.

Contact us: @yanatweets & @sklaporte.

Participate in this project on Github.