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Re: [GNUnet-developers] website and logo rework

From: Christian Grothoff
Subject: Re: [GNUnet-developers] website and logo rework
Date: Thu, 17 May 2018 16:45:06 +0200
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Dear all,

I think this is the time where I have to disclose a major unfortunate
development (but which may be resolved soon without too much drama).

Basically, GNUnet e.V. has received a cease and desist letter from
Deutsche Telekom AG (DTAG) over the use of the letter "T" in the logo on  Now, the logo was created by Inria, and Inria hosts the Web
site (and Inria and Taler Systems SA are threatened separately by DTAG)
so basically our position (GNUnet e.V. Vorstand) is that we are not
responsible for the "T" (and Inria has since then changed the logo).

Regardless, this unpleasentness should serve as a stark reminder that
under current law corporations can OWN letters, and if the letter "T"
(or "t", in any font or color, in any logo that may possibly resemble
two lines crossing at an angle) is asserted by DTAG to be their
property, there is a chance that any logo resembling a "V" may be
asserted to be owned by another billion-dollar company and *we* cannot
finance a 500k decade-long lawsuit to demonstrate the contrary.

Thus, I think that choosing a logo that may remotely resemble a letter
is dangerous in today's world, and while the proposed logo is nice, it
is too close to a "V" (and one of the more extreme legal advice we got
over the "T" was that even _possibly_ violating an existing trademark
without legal advice from a lawyer would be negligent and could cause
GNUnet's Vorstand to be held personally liable for financial damages to
tens of thousands of Euros just for the other party's legal costs).  Not
fun. So let's be VERY careful about the new logo...
I read reports that DTAG also applied for a trademark on the term
"internet". So at least there we are safe.

More below...

On 05/17/2018 04:07 PM, Schanzenbach, Martin wrote:
>> A very good reference for all of this is this website: 
>> The only problem with that is that it's kind of like a visiting card.
>> Another reference, which is good, is this website:
>> Additionally, what the second website makes better than the first reference, 
>> is that it's not just a visiting card. It strongly interacts with the 
>> audience. It gives impulse to click on videos, zoom into maps dynamically 
>> displaying what's going on in the free wireless network that this project 
>> Freifunk is all about.
> Agreed. I am not sure, but isn't there a redesign in the works? Who does it? 
> And is there progress or is it done behind closed doors? (Just asking)

Not at all, the Git repository for the main page (under development) is

Now, the plan is that some parts will be generated, like the texinfo
handbook in gnunet.git will be HTMLized and put online in the usual way,
and the IRC bots (will/are being?) rewritten to avoid the Drupal-ness.
Similarly, the goal is to convert the existing bibiography data to
anonbib-style.  I don't know where the repos for those are (ng0 ought
to), but they should be opened to all as soon as there is something there.

> I am not entirely sold on the values thing in general but I would be open to 
> discuss this. I am particularly afraid that ill defined values or "virtues" 
> will attract all kinds of indoctrinated bigots. We should primarily offer a 
> tool built on principles, not a biased or political worldview (although I 
> know particularly CG might disagree).

I agree we need to be careful here.  But I also think GNU is a political
project, and the principles should be derived from
ethical/moral/political convictions.  I recently added this to the
preface of the manual:

GNUnet is not merely a technical project, but also a political
mission: like the GNU project as a whole, we are writing software to
achieve political goals with a focus on the human right of
informational self-determination.  Putting users in control of their
computing has been the core driver of the GNU project. With GNUnet we
are focusing on informational self-determination for collaborative
computing and communication over networks.

The Internet is shaped as much by code and protocols as by its
associated political processes (IETF, ICANN, IEEE, etc.), and its
flaws are similarly not limited to the protocol design.  Thus,
technical excellence by itself will not suffice to create a better
network. We also need to build a community that is wise, humble and
has a sense of humor to achieve our goal to create a technical
foundation for a society we would like to live in.

Martin, is this something you would disagree with?  There are various
discussions within the GNU project about the need for humor, including
it utility against tyranny and authoritarianism, and if you have
relevant remarks on this topic I might feed them into the discussion.

> I am actually not sure if GNUnet has a clear value definition.

GNU has IMO clear values, and those are what we aspire to. More shall
not be required, less is not acceptable. But of course GNU's values have
maybe more specific articulations in a networking context, which might
be need to be made explicit in that context. ;-).

>> But then at least additionally some technical key features, bullet points, 
>> should be dropped: Things like 'distributed', 'anonymous P2P', 
>> 'Filesharing', 'creating a anonymous and distributed replacement for the old 
>> insecure Internet' - it's just something early adopters expect to be faced 
>> with, are looking for, and get very attentive and attracted to.
>> It's okay, if these drops are pretty bold and ambitious, because they make 
>> clear what the project strives for to be or become, and that attracts people 
>> who want the same, building up momentum into the desired direction of the 
>> project.
> Agreed.
> Nice post.

If you look at the new design (very rough early draft) at

I think it addresses your points already (maybe imperfectly, but as I
said: early draft).

One major benefit of the new site will be that it should be easier for
anyone to suggest (or even make) modifications via Git, and you are all
welcome to participate in this process today (now that you can hopefully
all find the 'www.git' ;-)).

Happy hacking!


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