Plone Copyright FAQ

by Alex Limi last modified Mar 20, 2012 03:50 AM
This documents answers some common questions about Plone and the associated copyright. The other statements and copyright notes are still the authoritative sources (ie: anything we write here is not overriding those documents), but this is a useful document to read if you are wondering about Plone and copyrights, and you don't feel like reading legal documents to find the answers to some simple questions.

Can I call my company "Plone" or anything else that has the name "Plone" in it?

The Plone name and logo are protected by registered trademark worldwide, so that wouldn't be a good decision if you want to avoid legal issues in the future. :)

Can I register the domain plone.mycountry?

The Plone name is pending trademark protection, so, no, you should not do that. We are working with companies and individuals who have already done that to transfer these domains to the Plone Foundation.

Can I call my product "Plone Something"?

Depends. In the case of an add-on, we are not strict about this - if you want to call it "Plone MessageBoard", you can do this as long as you are not blatantly trying to confuse people into thinking that you are Plone instead of us. However, we recommend naming your product something like "Super MessageBoard for Plone" instead. This also avoids the slightly irritating trend that all the third-party extensions to Plone are called Plone Something - which gets really confusing after the thirteenth PloneIssueTracker. Use your imagination!

When can I use the Plone logo? Are there any restrictions?

You can't use it as part of your company logo. Plone and its logo are registered trademarks, so you should stay away from doing that if you don't want to change your logo and all your business cards within the next three months. :P

Apart from that, normal copyrights apply, so it's OK to use the logo for linking to us, as illustrations in magazines, to show that you are providing Plone services etc - you do not have to ask us for explicit permission to do this as long as you state that the logo/trademark belongs to the Plone Foundation.

See the Plone Logo Usage Guidelines for more information.

Can I offer my own branded version of Plone, and rename it?

Yes, no one should give you a hard time about doing this. However, we appreciate that you state "Powered by Plone" in a visible spot like the footer of the pages. Also remember that your work becomes GPL when you distribute it, and that you need to make the changes publicly available if you are redistributing it.

Can I create my own product from scratch, and use the Plone icons, look and feel and general concepts and appearance?

In general, no. We may allow you to re-use the icons and concepts if it's a non-commercial product though (personal web pages and such) - you just need to state the copyright on your page. The Plone logo, the Plone icons, and the visual appearance and concepts of Plone are protected by the usual copyright terms.

I have additional questions that are not answered by this FAQ.

Feedback and additions to this document should be sent to: board@plone.org - this document will be updated accordingly.