Who Owns That Open Source Brand?

You know your organization runs open source - everywhere. Do you know who truly controls the governance and brands of these open source projects?

Who Owns That Open Source Brand?

Description / Intro

Do you really know who owns the brand behind the top open source projects you rely on? Code is infinitely forkable; brands and communities are not. Engage in an interactive session reviewing top open source projects, and be surprised when you learn which projects are truly independent, and which are really vendor-owned, and how well their governance model works.


You don’t have to get involved in branding: but you do need to know who truly controls the direction of the open source technologies that you rely on every day. Far too many individual developers and companies rely on a wide variety of open source tools that come from different projects. How do you accurately evaluate the security, stability, and potential for future support around an open source project? How can you find if your chief competitor truly has a lock on a project’s governance and future direction? How well do projects define their governance, and what are the chances for hidden power struggles behind the scenes?

The power behind a project’s brand is not always obvious. Come discover who governs some key open source project brands, and what might happen to governance when someone goes IPO or gets bought out. Learn how to keep governance of the project truly independent and welcoming – or how to properly own and run your own open source brand.

Understanding the brand, governance, and background of any FOSS project is critical to understanding where the project is going in the future - and if you can rely on them for your work. Surprises guaranteed!


  • Understanding the power of brands in open source projects, and how trademark control is part of responsible governance for any project.
  • New perspectives on some key open source projects that everyone relies on.
  • Ability to evaluate FOSS trademark and brand ownership.


Anyone making decisions between open source projects, whether choosing your stack, deciding where to invest, or even just deciding where to spend personal volunteer time.


Shane is founder of “Punderthings℠ LLC consultancy”http://punderthings.com/, helping organizations find better ways to engage with the critical open source projects that power modern technology and business. He blogs and tweets about open source governance and trademark issues, and has spoken at major technology conferences like ApacheCon, OSCON, All Things Open, Community Leadership Summit, and Ignite.

Shane Curcuru serves as VP Brand Management for the ASF, and wrote the trademark and branding policies that cover all 200+ Apache® projects, including assisting projects with defining and policing their trademarks, as well as negoitating agreements with various software vendors using Apache software brands. Shane is serving a seventh term as an elected Director of the ASF, providing governance oversight, community mentoring, and fiscal review for all Apache projects.

Otherwise, Shane is: a father and husband, a BMW driver and punny guy. Oh, and we have cats. Follow “@ShaneCurcuru”:https://twitter.com/shanecurcuru and read http://CommunityOverCode.com and http://ChooseAFoundation.com

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