Thursday, January 17, 2008


lol so after talking about protecting intellectual I'm here arguing for the other side.

So a couple of days ago an email flurry started on the Asterisk list about Google blocking any keyword purchases for Asterisk and Digium trademarks.

If you haven't heard of Asterisk the open source software search for it in the top left field of this blog as I've posted about it a number of times.

Basically Digium is saying they are just asserting their trademark, but this is preventing their customers (the people who sell their services) from buying advertisements on Google.

You can check out Mohe's blog for more detailed information

What does this mean? I don't know but if you are building an open source community and you rely on other people to help spread the word I don't know if this is the best tactic.

I guess some people are going to jump to outburst that this is the beginning of the end and what happens when open source communities get taken over by 'commercial minds' (btw did you see the mysql acquisition by Sun today) - but I think this is just a temporary 'mistake' and like all things 'life is a pendulum' Digium will work it out eventually.


1 comment:

  1. Ahh isn't it nice when companies listen to their customers :)


    From: Dean Collins
    Sent: Friday, 18 January 2008 7:21 PM
    To: 'Commercial and Business-Oriented Asterisk Discussion'
    Subject: RE: [asterisk-biz] Digium Relaxes Google Adword Policy

    Hi Danny,

    Nice market correction response and nicely worded email. I wish more CEO’s would learn by your example.

    I for one withdraw any complaints I made about Digium’s actions and wish you continued commercial growth and personal support.

    Dean Collins
    Cognation Pty Ltd
    +1-212-203-4357 Ph
    +61-2-9016-5642 (Sydney in-dial).
    From: [] On Behalf Of Danny Windham
    Sent: Friday, 18 January 2008 7:03 PM
    Subject: [asterisk-biz] Digium Relaxes Google Adword Policy

    Over the past week Digium has received a number of charged responses regarding the recent change in policy regarding use of Digium trademarked terms in Google AdWords. Some of the responses supported our attempts to better control the use of Digium trademarked terms. Some of the responses disagreed with the policy, but respected Digium’s right to have changed the policy. Others were from individuals who clearly were unhappy with the change and the process by which it was implemented. We have listened carefully to the feedback, and as a result are relaxing our Google AdWord policy.

    While we did provide Google a list of organizations that would be authorized to use the Digium trademarked terms, in retrospect it’s apparent that we underestimated the number of organizations that were utilizing Digium trademarked terms in their Google AdWords marketing campaigns. Underestimating the magnitude of this policy change also resulted in inadequate planning of the implementation of the change – we simply could have done a better job of communicating the proposed change in advance of it being implemented. We also could have better understood the actual mechanics of Google’s enforcement engine – and better anticipated the corresponding result.

    In short, we now believe we made a mistake and are working to relax the requirements for using Digium trademarked terms in Google AdWords. The resulting change will reinstate trademark rights for the vast majority of those using the terms. For the confusion and frustration created by this event, we sincerely apologize.

    A common test that I often use in determining the proper reaction when something goes wrong is – were we doing it for the right reasons? In this case the answer is absolutely yes. On the part of Digium and the Asterisk community and ecosystem, there’s value in ensuring that the trademarked terms are used in a legal, consistent, and ethical fashion. While it is important for Digium to protect its trademarks, we now better understand just how significant an impact changes in this area can have and just how important it is for any proposed change to be judiciously derived and methodically implemented.

    Thank you for your continued support of Digium.

    Danny Windham
    Digium, Inc.