Captain's log, September the 13th 2010.

Dear Community,

It's been almost three months since I took over the role of Trademark team leader. Three very, very busy months are behind TM team and I feel it's time to give you a report of what's been going on. I know that a lot of people tend to observe TM team and it's activities as a bunch of dark hooded guys up in the High tower doing the dark arts. Well, we're not. And I plan to put a stop to this public image by making TM team more open to the community.

So, what's been going on lately?

Our first major task was to clean the backlog of all the domains that waited approval. Believe me, it wasn't an easy task. Thanks to extreme efforts of Claire Mandville we managed to bring that list to it's minimum. I've been contacted by people thanking me and telling me that they completely forgot that they even submitted their domains for approval cause over a year passed since they did so. One of our goals is that such things never happen again.

TM team got reorganized internally. What does this mean? Well, my main idea was to make us all obsolete. Me, as a team leader, the first. TM team, and any team as a matter of fact, is about the whole team not individuals. If you tend to organize your team around one or two individuals what happens when one of your individuals leaves - everything falls apart. And we don't want that. The decission is made to spread the work between sub-teams of the main team and so two new "virutal" roles were created - The Domain Keeper and Logo Keeper. In our case those two roles were taken by Claire Mandville and Dianne Henning. Each of the sub-teams takes care of education of new members too.

This brings us to the next point - documentation. Since we're not dealing with the dark arts and the secret knowledge we decided to document every procedure we're dealing with on a daily basis. In community projects team members come and go. And that is normal. The problem shows its ugly face when we realize that no one really knows how are the things done. To prevent that we decided to document everything we do.

Documentation itself is not enough if you don't have a record of real people doing the job on a daily basis. In my personal opinion there is no better way to do that than via mailing list. Thus, TM team finally got it's internal mailing list so that everything we do gets archived. Such an archive is of great help to newcomers - I should know. When I came to OSM the mailing list archive helped me understand what is going on.

One of our big concerns are TM violations around the world. People using Joomla! TM without an approval or people who got an approval in the past but got lost somewhere down the road. Working with violations is somehow my personal trade - back in Free Software Foundation Europe(FSFE) I used to work on GPL violations around the world. That's why apart from working with the team on organizing things most of my time goes on checking the violations that get reported one way or the other.

How many people do you know who get lost in the procedure of submitting their domain to OSM? A lot. I've noticed that quite some people make a distinction between OSM and Joomla! and they don't quite understand why do they need an approval of Joomla! related web sites by some OSM group. In order to try and fix that we came up with an idea to move most of TM related data from OSM web site to Joomla! website. This is currently in process of planning along with reorganizing TM material so that non-legal people can easily understand what are they allowed to do and what is a violation of Joomla!'s trademark.

Three months later...

A lot has been done in just three months. I'd like to thank the whole TM team on their time and dedication. Time to move forward. Plans are set into motion and there is no going back. In order to make it all a reality we need your help - help from the community. When I started my TM work the idea of bringing TM team closer to the community was my guiding star. But how to do it? Simple. Bring the community closer to TM team.

Back in FSFE we have local teams in many countries. This helps us be closer to local communities and above all, it helps us speak their languages. I find this extremely important. Languages are a personal hobby of mine and I know the power they hold. That's why I'd like to have more people from different Translation teams in TM team. Joomla! speaks so many languages I can't even start to count them all. And that is a power beyond all powers. That is something that can make TM team extremely efficient. Something that can bring knowledge of trademark to every single Joomla! user out there.

So, this is a call to all Translation teams out there - if you are interested in helping TM team, please, reach me or any other TM team member and let's start working together.

Greetings from the trenches of Trademark team,
Marko Milenovic