One of the things Joyent accepted when we took on the Node project was to provide resources to help the community grow. The Node project is amazing because of the expertise, dedication and hard work of the community. However in all communities there is the possibility of people acting inappropriately. We decided to introduce trademarks on the “Node.js” and the “Node logo” in order to ensure that people or organizations who are not investing in the Node community misrepresent, or create confusion about the role of themselves or their products with Node.
We are big fans of the people who have contributed to Node and we have worked hard to make sure that existing members of the community will be unaffected by this change. For most people they don’t have to do anything they are free to use the Node.js marks in their free open source projects (see guidelines). For others we’ve already granted them licenses to use Node.js marks in their domain names and their businesses. We value all of these contributions to the Node community and hope that we can continue to protect their good names and hard work.
Where does our trademark policy come from? We started by looking at popular open source foundations like the Apache Software Foundation and Linux. By strongly basing our policy on the one used by the Apache Software Foundation we feel that we’ve created a policy which is liberal enough to allow the open source community to easily make use of the mark in the context of free open source software, but secure enough to protect the community’s work from being misrepresented by other organizations.
While we realize that any changes involving lawyers can be intimidating to the community we want to make this transition as smoothly as possible and welcome your questions and feedback on the policy and how we are implementing it.