We at the BigBlueButton project love it when people talk about BigBlueButton, build businesses around BigBlueButton, and create products and services that make life better for BigBlueButton users and developers.
While the codebase is available to you under an open source license, the term BigBlueButton and the BigBlueButton Logo are trademarks of BigBlueButton Inc.
We actively protect our trademark to ensure there is no confusion in the community. The trademark gives us the exclusive right to use the term as the name of websites, services, businesses and products. Although these rights are exclusively ours, we are happy to give people permission to use the term under certain circumstances. The following is a general policy that tells you when you can use the BigBlueButton name without need of any specific permission from BigBlueButton Inc.
1. You must make clear that you are not BigBlueButton Inc., nor do you have any affiliation with BigBlueButton Inc. or the BigBlueButton project. The following disclaimer is sufficient:
“This [website/service/business/product] uses BigBlueButton and is not endorsed or certified by BigBlueButton Inc. BigBlueButton and the BigBlueButton Logo are trademarks of BigBlueButton Inc.”
2. You may not incorporate the BigBlueButton name or logo into the name or logo of your website, product, business or service.
3. You may use the BigBlueButton name in descriptions of your website, product, business or service to provide accurate information to the public about yourself. You may not imply any endorsement by BigBlueButton Inc. or the BigBlueButton project.
You may use the BigBlueButton name, for example, in a referential phrase such as “runs on,” “for use with,” “for,” or “compatible with.”
Example: You may write “Our company offers hosting for BigBlueButton”, but not “BigBlueButton hosting offered by Company X” as the later suggest your offering a service from BigBlueButton Inc. at your web site.
4. You may not use the BigBlueButton logo.
When using the BigBlueButton name in a purely descriptive manner, such as in an article in a publication, or a presentation, no permission is needed to use the trademark.
To request the use of the BigBlueButton name or logo in a way not covered above, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is a trademark?
According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, “a trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. ”
Is the BigBlueButton name trademarked?
Yes, the name is trademarked by BigBlueButton Inc.
Is the BigBlueButton logo trademarked?
Yes, the logo is trademarked by BigBlueButton Inc.
Why aren’t the logo and name covered by the LGPL?
If BigBlueButton is free and open source, why does it need to protect its trademarks?
Trademarks protect the work of the project and the individuals contributing to it by preventing the exploitation of the good name of BigBlueButton by other people or organizations. The trademark also prevents confusion of other organizations or companies with BigBlueButton or BigBlueButton Inc.
The name and logo are very different than the BigBlueButton codebase, which is freely available for you to inspect, modify and redistribute under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL).
Would copyright protect the BigBlueButton name?
No. Copyright is used for literary or creative works (including code) but is never used to protect names.
Could I take the BigBlueButton code base, give it a totally new name and logo, and distribute it?
Yes, so long as you abide by the terms of the GNU LGPL and if the new name and logo do not violate our trademarks. You must also retain the original copyright (even if you create a derivative work based on) so it is visible to the end user, such as in the About dialog box.
Can I transliterate “BigBlueButton”?
In no case should the word BigBlueButton™ be transliterated using the local language glyphs or alphabet. A BigBlueButton logo may never use BigBlueButton transliterated. However, in text you may make a pronunciation guide for users of the local language. On websites where the primary language does not use Latin characters, in the text of content items that use BigBlueButton descriptively, transliteration may be used, but this must be accompanied by a disclaimer acknowledging BigBlueButton Inc. as the trademark holder and with the correct form of the name. Typically this would be in the footer of a site.
Do I have to put the trademark symbol every time I write the word “BigBlueButton”?
No, you only need to do so in the first prominent use.