It did not come as a complete surprise when Horowhenua Library Trust posted a plea for help in the Koha Community Website. This is because, PTFS/Liblime had already potrayed their intent of grabbing the Koha Trade Mark and Logo from the original developers and owners (Read Horowhenua Library Trust and Katipo). The first true sign that PTFS/Liblime did not respect Koha as ‘a community and open-source’ product was the initial dislodging of Koha-Community from the koha.org domain, that has been causing lots of confusion to Koha users even today. I am in scarcity of details regarding the background of the koha.org domain, but it is common sense that whoever originally first registered that domain meant to have it for Koha community and not Koha Liblime!
This brings me to the second blatant abuse of the Koha Trade mark by Liblime, PTFS or both. Again, it beats common sense why a company that branches it’s code from an open source product, decides to maintain their branch using the name of the original product. If this is not a violation of GNU License, then what is?? I may again be suffering from scarcity of background information, but as a Koha user for over Six years, i was shocked to see Liblime take over the koha.org domain without much protest from the community, and the continued blatant abuse of the Koha brand by a company that decided to disengage itself from the back-bone of the development and support of the real Koha ILS!
For the sake of many libraries using Koha across the world and developers who have spent sleepless nights patching up Koha over the years, it will be an irredeemable injustice if PTFS is granted the trade mark for Koha. It is criminal and morally wrong. Not that Koha cannot go by any other name, no. This is a case of someone trying to reap where they did not sow. Koha community (users and developers) have spent many years to make Koha what it is today: a respectable brand that goes beyond the walls of the library! Then, Liblime/PTFS wakes up one day and decides to claim that brand, this is laughable. In fact, the acceptance by Liblime to take ownership of the Trade Mark, is proof of their final intent: fraud (call it any other name). The excuse by PTFS that this was ‘purchased’ from original owners (Liblime) doesn’t wash. Why? Liblime has never owned the Koha trademark, (in my knowledge) it had never been registered in that context!
I learn that Koha is a maori name and it means gift. It is not an Ameri-con name (sic*). Anyway, point is: Koha means gift, it was meant to be a gift, it MUST remain as such. We will fight till the last man.
Thank you. –Benson Mugambi (bmugambi at gmail.com)
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