I write to you today with some very important new about the Chromixium project. A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Google’s Trademark Enforcement Team. I was duly asked to cease use of the name Chromixium for this project.
“While we wholeheartedly support your creation of a new open source operating system, we’re concerned that the name of the system, and some of the offerings within the system could confuse consumers into thinking that Chromixium is sponsored by, or affiliated with Google and its Chrome operating system.
The name Chromixium almost wholly incorporates Google’s Chrome trademark, and when used on a very similar type of operating system, could very well confuse consumers into thinking that your operating system was created by Google, or was created incorporating other Google products, like Chromium.”
They went on to say; “We’re especially concerned that users may think that Chromixium has some of the safety and security features of Chromium-based systems.
We must therefore request that you change the name of your open source project to something that is not confusingly similar to Chrome or Chromium. We realize that this is no small ask, as we are very willing to give you plenty of time to make this change.”
I decided not to take on the might of Google (well, the finances of Google) in a court of law, and after some very constructive exchanges with Google’s trademark lawyer, we agreed that the Chromixium mark would cease to be used by 1 April 2016. This includes this domain, GitHub, Chromixium social media presences including Google+ and YouTube.
What would replace Chromixium?
Chromixium was in my view a great name. I took great care when first choosing it to ensure there were no other projects with the same or similar names. It took the concept of Chrome/Chromium and by incorporating the ‘ix’, firmly placed the project under the ‘Nix umbrella of operating systems. I never thought that a similarity to an existing trademark could be unlawful, but in fact, having consulted some legal representation of my own, there was a good chance that I would not be able to persuade a judge in my favour.
Some people had started referring to the project in shorthand already – such as CMX or CrMx. Unfortunately there are quite a few companies within the technology sector already called CMX and CRMX is an existing trademark. Plus, if they still represent the name Chromixium, then would I be any better off?
It was important not to make the same mistake twice then. If I couldn’t use either of Google’s trademarks, Chrome and Chromium in the name, could I use some sort of acronym? This project is about 2 very important things – Chromium and Ubuntu. So I have come up with a simple new name that I believe manages to still encapsulate what the project is about. It is short, memorable and has lots of potential:
Chromium + Ubuntu = Cub
To ensure that there can be no mistaking what Cub is, it shall officially be known as Cub Linux®. I have registered Cub Linux as an official sublicensee of the Linux trademark with the Linux Foundation. As such I am bound to display the text:
The registered trademark Linux® is used pursuant to a sublicense from LMI, the exclusive licensee of Linus Torvalds, owner of the mark on a world-wide basis.
And so the Cub is born! Grrr!
Join the Cub!
We now have just over 2 months to move the entire project from where it is now, to a new home on the Internet and I need your help. I need as many visitors and followers as possible at the new site to get it moving up through the Google ranks.
Yes, the new domain has SSL encryption which has been a long time coming. It’s going to take a while until all the site content is transferred, but it will come. With the new domain, comes a new Forum and a Wiki. Users of the old forum, please sign up and start using the new one now! There is also a brand new Questions & Answers page at the new website which works very much like Stackoverflow, AskUbuntu or Yahoo! Answers.
I also need everyone who generally follows progress on Google+ to follow me at the new Google+ page:
I will also be tweeting and re-sharing content on Twitter (@CubLinux) and Facebook in case any of you prefer those tools, you can follow me and stay up to date:
You will have to bear with me if there are any problems with new sites. Just let me know and I’ll put it right! There’s a contact form on the new site. The hosting plan I have chosen should have enough bandwidth, but only time will tell…
What about the new release (Chromixium 2.0)?
There will be no more releases under the Chromixium name. My main goal now is Cub Linux 1.0 based upon Ubuntu 16.04. Obviously having to rebrand is likely to push the release date back a bit, but I am hopeful that there will be at least a beta release by May 2016. All updates will now be via the new channels mentioned above and work will start ASAP.
Development will be focused at a new GitHub project page, which will contain all the most recent source code and development.
What about support for existing Chromixium users?
You will continue to be supported in 2 ways:
- As Chromixium 1.5 is based on Ubuntu LTS 14.04 you can continue to use it right up until the end of life for Ubuntu 14.04 which will be early 2019. So if it works and you are happy with it, there is no need to change or reinstall. You will continue to receive patches and updates.
- I will continue to provide support at the new Cub Linux site, forum and social media pages.
There may be a final service pack to update the kernel and graphics stack to tie in with the Ubuntu 16.04 release. This will be conclude service pack support until end of life.
Unfortunately, I don’t know how feasible it will be to provide a (safe) upgrade path to Cub Linux 1.0. If you want to stay current, it is more than likely that you will need to install the first stable release of Cub Linux in place of Chromixium.
What if I want to try or install Chromixium now?
There’s nothing to stop you! You can download Chromixium from existing sources until the end of March 2016. After that I have a decision to make. I either reissue the existing releases, rebranded as Cub Linux, or I pull the ISOs altogether and focus on Cub Linux 1.0. I will only do the latter if I have an alpha or beta release ready for testing by then.
What can I do to help?
Donations are always welcome. I have had to shell out for new hosting and SSL certs. If you would like to donate, please click here.
Feedback on the new site design. Join the forum…
If you would like to assist with simple coding (Python/GTK), packaging (DEB), documentation, graphical design (Icons/Material Design) please get in touch.
Thank you all Chromixium users. I hope you will join our new Cub! Nothing changes but the name, the project rolls on!