Community resources/Trademark Policy

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The objective of the Mahara trademark policy is to encourage widespread use of the Mahara trademarks by the Mahara community while controlling that use in order to avoid confusion on the part of Mahara users and the general public, to maintain the value of the image and reputation of the trademarks and to protect them from inappropriate or unauthorised use.

The sections below describe what is allowed, what isn't allowed, and cases in which you should ask permission. If you have any doubt, please contact us and a member of our team will be in touch with you shortly.

If you are aware a breach or misuse of the Mahara trademarks in any way, we would appreciate you bringing this to our attention. Please contact us so that we can investigate this further.


Permitted use

The Mahara trademark is registered in both word and logo form. Certain usages of the Trademarks are fine and no specific permission from us is needed.

Community advocacy

Mahara is built by, and largely for, its community. We share access to the Trademarks with the entire community for the purposes of discussion, development and advocacy. We recognise that most of the open source discussion and development areas are for non-commercial purposes and will allow the use of the trademarks in this context, provided:

  • the Trademark is used in a manner consistent with the Usage Guidelines below
  • there is no commercial intent behind the use
  • what you are referring to is in fact Mahara. If someone is confused into thinking that what isn't Mahara is in fact Mahara, you are probably doing something wrong
  • there is no suggestion (through words or appearance) that your project is approved, sponsored, or affiliated with Mahara or its related projects unless it actually has been approved by and is accountable to the Mahara Governance Group

Derived works

The ability to customise Mahara to meet your specific needs is one of the great strengths of free software in general. While we encourage customisation and derivation of Mahara, we must balance that freedom with the integrity of the Mahara Trademark and the quality which we wish for it to represent. To help reach that balance, we have established the following guidelines and definitions.

If you are creating a derivative of Mahara, you may use the Trademark in association with the software product provided:

  • the changes are minimal and unsubstantial
  • there is no commercial intent associated with the new product
  • the Trademark is used in a way that makes it clear that your project is a development effort related to the Mahara source, but that the software you are working upon is not in fact Mahara as distributed by the Mahara project.

Building on Mahara or for Mahara

If you are producing new software which is intended for use with or on Mahara, you may use the Trademark in a way which indicates the intent of your product. For example, if you are developing a plugin assessment tool for Mahara, an acceptable project title would be "Assessment Management for Mahara". We would strongly discourage, and likely would consider to be problematic, a name such as Mahara Assess, Mahara Assessment Manager, etc. Furthermore, you may not use the Trademarks in a way which implies an endorsement where that doesn't exist, or which attempts to unfairly or confusingly capitalises on the goodwill or brand of the project.

Commentary and parody

The Mahara trademark is designed to cover use of a mark to imply origin or endorsement by the project. When a user downloads something called Mahara, they should know it comes from the Mahara project. This helps Mahara build a reputation that will not be damaged by confusion around what is, and isn't, Mahara. Using the trademarks in your discussion, commentary, criticism or parody, in ways that unequivocally do not imply endorsement, is permissible. Anyone is free to write articles, create websites, blog about, or talk about Mahara -- as long as it's clear to everyone -- including people completely unfamiliar with Mahara -- that they are simply referring to Mahara and in no way speaking on behalf of the Mahara project.

We reserve the right to review all usage within the open source community, and to object to any usage that appears to overstep the bounds of discussion and good-faith non-commercial development.


Restricted use that requires a trademark licence

Permission from us is necessary to use the Mahara Trademark under any circumstances other than those specifically permitted above. These include:

  • Any commercial use.
  • Use on or in relation to a software product that includes or is built on top of a product supplied by us, if there is any commercial intent associated with that product.
  • Use in a domain name or URL.
  • Use for merchandising purposes, e.g. on t-shirts and the like.
  • Services relating to any of the above.

If you wish to have permission for any of the uses above or for any other use which is not specifically referred to in this policy, please contact us and we'll let you know as soon as possible if your proposed use is permissible. Note that due to the volume of mail we receive, it may take up to a week to process your request. Permission may only be granted subject to certain conditions and these may include the requirement that you enter into an agreement with us to maintain the quality of the product and/or service which you intend to supply at a prescribed level.

While there may be exceptions, it is very unlikely that we will approve Trademark use in the following cases:

  • Use of a the Mahara Trademark in a company name.
  • Use of the Mahara Trademark in a domain name which has a commercial intent. The commercial intent can range from promotion of a company or product, to collecting revenue generated by advertising.
  • The calling of any software or product by the name MAHARA, unless that software is a substantially unmodified Mahara product.
  • Use in combination with any other marks or logos. This include use of a Trademark in a manner that creates a "combined mark," or use that integrates other wording with the Trademark in a way that the public may think of the use as a new mark (for example Club Mahara or MaharaBooks, or in a way that by use of special fonts or presentation with nearby words or images conveys an impression that the two are tied in some way).
  • Use in combination with any product or service which is presented as being Certified or Official or formally associated with us or our products or services.
  • Use in a way which implies an endorsement where that doesn't exist, or which attempts to unfairly or confusingly capitalise on the goodwill or brand of the project.
  • Use of a Trademark in a manner that disparages Mahara and is not clearly third-party parody.
  • On or in relation to a software product which constitutes a substantially modified version of a product supplied by the Mahara project, that is to say with material changes to the code, or services relating to such a product.
  • In a title or metatag of a web page whose sole intention or result is to influence search engine rankings or result listings, rather than for discussion, development or advocacy of the Trademark.

Logo usage guidelines

It is important that the visual integrity of the Mahara logo be maintained. It is therefore preferable that the logos only be used in their standard form but if you should feel the need to alter them in any way you should keep the following guidelines in mind. It should also be borne in mind that the more you wish to vary our logo from their standard form the smaller is the chance that we will be able to approve your proposed use.

  • The logo should only use the “official” logo colours.
  • You may use transparency and gradient/depth tools but should retain the “official” colours.
  • A monochrome version may be acceptable in certain situations, if the use requires it (e.g. desktop backgrounds).
  • Any scaling must retain the original proportions of the logo.

If you wish to have access to a high resolution format of the Mahara logo please contact us.


This trademark policy is published under the CC-BY-SA license.Thank-you to Ubuntu who have provided the original source!