The Raspberry Pi Foundation got in touch just over a month ago about this, which ended up with both Russ and I on a call with the new magazine producer and Eben Upton.
From the beginning we made it very clear that while we knew we could not stop them from using the name “hackspace”, some (if not many) of the community would see them using the name as appropriation by a for-profit entity and not something that was for community benefit. While we said that it was likely many people would support a magazine that promoted the hackspace community, it would probably be better to choose another name so as not to confuse their (large) entity with the many community-run groups.
This did not go down very well. They repeatedly said that they really liked the name and really wanted to use it, and despite our best efforts to convince them that avoiding the issue entirely might be a better idea they wanted to push ahead.
The call concluded with two outcomes:
- We offered to gather opinions on the name from various spaces to see what their thoughts were.
- We suggested that perhaps instead of appropriating the name, they should let the community itself name the magazine - after all, it’s supposed to represent the community. This was accepted as a possible option (but I suspect was not realistic).
At the public HSF meeting recently the issue was raised, and the general conclusion from that (and other discussions) was a mix of people being unhappy with them using the name, and general thoughts that frankly there’s nothing we can do to stop them.
I’d been intending to post about this a week ago in order to solicit further opinions in a wide-open manner since the conclusions were …inconclusive, however I got hit with the flu and it slipped. Apparently they’ve decided to announce the magazine early, as we were told we had until later in November for this feedback to be finalised.
In full credit to them, they do want to engage with the community, however I can’t say I’m particularly heartened by the fact that they have released using this name without the courtesy of letting us know as part of the existing discussions.
So: Short version, we have an open channel with them. Suggestions on what we’d like to do next are welcome!