Frequently Asked Questions

This page attempts to answer some of the questions we are commonly asked about the Postgres Community Association. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to email us.


What do you do?

At the request of the Core Team, the primary task of PGCA is to manage and maintain assets (domain names and trademarks) for the PostgreSQL Project.

How are you funded?

Our funding comes entirely from donations.

Why doesn't the project manage its assets directly?

Neither the PostgreSQL Global Development Group or the PostgreSQL Core Team are legal entities, and thus they cannot own assets, except as individuals.


I want to use one of your trademarks. How do I do so?

Many uses of our marks fall under "fair use" which does not require any permission. The Trademark Policy describes these uses and general requirements. We worked very hard with our legal counsel to make the policy as flexible and permissive as possible. For uses that fall outside of the policy, a general use or tradename licence may be granted by PGCA on application.

What are the criteria for receiving a general use or tradename licence?

The PGCA board evaluates several criteria for issuing a licence that falls outside of fair use, such as modifications to the marks, the use of the marks within their context, would the marks create confusion with the community marks, and if the usage of marks could risk bringing the project into disrepute, to name a few.

How much do you charge for trademark licences?

There is no charge for a trademark licence. In rare cases where a non-standard agreement may be required which involves significant work from counsel, we may ask for a contribution towards the cost.

Why do some other organisations have related trademarks?

These generally fall into one of a number of categories:

  • They are unauthorised, and may be (if appropriate) or are being disputed.
  • The organisation has a licence agreement with us.
  • They are an NPO who follow the community NPO guidelines, such as PostgreSQL Europe, who are working with PGCA to adopt pre-existing marks into the community framework.

Do you have a list of the licence agreements you've entered into?

There is no public list as the agreements are confidential, including the names of the parties involved.


Why aren't there open and public elections to the PGCA board?

It's essential to make sure that it's not possible for a rogue actor to attempt to take over PGCA and gain control of the trademarks and domains owned by the project. This is a very difficult problem to solve as any well-funded entity could potentially have large numbers of their staff join as members and then vote to change the board and bylaws however they see fit, if we were to open up membership to the public.

Can I apply to join the PGCA board?

We always consider applications; this is done at the AGM which typically happens in late May or early June. Our articles of incorporation restrict the board to a maximum of 7 and our bylaws require that at least two of those directors be members of the PostgreSQL Core Team, but we would also only be likely to accept people with long term good standing in the PostgreSQL Community, with a history of meaningful contributions. We would also need to ensure that no single organisation employs the majority of board members.

Why do you not have term limits for board members?

Managing trademarks in particular can be extremely time consuming, stressful, and requires an understanding of trademark law, particularly in how it applies to open source software, and processes to minimise the need to consult counsel (which can be very expensive). The current members of the board have spent years learning from professionals, and forcing them to step down after a fixed period could be extremely damaging to the organisation if suitably experienced replacements could not be found.