Saturday, April 19, 2014

Heartbleed: Open Source Branding

We all know Heartbleed, the branded, logged version of CVE-2014-0160. The logo is everywhere.

Codenonmicon claims independent discovery of the bug, but they get undisputed credit for branding Heartbleed. The branding package was simple: The name, the logo, a branded URL and a page that clearly communicated the situation in simple text. 

Rather than protect the considerable Intellectual Property a great name and logo represent, Codenonmicon provided the logo with No Rights Reserved. At this point, even the most jaded IP lawyer will recognize CC0.

As a result there are hundreds of millions of instances out there. The value of that is staggering.

It is a brilliant example of the ease of Open Source Branding.

Not everyone can or should Open Source Intellectual Property. My test of whether to do so is very simple:

  1. When it's value increases with adoption. 
  2. When it is not core to your company's value proposition
  3. When you are willing to take responsibility for it. 

Codenonmicon is not in the logo or naming business. They are security specialists who happened into a great idea with a good designer, but I'm now one of the hundreds of millions of links pointing back to their web site. Well done!

Some facts:

  • On April 19th, 2014 Google Image search returns about 512 Million instances of the logo on the web. 
  • Searching for CVE-2014-0160, returns just over 1.5 Million pages
  • The Wikipedia article has 693 edits in the 9 days since it was created. 
  • The Heartbleed logo is provided under Creative Commons CC0 license: No Rights Reserved
  • Heartbleed is an exploit of the Heatbeat function of SSL.
  • Codenonmicon is clearly a play on Cryptonomicon.   
I should not have to explain what Cryptonomicon is... 

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