Community Guidelines

April, 2018

Are you considering working with the micro:bit? Thank you. You are awesome! This page explains how you can work with our brand for your blog, website, book or project.

The legal stuff

The micro:bit brand belongs to the Micro:bit Educational Foundation (the “Foundation”) in collaboration with the BBC. To keep micro:bit users safe, our brand can only be used in certain ways, which are outlined below. This is super important, as it ensures that anywhere the micro:bit brand appears is a trusted place for children.

The micro:bit brand includes:

  • The trademark “micro:bit”
  • The micro:bit logo
  • Any visual elements such as our imagery, packaging or website
  • All domain names containing “microbit”

Basic guidelines

“BBC” and “micro:bit” are trademarks of the BBC. BBC micro:bits are used by children across the world, so please remember that anywhere you use our brand name could be seen by a child. Help us keep our brand a safe place for kids to find fun, child-friendly content – don’t use it in a way that could be considered inappropriate, or house our brand anywhere near content that could upset, shock or have a negative impact on a young person.

In short, please ‘play fair’ with our brand by which we mean the following key points here:

  • Don’t use our brand to give the misleading impression that your project, product or business is endorsed, sponsored or associated with the Foundation
  • Do not manufacture, sell or give away merchandise using our brand unless you have express written permission from us
  • Don’t use our brand in a fraudulent way – such as in connection with fake or counterfeit products or to claim something is compatible with a micro:bit when it isn’t
  • Don’t use our brand in a defamatory, slanderous or otherwise obviously aggressive context

If your product works with the micro:bit and you’d like to advertise it, please use the phrase “compatible with BBC micro:bit”. Always acknowledge our project with a link to http://microbit.org.

The Foundation personality

We believe variety is the spice of life and we’d like you to talk about your experiences with the micro:bit from your own perspectives, in your own way.

However, our brand personality is unique to us – so please don’t try to use any of our packaging, website design, or any other ‘asset’ of our brand as your own. It’s what makes us who we are!

Please don’t use our slogans or tag lines … and hands off our emojis – they can be temperamental and don’t like to be used by anyone other than us!

The super-serious bit

Unless stated the Micro:bit Educational Foundation is the sole owner of our brand elements and no one else has, nor will seek to assert, any rights or interest whatsoever in them. We reserve all of our rights, including the right to stop any use of the micro:bit brand that doesn’t comply with the rules above or that otherwise violates, diminishes or adversely affects our rights. You acknowledge that you will immediately stop or take down your use of the micro:bit brand if we ask you to do so.

Use of the term ‘partner’

‘Partner’ is a reserved word. The Foundation regards a partner as an organisation with which we have signed a formal, legally binding contract. We enter formal partner relationships very rarely.

Organisations that do not have a signed partner contract with the Foundation should not refer to themselves as a partner or use the word partner to describe their relationship with us. This also applies to statements that imply partnership, such as:

  • “Working in partnership with the Foundation”
  • “Partnering with the Foundation”

Where appropriate and true, it is acceptable for non-partners to use language such as:

  • “Working with the Foundation”
  • “Collaborating with the Foundation”
  • “In cooperation with the Foundation”

As a collaborator, you are a valuable part of our ecosystem. We want you to benefit from your involvement with the micro:bit, so if you’re unsure of the wording you should use, please get in touch.

Correct brand names

The golden rules are: don’t forget the colon in the name, and keep an eye on capitalisation!

  • The device is called the BBC micro:bit; Any other phrase describing the hardware is incorrect. Note that we always use a small “m” in “micro:bit” when referring to the hardware.
  • We are the Micro:bit Educational Foundation. We are not the “BBC micro:bit Foundation”. We can be called the “Foundation” where the context of “micro:bit” has already been established, such as in this document. Any other phrase describing the Foundation is incorrect. Note that we capitalise the “M” in “micro:bit” only when we refer to the Foundation.
  • We use ‘micro:bit’ to apply to us and our ecosystem and micro:bits to apply for more than one BBC micro:bit.

Use of BBC branding/name

There are NO circumstances where it is OK for you to use any BBC branding, apart from referring to the device as the “BBC micro:bit”. Please see the BBC website for more details on their brand.

Use of the micro:bit logo

Vertical logo style
Horizontal logo style

Logos shown above are the official micro:bit logos, and are the only ones which should be used. Old-style logos that include “BBC” should not be used.

You should NEVER use our logo to imply that your organisation, products or the services you offer, are official or provided by the Foundation.

If you're a partner (such as the BBC or ARM), you may be entitled to additional rights in relation to the use of the logo. The details will be in your contract with the Foundation, but if it is unclear please contact our COO via info@microbit.org.

Images of the micro:bit

You CAN use images of the micro:bit, including any branding that appears on the micro:bit itself. This includes the font and the back. However, please don’t try to get around our guidelines by cropping the image to show just the branding!

We provide a high-quality, scalable vector image of the micro:bit that you can use in any material you are creating that features the micro:bit. This is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license.

If you choose to take your own photos of the micro:bit, they should be of a high quality, and only of the ‘half-haircut’ board (see image below), with the white label removed from the front. (In older images, the micro:bit has a ‘full haircut’ – that is, the silk screen on the top of the board spreads across the full image. Please avoid using these.)

The correct 'haircut' style
The incorrect, 'full haircut' style

When taking photos with crocodile clips attached, please attach them at 90 degrees to the board as this is the approved stable method of making a really good connection with the board).

The correct way to connect the crocodile clips.

URLs and domains

Legally, any domain around the world that has “microbit” in the name should be assigned to us. Obviously, we can’t reserve every domain in every country, but we encourage our community to assign domains to us if they can.

If you are in possession of one of these domains, please redirect it to our website and contact us. We will always work with you to find a solution that works for everybody, so don’t be afraid to get in touch!

Company names

If you are creating a company/organisation to take care of micro:bit activities, you’re not allowed to use the term ‘micro:bit’ in your company name to imply you have an official role within micro:bit or a relationship with the Foundation.

Some examples:

  • micro:bit Bulgaria = NOT OK
  • micro:bit Education Solutions = NOT OK

There are cases where the term micro:bit is used in an organisation name which does not violate our guidelines. This is where it is a descriptive term that applies to the services offered:

  • micro:bit Sri Lanka User Group = OK

Some organisations choose to use variations of the “micro:” prefix:

  • micro:la = OK
  • micro:Australia = OK

Our preference is that you do not use ‘micro:bit’ at all in your organisation name.

Note that these rules apply to social media – such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – as well as your own website.

MakeCode

One of our main editors is the MakeCode editor (sometimes referred to as 'JavaScript Blocks').

All of the source code for MakeCode is available as an open source project hosted in GitHub.

Python

The micro:bit can also run MicroPython, which is a ground-up rewrite of Python 3 especially for micro controllers, written by Damien George, with significant contributions from many fabulous volunteers in the Python community. The source code for this language is available on GitHub.

Mu

The Mu editor is an open source project run by Nicholas Tollervy, and supports the BBC micro:bit device, along with other devices. The source code is available on GitHub.

Book Author Guide

We’re delighted to see how many books are being written about the micro:bit, and we’d love to be able to read and comment on every single one... if only our resources would permit it!

We’ll always do our best to respond to queries but, in addition to the guidelines above, we ask authors to note the following:

Foreword

You can request a foreword by emailing help@microbit.org. If we’re able to help – and we have time! – we’ll get in touch.

Note that we will need to see the full draft of your book first. We won’t need to see the layout version of the whole thing, but please include at least one chapter as a design guide, along with the full text in electronic form. Please also include the best versions of the front and back cover you have.

Note that, in keeping with the Foundation’s goals, we will prioritise books for children and teachers.

Acknowledgements and copyright

Please reference us in the copyrights section of you book. If we’ve helped you in any way, we’d appreciate a mention in the Acknowledgements section, too!

Useful URLs

In addition to our main website for teachers and learners, you may want to link to the following resources:

  1. Our developer documentation: https://tech.microbit.org
  2. Our developer chat channel on Slack. Sign up here: http://tech.microbit.org/get-involved/where-to-find/
  3. Our hackster channel: https://microbit.hackster.io/

Questions

If you have read this document and have more questions then email us at info@microbit.org.

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