USE OF SKYPE AS PART OF A GROUP NAME – What are the implications?

The comments below were given by various members of the Conference Steps, Traditions, and Concepts Committee and do not represent a group conscience of the entire committee. The opinions expressed here are solely that of the person giving them. Take what you like and leave the rest.

The Question:
The Web Team has been grappling with groups registering and using Skype in a group name. the F.W.S. webmaster lists the name in the spirit of carrying the message; and brought to the attention of the Web Team in April/May 2011. The Web Team discussed the matter during the course of several meetings and now we are requesting input from the CSTC regarding possible Tradition related implications.

Having looked at the listings referenced in the questions I can see why this might be problematic. Just from the personal point of view, I am uncomfortable with the use of the Skype name as a part of the group name. In fact, has the group asked for the rights to use the Skype name as a part of the group name? When I look at it from the standpoint of the 12 Traditions, I can see a possible violation of Tradition 6 in that those groups seem to be endorsing Skype by using their name in the meetings. The same would also be applicable with the listings of the online meetings. I believe that to use the name of Skype, Yahoo, Google or any other could infer an endorsement of these services.

An additional problem which I can see is that since this is a public media, by using the Skype name along with the group name could be a violation of the anonymity referred to in Tradition 11.

While I am not opposed to the use of Skype, Google, Yahoo or others in doing our work; I use them myself, we don’t need to promote their services. An alternative to this would be to list the meeting by name, eliminating the Skype name, and in the description of the group list that it uses Skype for its meetings.

I will not repeat what has been said previously, because I think exactly the same with regards to Tradition 6 and all other aspects including the one regarding permission from Skype. Would it even be legal to use Skype in the name without their permission?

If the general public does a search on the Internet for Skype and they come up with S.L.A.A. we would probably get a lot of curious onlookers not people looking for S.L.A.A. help in particular.

What do you think?
The CSTCC is a group of volunteers, some of whom were ABM delegates, and others who volunteered out of interest. We do not represent a group conscience of S.L.A.A., but are committed to bringing thoughtful discussion and study of 12 Step Fellowship literature and experience to the questions that are brought to us. We offer this summary as the results of our discussions. We present the major points of concern in the hopes that wider discussion in the Fellowship will help us evolve our customs and practice of the S.L.A.A. program of recovery to better represent the loving guidance of a Higher Power. Always, we affirm the autonomy of each group and the need for each individual to follow her/his own conscience. No decision of this group, or any other, is ever forced upon another, even when we believe a practice is clearly in conflict with the Steps, Traditions, or Concepts.