Who holds the rights of Scrum & Scrum Guide?

Last post 03:38 pm January 9, 2020
by Aditya Vaze
2 replies
03:46 pm January 8, 2020

Who holds the legal rights for "Scrum", the "Scrum Guide" and (even the term/role "Scrum Master")? 

I am seeking clarity on this question from Scrum.org primarily because of the following reasons:

1. There is an upsurge of Scrum certification agencies and websites in the last few months claiming that they are the top certification body. Though, I don't fall for such claims, I have noticed their aggressive advertising tactics online and offline have gained many takers for what they are offering.

2. The supporting documents at such providers have copied the Scrum guide in part and have modified it such a way that it does not remain the Scrum but is still offered as the Scrum 

3. I recently came across one such advertisement on LinkedIn by LinkedIn which has totally misrepresented Scrum. for e.g. 

  • It stated Scrum is a collection of "processes and practices" to increase agility.  
  • It stated Scrum has two roles Product Owner and Scrum Master. There is no mention of a development team being a part of the Scrum team. 
  • There is no accurate mention of roles, rules, artifacts, and events that binds Scrum together.


There are many professionals who have questioned the advertisement itself on the basis of the authenticity of its content. However, there are thousands more who think the message from content was accurate. I think, this may lead to the adoption of zombie Scrum and a crop of zombie Scrum Masters sooner or later, if the founders of Scrum do not step in. I find it distasteful to name and shame on the social platform, but in the past have dealt with the issues that were a direct consequence of such zombie Scrum Masters hence I wanted to discuss it in the forum.

Contrary to inexperienced Scrum Masters (who just lack the experience but have good understanding of Scrum (as it should be)), zombie Scrum Masters had broken the Scrum, devoured it such a way that the organization wanted nothing to do with the Scrum and good Scrum Masters who were ready help them out.

Could Scrum.org clarify on this matter?


07:46 pm January 8, 2020

The word Scrum is not copyrighted and Ken does not want it to be. He wants it as something that is freely used as a term along with the terms of Scrum (Scrum Master, Product Owner...) . Scrum.org does copyright items like Professional Scrum xxx, etc as those are brand/product names.  

The Scrum Guide is under Creative Common License.  

©2018 Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland. Offered for license under the Attribution Share-Alike license of Creative Commons, accessible at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode and also described in summary form at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/. By utilizing this Scrum Guide you acknowledge and agree that you have read and agree to be bound by the terms of the Attribution ShareAlike license of Creative Commons.

As for people using inappropriately, claiming to be Scrum.org, Jeff or Ken related, etc. please email us directly and we can deal with them separately at info@scrum.org. And the best thing you can do when you see things that are false is call them out as such and point back to the Scrum Guide.

03:38 pm January 9, 2020

Thank you very much for the clarification Eric. Will forward such things directly to mentioned email. Thanks!