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From Alan Gates <>
Subject Re: [VOTE] Accept Howl as an Incubator Project
Date Wed, 09 Mar 2011 16:27:23 GMT
I agree we shouldn't move forward until we've come to an agreement on  
the naming issue.  I have no desire to start this project off with  
this hanging over it.  I have continued this thread on legal-discuss,  
giving more context to hopefully get the best possible input there.  I  
will also start a discussion on the name once more amongst the initial  
Howl developers, given that the concern seems to have shifted from  
"you may need to fix this someday" to "you must fix this now".


On Mar 8, 2011, at 6:30 PM, Alex Karasulu wrote:

> On Wed, Mar 9, 2011 at 3:51 AM, Ralph Goers < 
> >wrote:
>> On Mar 8, 2011, at 12:01 PM, Alex Karasulu wrote:
>>> Hi Alan,
>>> On Tue, Mar 8, 2011 at 8:26 PM, Alan Gates <>  
>>> wrote:
>>>> We are taking it seriously.  We (Howl mentors and committers)  
>>>> discussed
>>>> this and the consensus seemed to be we wanted to stay with the  
>>>> name if
>>>> possible.  The feedback on this list was mixed, with many for  
>>>> changing
>> it
>>>> and some not worried about it.  So we wanted to stick with it for  
>>>> now
>> and
>>>> see how it went.
>>> I'm not here to create a problem for y'all. Keep in mind I +1'd the
>> proposal
>>> even though I had some reservations about all of you being  
>>> Yahoo'ers. You
>>> can work on that in the incubator - no problem to diversify while
>>> incubating.
>> I think the majority of those voting +1 for incubation wanted the  
>> name
>> changed based on the concerns that were raised.  I would be  
>> concerned about
>> a release being done as howl while in the incubator and would  
>> certainly vote
>> -1 to leaving it unless a) it is definitely determined that no  
>> trademark
>> conflicts exist (this may require contacting the other parties and  
>> getting
>> their permission) or b) the name is changed to something that  
>> doesn't have
>> similar conflicts.
> We might want to defer entry into the incubator until determining the
> trademark issue if one exists. We're susceptible to the same negative
> reactions from the current holders of the mark regardless of a  
> release. I
> don't think many others outside the ASF can differentiate as well as  
> we do
> the difference between an official ASF project and an incubating  
> project.
> Also because others don't usually follow the same strenuous legal  
> diligence
> that we do, I don't think releases are seen to be as important as  
> Apache
> real estate hosting a project (even though incubating) with their  
> mark on
> it. Both are going to be interpreted as equally insulting and quit  
> frankly a
> clear case of infringement, not by the podling but by the ASF.
> If we step back and think about it, it's just not cool to be hosting a
> podling on ASF infrastructure especially when we know of another  
> open source
> project's well established mark over 6 years previous to this project
> proposal. As you probably already know, you don't have to file with  
> the
> USPTO to own a mark. You just have to prove you were the first to  
> start
> using it. If this was HOWL Furniture or HOWL Dog Food I can  
> understand, but
> it's HOWL an open source software project. That puts us on more shaky
> ethical ground.
> The more I think about it, the more it's clear that we need to defer  
> entry
> if the name does not change. We're not doing the ASF a service by  
> allowing
> this project to incubate with such a trademark conflict in clear  
> sight. I
> sorry but I am going to have to withdraw my +1 and replace it with a  
> -1
> until this issue is resolved.
> I hate to be the harbinger of such bad news but there's a simple fix  
> to this
> problem. Let's at least hear back from legal-discuss@.
> Best Regards,
> Alex

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