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From Alex Karasulu <>
Subject Re: [VOTE] Accept Howl as an Incubator Project
Date Wed, 09 Mar 2011 02:30:50 GMT
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,

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