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From Shane Curcuru <>
Subject Re: What is the legal basis for enforcing release policies at ASF?
Date Mon, 17 Aug 2015 15:48:29 GMT
On 8/16/15 4:25 PM, Roman Shaposhnik wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 14, 2015 at 3:59 PM, Shane Curcuru <> wrote:
>> On 8/7/15 7:53 AM, Niclas Hedhman wrote:
>>> Bill,
>>> So I can release "Niclas Hadoop platform, based on Apache Hadoop" ?? I
>>> thought the discussion a few years ago was that this was misleading...
>> No, you cannot.  See our actual trademark policy:
>> Our release policy, as Roman originally asked about, applies only to ASF
>> projects, and has no bearing on third parties.  However our trademark
>> policy, and trademark law, prevents third parties from publicly
>> providing software using our trademarks.
>> Our operational policies only apply to our projects, just like any other
>> corporation.  Some policies, like our license itself and our formal
>> trademark policy, inform the rest of the world how they are allowed to
>> use our websites, software code, and brands.
>> Make sense?
> It does, but our relationships with downstream Linux vendors
> (just to take the most obvious example) set a very confusing
> precedent.
> Shane, if would be super helpful if you took a look at:
> and pubished your narrative of how the ASF branding
> policies apply in both cases.
> The 3 projects I'm picking represent a pretty diverse
> set of cases of how PMCs are conducting themselves.

OK, that will take some time.  It would help if we can setup a call or
get someone to writeup a description of what those pages mean from the
larger perspective:

Trademarks are about preventing consumer confusion as to the source of
goods.  So we need to consider this from the point of view of an
experienced software developer in the general sense - someone who is
*not* an Apache committer and not experienced with our products in
specific, but someone who is an experienced software developer, systems
architect, or devops type who's trying to evaluate a bunch of software
for their company.

The issue is I don't use (I use homebrew, but only for more
end-user applications recently), so I'm trying to translate to the
experience of an actual developer consumer who'd be trying to find and
use these products.

The problem is that trademark analyses are much easier to do for
consumer products, and for physical goods.  Software is inherently
different in that "marketing brochures" or store signs or packaging is
very different, and widely varied on a whole bunch of web pages.  Plus,
most of our products are highly technical: very few computer end users
are downloading Hadoop or Maven - it's software developers who are
looking for these.  So understanding the common software developer
perspective on how they see *where* these named downloadable software
products are being displayed matters.

- Shane

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