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From Marvin Humphrey <>
Subject Re: apache binary distributions
Date Wed, 19 Aug 2015 05:15:40 GMT
On Tue, Aug 18, 2015 at 6:46 PM, Niclas Hedhman <> wrote:

> Well, if  "Debian" can publish their built Apache Maven as "maven" and
> "Steve&Nick" can't publish their built Apache Maven as "maven", then the
> inescapable question is; On what non-arbitrary grounds is one acceptable
> and the other is not? It can't be "we like Debian, but not Steve&Nick",
> that is morally weak.

We need to distinguish between two situations:

*   Redistributor starts from official Apache release.
*   Redistributor starts from unreleased code.

"Debian" consumes official Apache releases, and they make changes that are
often very small.  Whether we should be aggressive in enforcing our trademarks
under those circumstances is a judgment call.  Should "Steve&Nick" also start
from an official release and make changes of similar scope to those made by
"Debian", I would agree that the case for enforcing our trademarks would be
roughly analogous.

However, if "Steve&Nick" are Apache project contributors publishing unreleased
code and making an end run around Apache release policy, there's greater cause
for concern.

*   Are other PMC members being denied their right to participate in release
    decision making?
*   To what extent does the privileged position afforded "Steve&Nick"
    undermine project independence?
*   While our communities strive to maintain codebases in compliance with
    Apache legal and release policies, we accept that raw repository code may
    be imperfect between releases.  Just how far out of compliance is the
    unreleased code "Steve&Nick" are publishing under our trademark?
*   To what extent is the 501(c)(3) status of the Foundation put at
    increased risk by the actions of this project?  What if the practices
    spread to other projects?

If "Debian" were to systematically consume unreleased code from us (aside from
patches they've contributed themselves), I imagine we would have similar
concerns.  But that seems like a weird theoretical.

Marvin Humphrey

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