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From William A Rowe Jr <>
Subject Re: apache binary distributions
Date Wed, 19 Aug 2015 17:06:45 GMT
On Wed, Aug 19, 2015 at 4:39 AM, Stephen Connolly <> wrote:

> We could define a hierarchy of right to use the mark: pmc has ultimate
> right, if the pmc are not producing a packaging for that system then the
> developers of the packaging system have the right to define who can use the
> mark in relation to their packaging system only.

FWIW, the Foundation (board level) has the legal final authority, they
delegate this to the VP Trademarks, who shares that delegation with the
individual PMCs to adapt to each of their own unique circumstances.

At no time do we state that others creating a binary from our released
tarball/source is infringing our mark, if the result of what they built is
limited to ASF sources - not extended or patched in a 'significant way'.
PMC's must determine what is significant in this context... if someone
patched httpd for 128 bit int sizes, that PMC would probably shrug (and
work out the right patch upstream.) Any PMC distributing sources for a .jar
are likely to flip out over modifying the public API's, and rightfully so.
And we've noted here, many ASF project builds allow various things to be
toggled-in/toggled-out. Clear labeling is a good way to avoid a PMC
objecting to the use of the mark.

There are some special things here we do have absolute control over. If a
project wants to provide the 'official' build, why not start signing the
.jar? Because only the ASF committers sign code "as the ASF" under the
authority of the PMC, there is no concern about that .jar being a
third-party component. Users could still build that .jar, because we give
them the sources, on purpose, to deliberately do that.

With few exceptions, downstream is very easy to work with when the PMC
addresses their concerns clearly and politely.

> The aim here would be to make our software available easily in different
> packaging systems. The pmc may want to take ownership of popular packaging
> systems, so we'd need to be able to trump others

Keep in mind, every package distributor has their own policy for who gets
naming priority. It can be helpful to point out that the ASF owns the mark,
and should generally have priority, but the politics of the thing is that
individual contributors to each package distributor have to earn their
karma, just as we require here at the ASF. A signed vs. and unsigned build
may also carry weight in those discussions.

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