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From Benson Margulies <>
Subject Re: What is the legal basis for enforcing release policies at ASF?
Date Fri, 21 Aug 2015 02:03:31 GMT
This thread started as a discussion of Linux distros and trademarks.
Perhaps I could try to return it there?

If a distro takes a release of Apache X, compiles it with minimal changes
that adapt it to the environment, and distributes it, I believe that it's a
fine thing for them to call it simple Apache X, and acknowledge our marks.

If a distro takes a release of Apache X, and make significant changes to
it, and then distributes it, I believe that it's not OK with us for them to
simply call it Apache X. I've seen some evidence that Gentoo Linux makes a
regular habit of this, because their policies drive them to make some
pretty scary changes in some cases. Others may not share my view.

Further, if someone takes a snapshot (small 's') from source control and
starts from that, with minimal changes, I think that this would also be
trademark-acceptable, so long as they accurately describe what they did.

The operative concept here, as Shane has taught it, is 'confusion in the
marketplace.' If some third party behaves so as to cause confusion as to
the identity of Apache X, there's a trademark issue. If not, not.

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