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From Greg Trasuk <>
Subject Can you un-open-source a product? Re: [DISCUSS] Olympian Incubation Proposal
Date Fri, 30 Sep 2016 03:35:15 GMT

I’m kind of curious how we’d apply our “Community over Code” credo to a situation
like this.

It sounds like DataStax acquired a “community” centred on a product that had been open-sourced
by its previous steward.  And now their legal department is re-asserting control over the
product.  Fair enough, but if there’s a community that wants to carry on development against
a product that was properly and fairly ASL2 licensed, does the acquirer have the right to
shut them down?  They certainly could assert control over the trademark that they own, but
what if the community called it something else and carried on (which we generally require
of an incubator product anyway)?  

I’m obviously thinking of Hudson and Jenkins here - the community forked the code over a
weekend, and Oracle was left with a dead product.  When they asserted ownership of the “Hudson”
trademark, the community simply said “OK, it’s Jenkins now”, and carried on.

If they had come to Apache, would we have shown them the door, for legalistic reasons? ( I
don’t recall them coming to Apache at the time, but I could be wrong).  Is it a “hostile
fork” if the bulk of the community is in favour, and it’s only the trademark owner that

It seems to me that one of the goals of Apache is to have a “neutral” corporate entity
to host open-source projects under open but orderly governance, so that an open-source project
stands a chance of outlasting the mercurial whims of a commercial entity (and also of individual

So I wonder if we’re being a little quick to shut down a community that wants open governance.


Greg Trasuk

> On Sep 29, 2016, at 10:59 PM, Ross Gardler <> wrote:
> Yes, with a few binding -1's there is nothing to discuss unless Datastax wish to reconsider.
I doubt they want to discuss that on a public list.
> Ross
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Henry Saputra []
>> Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2016 10:57 PM
>> To:
>> Subject: Re: [DISCUSS] Olympian Incubation Proposal
>> With obvious block due to Datastax response, shall I CLOSE this DISCUSS thread
>> until further updates, if any?
>> On Thursday, September 29, 2016, P. Taylor Goetz <>
>> wrote:
>>> For the record I'd be -1 as well unless DataStax chose to support it.
>>> I would like to give them time to change their mind though.
>>> -Taylor
>>>> On Sep 29, 2016, at 10:37 PM, Greg Stein <
>>> <javascript:;>> wrote:
>>>>> On Sep 29, 2016 19:22, "P. Taylor Goetz" <
>>> <javascript:;>> wrote:
>>>>> ...
>>>>> They can block a move to the ASF, but they can’t block a fork of
>>>>> the
>>>> project moving elsewhere. Strong communities will regroup and live on.
>>>> DataStax' reluctance to allow it could very easily be interpreted as
>>>> a rejection of the ASF governance model or the Foundation itself.
>>>> Yes, the community could certainly launch their fork at GitHub or
>>>> some such. DataStax provided them with that ability via the ALv2
>>>> license. The ASF is not a necessary step for that community.
>>>>> ...
>>>>> Can we wait and see if DataStax is willing to do the right thing
>>>>> before
>>>> shooting down the proposal as a hostile fork?
>>>> My vote remains -1. That can change, based on their choices.
>>>> Cheers,
>>>> -g
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