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From Shawn Heisey <>
Subject Re: What is the legal basis for enforcing release policies at ASF?
Date Fri, 21 Aug 2015 13:54:40 GMT
On 8/20/2015 8:03 PM, Benson Margulies wrote:
> 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.

This is how Debian ended up with "iceweasel" instead of "firefox."
Mozilla was not OK with allowing its trademarks to be used for the
version of those products that Debian was including.  Mozilla went
800-pound gorilla on Debian.  Debian complied, but took the rebranding
route rather than allow Mozilla to force them to compromise on their
internal guidelines.  They got a small measure of revenge with the
package names they chose. :)

Here's a similar situation applicable to Apache ... the Debian and
Ubuntu projects include a very old version of Apache Solr.  The code
gets patched quite a bit, and a few of the changes could probably be
called intrusive, but it doesn't fundamentally change what the user
gets.  When the packages are installed (they split the Solr/Lucene code
into *many* binary packages), the file locations are *dramatically*
altered compared to a binary or source download from the Solr website.

Given what those projects do to our code and packaging, do we have any
right to tell them they can't call their package "Solr"?  If we do have
that right, are we losing anything by not exercising it?

Their changes do mean that when people come to the solr-user mailing
list looking for help, we sometimes have to refer them to the downstream
maintainers, because we can't make any sense of where things are.  Even
though it sometimes creates support issues, I personally don't think
there's any big problem with the way that Debian/Ubuntu changes our
software, but what would a lawyer say?


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