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From Noah Slater <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Accept Stratos as an Apache Incubation Project
Date Thu, 13 Jun 2013 09:56:36 GMT
Ross, thanks for bringing this up! I'm happy to be a part of this

On 13 June 2013 09:13, Ross Gardler <> wrote:

> "Better" yes - "required" before we can vote - no. My reasoning is
> that WSO2 have already agreed they will use a different name if VP
> Branding requires it. In fact they won't have any choice since the
> proposal clearly indicates the Stratos trademark will be assigned to
> the ASF.

While owning the "Stratos" trademark would certainly put us in a position
of being able to ask WSO2 to stop using StratosLive. But there's no
guarantee that we would be successful. Case in point: Apache CouchDB and
Couchbase. We are very uncomfortable with the name Couchbase, but there's
not much we can do about it. Certainly, asking them to rebrand is not going
to work. (Full disclosure: I am on the PMC and have been dealing with this
mess for over a year.)

Couchbase causes us problems because CouchDB's progenitor left CouchDB and
founded Couchbase, and made a public statement to the effect that Couchbase
was "the future of CouchDB". This caused a lot of market confusion, with
many people (understandably) thinking that Couchbase replaced CouchDB. You
still see the effects of that today. Our support channels are littered with
confused Couchbase customers. And I am sure many people who would have been
CouchDB users end up downloading and installing Couchbase products.

So my concern with StratosLive is: would there be consumer confusion
between Apache Stratos and WSO2 StratosLive? My gut tells me: yes. In many
people's minds, there will already be some uncertainty about provenance,
and so the name will only compound that confusion.

I learnt two lessons from the Couchbase fiasco:

1. You need to be mindful of third-parties using your trademark in a
compound name. Many people use "couch" as a sort of adjective. "Couch-this"
and "Couch-that". And in one sense, this is great, because "couch" is this
term that is bigger than Apache CouchDB. But at the same time, the meaning
is diffuse. And in many ways, the CouchDB community has little control over
it. We have plans to remedy that situation, but they are not relevant here.

2. You need to apply branding rules consistently. We allowed Couchbase (and
others) to share our brand because they were seen as "friendly" to the
community. (And indeed, for many years, they were hugely beneficial for the
project.) Unfortunately, that sets precedent. And it's hard to rewind
precedent. It also leaves you vulnerable to the possibility that they won't
always be "friendly". At which point, you're gonna be SOL.

On 13 June 2013 04:04, Sanjiva Weerawarana <> wrote:

> > The thinking is to not give that a specific name but rather call it the
> > > WSO2 distribution of Apache Stratos (or something like that).
> > >
> >
> > I don't think that's one of the 'sanctioned' uses of marks from:
> > In fact, per the below page, it's explicitly forbidden.
> >
> Hmm that idea was based on how Cloudera is distributing Hadoop:
> Is that also incorrect then? IIRC they've been doing that for years and
> presumably ASF is aware of it?

The ASF is aware of it, but I don't think we're happy with it. Shane will
have more thoughts on this.


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