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From NoOp <>
Subject Re: Draft blog post: Avoiding OpenOffice Download Scams
Date Mon, 30 Apr 2012 23:41:22 GMT
On 04/30/2012 11:10 AM, Rob Weir wrote:
> I know Louis and others have dealt with these things for longer.
> Anything else I should mention?
> I considered adding a discussion of the importance of MD5 hashes,
> etc., but that is not really the skill level of the end user who
> downloads OpenOffice.
> I'm also cc'ing trademarks@ since it may be of interest to them and/or
> they might have feedback.

A few questions & a few comments:

1. I am confused regarding the use of "trademarks": 'OpenOffice' and/or
'Apache OpenOffice'. A USTPO search shows only:
Serial Number 	Reg. Number 	Word Mark Check Status 	Live/Dead
1 	85298190 		OPENOFFICE 	TARR 	DEAD
2 	79041234 	3458383 HIPATH OPENOFFICE 	TARR 	LIVE
3 	78581289 	3063339  OPENOFFICE.ORG 	TARR 	LIVE
4 	77021413 	3287409  OPENOFFICE.ORG 	TARR 	LIVE

The 'OPENOFFICE' (85298190) mark was the one that Tightrope Interactive
filed and later abandoned. Have Apache applied for 'OpenOffice' and
'Apache OpenOffice' as trademarks? Further:
<> states:
"Because of trademark issues, must insist that all public
communications refer to the project and software as "" or
" 3.x," and not "OpenOffice" or "Open Office."
Given that, should you not modify your blog from 'OpenOffice' to (or Apache Openoffice if indeed Apache have the trademark

2. I'd recommend caution when generalizing statements about sites
offering support and/or 3rd party installations with the downloads.
While I detest a true scammer, I think it wise to look at sites like (Tightrope Interactive) whereby they provide full
disclosure[1]. Further, it is quite likely that the 'user' did indeed
download a 'genuine' copy of AO/OO.o - and only the 3rd party
'add-on'(s) were of issue. I suspect that this is what your 'user' ran
into. Lack of proof that the 3rd party add-ons are actually "spyware" or
"malware" could also lead to trouble.

3. I'd recommend against stating:

o "Remember this simple rule:  is the official
website for OpenOffice.   That is the only official download site for

That puts valid redistributors and applications providers like
PortableApps ( in the 'scam'
area. You may also run into 'user' issues when they go to, begin their download, and then see that the download
is actually coming from a mirror/redirector site ala:
Yes, you and I know how the mirror/redirectors work, but you've just
told these 'users' that the only official website for downloading is Remember, these are likely to be the same 'users'
that neglected to read the T's & C's when they downloaded AO/OOo from
another website.

o "However, what no one has permission to do is modify OpenOffice and
then confuse consumers into believing that it is actually still the
OpenOffice product. ". That is likely to put Apache on the defensive to
prove that the 'consumer' didn't receive a proper copy of AO/OOo. IANAL
so check with your legal folks regarding such statements.

[1] Note: I'm not defending and/or advocating and
am only using them as a sample. I think they have pretty much covered
all of the disclosure bases:
1. Front web page:
They state: "OpenOffice is an open source product licensed under GNU
LGPL v3. Source code for OpenOffice can be found here." and provide a
link to
2. Download Terms:
Pretty well spell out what the terms are.
3. Terms of Service:
4. Privacy:
5. Support:
They provide links to OOo support. However they do not charge for this
"support" & state in their other pages that they make their money off of
advertising (see 6 below)
6. Disclaimer:
Pretty clear IMO that Pricegong and Weatherbug are their advertisers.
Does Apache really want to get into a legal cat fight with Earth
Networks (WeatherBug is a brand of Earth Networks).

Point being is that while you want to head off 'scammers', you also have
to be careful

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