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From Dave Fisher <>
Subject Re: non-ASF distribution...Re: CD-ROMs for consumers
Date Tue, 15 May 2012 18:56:18 GMT

On May 15, 2012, at 11:21 AM, Rob Weir wrote:

> On Tue, May 15, 2012 at 12:38 PM, Kay Schenk <> wrote:
>> On Mon, May 14, 2012 at 3:07 PM, Rob Weir <> wrote:
>>> On Mon, May 14, 2012 at 5:18 PM, Kay Schenk <> wrote:
>>>> OK, I changed the subject on this since I think what we need to discuss
>>>> applies to more than just CD-ROMs...I hope  that's OK, see my reply
>>> below...
>>> <snip>
>>> So the current state of affairs is:
>>> 1) Anyone is free to distribute OOo or AOO on CD, on their website, on
>>> USB keys, etc.  We're open source, and the license fully permits this.
>>> 2) Although use of the ASF-owned trademarks is restricted, any one is
>>> free to send an email to the project and request the use of the logos
>>> for use on their CD distribution.  We have received and approved
>>> requests like this in the past.  For example, CD's for distribution at
>>> conferences.
>>> If we want we can just continue with those two principles and do
>>> nothing more.   But IMHO there are some subset of redistribution of
>>> AOO that we might permit the use of the logo without any explicit
>>> permission.  If we decide to do this, we could specify the conditions
>>> under which such redistribution might take place.  Note that this is
>>> not a restriction on what distributors may do.  They always have the
>>> options given per #1 and #2 above.  The point is merely to provide a
>>> lighter weight process for doing #2, in a subset of cases that we
>>> believe are for the public good.
>>> It is an additional question whether we want to maintain a registry or
>>> directory of such distributors.
>>> I'd be especially interested in what users think of this.  What would
>>> be their expectations if we maintained such a list?
>> I can't answer this one and I appreciate your perspective #1.
>> The immediate thing(s) I'm concerned about is packages that we have
>> highlighted on the website -- all the "porting" section
>> Should this continue. There is no disclaimer here.
>> Additionally, since we have no link to this from the main download page,
>> how do folks even find out about it.
>> Advice needed.
> I think we need to make it clear what the 'porting project" is, if we
> keep that name.
> A) A way to enable 3rd parties to create ports and distribute them on their own
> or
> B) A way to enable new project volunteers to create and release new
> platform support within the project
> There is some overlap here, since someone who does A) will likely be
> contributing patches as well.
> This is parallel to enhancements of AOO as well, whether we speak of
> enhancement translations, extensions, features, etc.
> A) Doing the work in our SVN and releasing as part of an official release
> B) Doing the work externally, and releasing externally.
> I think both are fine, and we should help and encourage both, as part
> of the broader ecosystem.  But we'll want to distinguish, in branding,
> and in how we link to these products, what is really an official
> release of the project and what is a 3rd party derivation.
> So I think the concept is broader than just "ports".  One idea is to
> create a new page and link to it from
>, as a new "block" on that page.
> It could be called "3rd party Ports, Enhancements and Extensions".
> And on that page we could put the disclaimer and then link to other
> products that are based upon AOO.   And maybe from the OOo 3.3.0
> download page we could link to the legacy ports page?

There are two former OOo projects to consider. There is porting and there is distribution.
It might be easiest and most consistent to fold these together into one policy.

(1) Official distributions that are on These are binaries that
can be verified. They may come from a CD-ROM or alternative source, but they are unaltered.
These are redistributions.

(2) New ports and packages. In order for these to have the logo then they need to become official.
The project has to be able to understand how that is built. We need clear instructions about
how the project branding that is in the source must be modified in order to indicate that
the package is a derivative of AOO.

Ports and repackagers are encouraged to contribute their builds to the project, but the project
will need to decide if the port or package should become officially part of the release process.
Just like any contribution, no guarantee.

We need the clear branding instructions regardless of the porting policy, we need it for those
people who build their own version from source. Ideally the source release would be the "Built
with Branding". The official would happen via a build flag.

For the 3rd party page we can just indicate those who claim to distributors with instructions
on how to verify the binary while for the packages and ports the disclaimer is important.
The page should also indicate that the distributors are likely to charge a nominal fee for
the media and other handling, what free support is already offered.


> -Rob
>> (I will pull the UpUbuntu link from the install instructions later
>> today...should I add it to "porting"?).
>>> Alternatively, we could rely on distributors to advertise themselves.
>>> A search engine query, for example, for "OpenOffice CD Schweitz"
>>> should match a customer with a vendor, if such a vendor in Switzerland
>>> exists.  The customer would still need to establish trust, risk their
>>> payment and the vendor would similarly need to watch out for their
>>> reputation.  And the vendor would have motivation to keep his listings
>>> current.  None of this would involve Apache.
>>> This is the way consumers match themselves up with goods everywhere
>>> else.  We seem to get every other variety of CD in the world without
>>> involving Apache.  Why should this be different?
>>> In other words, isn't this a problem that solves itself?  We give
>>> permission to use a special logo on CD's that follow our rules.  We
>>> then educate users to look for that special logo.  We then leave it to
>>> the distributors to advertise themselves.
>>> Note:  I'm not opposed to maintaining a registry at Apache  I just
>>> think that we have little motivation to keep it up to date, and so it
>>> will not be maintained.
>>>> == non-formal distributions ==
>>>> Right now, as we've discovered, there are already folks distributing 3.4
>>>> that we don't know anything about. We don't know who they are, we don't
>>> even
>>>> know WHAT they've got in their distributions. They haven't asked for
>>>> permission from us, we don't even know where they're obtaining what
>>> they've
>>>> got.
>>> This is permitted by the license.  AOO can be redistributed and
>>> modified and the modifications can be redistributed.  Even if the
>>> modifications suck, there is nothing we can do.
>>> Trademark is another issue.  The right to redistribute does not
>>> include permission to use the logo in promoted the modified version.
>>> Malware is another issue.  Users might have local options, depending
>>> on local laws.  For example California has an anti-spyware law.  But
>>> that is something that a user would need to pursue, not Apache,
>>>> We should, by some means, address this immediately in some way --
>>> message on
>>>> the home page etc. We don't know who they are, we don't even know WHAT
>>>> they've got in their distributions.
>>> User education is also part of the solution, I think.
>>>> This doesn't require any process by us.
>>>> == partners, more formal requests ==
>>>> I would put the former CD-ROM folks in this category. We provided a list
>>> for
>>>> our customers to obtain OOo in this way.
>>>> Your ideas about obtaining software from one of the mirrors is good here.
>>>> Rob's replacement page for distribution talks about our establishing a
>>>> process--
>>>> so let's talk about that. What should this process be? What are we
>>> requiring
>>>> from them. What information do we need from third party folks, like
>>> CD-ROM
>>>> providers or other builds/methods of distribution, that come to us?
>>>> == and finally, helping ourselves ==
>>>> Do we know of any sites with AOO 3.4 that we want to include for users
>>> with
>>>> potentially helpful distributions? This is  a case where no one has
>>>> contacted us but we found something that might be useful, and tested it
>>> out
>>>> to our satisfaction.
>>>> A case in point would be (me) putting that UpUbuntu link in the install
>>>> guide.  These folks didn't even come to us, and there have been concerns
>>> by
>>>> other ooo-dev folks about it. At the time, many were excited about it,
>>> but,
>>>> well...maybe not so fast... Does adding something like this to a page on
>>> our
>>>> site somehow make us responsible for it?
>>>> Further thoughts?
>> --
>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> MzK
>> "Well, life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
>>  And life has a funny way of helping you out
>>  Helping you out."
>>                            -- "Ironic", Alanis Morissette

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