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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: non-ASF distribution...Re: CD-ROMs for consumers
Date Mon, 14 May 2012 22:07:22 GMT
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...


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

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?

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?

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