|| ||Ross Gardler <rgardler-AT-opendirective.com> |
|| ||ooo-dev-AT-incubator.apache.org |
|| ||Team OpenOffice White Label Office (powered by Apache Open Office) |
|| ||Wed, 21 Dec 2011 22:10:29 +0000|
|| ||Article, Thread
Today Team OpenOffice released a "White Label Office" based off the
3.3 code. The press release is rather clumsily worded and their
website is still not in compliance with our trademark policy. However,
I do recognise that TeamOO appear to be seeking to address our
Götz Wohlberg said on this list  " We [TEAM OO]] want to be a
committer to the Apache OpenOffice
podling and we basically share the same goals." Similar sentiments
appear on their FAQ "Joined forces would be the best for everybody
involved and the entire user base" 
This seems like a strange statment since at least two members of the
TeamOO organisation are committers and PPMC members on this project,
at out invitation. However, we have yet to see any contribution to
AOO. It seems that work has been progressing on what is to all intents
and purposes a fork. This is damaging to the AOO project.
It might not be clear why this move is confusing and damaging. To
illustrate the situation we should consider articles written by
journalists who have not reached out to Apache for an explanation.
They are writing things like "Making all this even more
interesting--and, it must be said, confusing--is that Germany-based
Team OpenOffice.org on Wednesday published a release candidate based
on OpenOffice.org ... Is that the smell of yet another fork in the
So, how do we remove this confusion and move forwards?
I'm a glass half full kind of guy. I'm willing to accept that this is
all the result of really poor marketing (TeamOO are excellent
engineers, we can't expect them to also be excellent marketeers).
Assuming that my generous nature is not going to make a fool of me,
TeamOO must participate in this community as equals.
We welcome TeamOO as equals. This means no special privileges over
anyone else in relation to trademarks or code. This means no more
unnecessary finger pointing in press releases, or questionable
statements on the TeamOO website. This means working with our
community, using the infrastructure and facilities provided by the
I suggest that if TeamOO will take a moment to understand how AOO is
different from the benevolent dictatorship that existed in
OpenOffice.org they will find that their dream of building a
profitable and professional company around the code that is so
important to them will come true. Look around the Apache ecosystem,
there are thousands of such companies in our various projects. There
are no shortage of models to follow here.
Finally, a word on trademarks and development processes here at the ASF.
The Apache Software Foundation has been developing Open Source
Software for longer than OpenOffice.org has existed. We have over 100
top level projects and 50 incubating projects. The majority of these
projects are a fundamental part of a great many companies business
models. Our policies and processes have been defined to make it easy
for third parties to collaborate regardless of their business models.
It is unfortunate that Team OO found it necessary to include
statements such as "Team OpenOffice.org and the ASF could not reach an
agreement for a shared usage" of the OpenOffice.org name n their press
releases and FAQs. It was explained to Team OO, as far bask as
September, that their release could be "White Label Office powered by
Apache OpenOffice" or "Team OO powered by Apache OpenOffice" or pretty
much anything along those lines. These are the same rules that all
downstream releases must comply with.
It was also explained that Team OO is welcome to release the code as
"White Label Office" and give no credit to Apache other than that
required by the license (which requires no attribution to Apache, at
least in marketing materials).
These are the options open to TeamOO and everyone else who wishes to
use our code.
This is not a negotiable point.
Ross Gardler (@rgardler)
Programme Leader (Open Development)
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