Some clarification.

Basically, there had been issues w/ DataStax and the PMC for a long,
long time. It came somewhat to a head in Aug when there was
a PR/Email about the "Cassandra Summit" with nary a mention
of Apache at all. None.

This was after months and months in trying to get DataStax to
honor our marks. It was this final culmination which which
resulted in a board member saying "makes me want to jettison".
At which Jonathan Ellis expressed confusion on what the problem
was and asking about the context, oblivious to the concern. Someone
else noted that both the PMC and Cassandra had been "lectured" on
trademark violations before and said that "one would assume that
someone learned along the way." Someone then wondered whether
these recurring issues where due to some fault in the PMC or
just the normal, expect churn of their being a brand. He
further stated: "I don't see how we can make it the responsibility
of the PMC to catch these things". It was then noted that the
CTO of DataStax is the PMC Chair, as well as co-founder. There
was then further discussions and "education" on mark guidelines,
again, with Jake and Aleksey. Aleksey, at least, admitted that
"If your only success criteria is how well trademark policing is
performed, then sure, we all failed..."

More discussion.

Around this time, one board member referred to below most certainly
did characterize the "hammer-time" phrase as "premature and
inflammatory". Others did not. To support that position I will add
some cut/paste quotes from another director:

  o Overall, there are a handful of issues here but they look to be easily
    fixable and - with a little education - preventable in the future.
  o Given the numbers and seniority of DataStax employees involved with
    Apache Cassandra it is disappointing that these errors are being made
    but people make mistakes
  o The lack of proactive policing of trademarks by the Cassandra
    PMC is what concerns me
  o Given the history, I do think the board needs to take some form of
    action. It has been suggested that the board remove all DataStax
    employees from the PMC. I agree things are heading in that direction but
    I don't think we are there yet.

It was after that that someone mentioned that they were on 3 PMC
and never saw any mark issues with any PMCs other than
Cassandra (this was a not a director speaking). That is when I
replied w/ the "I've seen such issues..." response.

Some take-aways:

 o Mark compliance issues have been ongoing for a long, long
 o The PMC and its chair had been involved in these concerns
   for a long, long time.

Once all this was done, and this particular issue resolved. The final
few Emails on the thread close it off with:

  o Nobody has said commit privs should be removed. Some have discussed the 
potential of removing PMC responsibilities
  o I would like to see some positive action from the Apache Cassandra PMC that 
they are working on managing this problem.
  o We all seem to agree that the responsibility for enforcement falls first to 
the PMC, then on VP Branding, and then on the President.

That is the saga of hammers.

> On Nov 6, 2016, at 12:57 PM, Jeff Jirsa <> wrote:
> Now that I have clarity on what can and can't be relayed to the community / 
> dev@, I'm going to reply to this email, and then I suspect I'm done for 
> today, because I'd rather watch football than reply to this anymore.
> On Sat, Nov 5, 2016 at 6:30 AM, Mark Struberg <> 
> wrote:
> Having a bit insight how the board operates (being PMC-chair for 2 other 
> TLPs) I can ensure you that the board did handle this very cleanly!
> I'm going to disagree with this, in a way I hope lets everyone see where 
> things went wrong, and more importantly, the path forward to fix them.
> The board correctly identified that Datastax had a majority of the PMC and 
> could exert control.
> The board correctly identified that Datastax violated trademark policies 
> (multiple times).
> The board correctly identified that the PMC was not adequately policing 
> Datastax (or really anyone, there were plenty of trademark issues to go 
> around).
> The board appears to have incorrectly attributed the lack of policing to the 
> fact that Datastax controlled the PMC. This is an honest mistake. The real 
> blame lies somewhere closer to a lack of understanding of responsibilities, 
> and a lack of visibility into what other parts of Datastax were doing.
> It's clear I'm not alone in this conclusion - you seem to say the same thing:
> PS: I strongly believe that the technical people at DataStax really tried to 
> do their best but got out-maneuvered by their marketing and sales people. The 
> current step was just part of a clean separation btw a company and their OSS 
> contributions. It was legally necessary and also important for the overall 
> Cassandra community!
> Unfortunately, when faced with an example of a trademark issue, there were 
> two very senior members who replied with very hostile, unprofessional 
> responses. One forwarded the example to board@ and private@ with a blanket 
> statement about wanting to "jettison every single Datastax employee from the 
> Apache Cassandra PMC". Another replied with "hammer time?", and  youtube 
> links to Game of Thrones clips were sent. One member of the board (properly, 
> in my opinion) noted that their reactions were premature and inflammatory. 
> Other members of the ASF noted (correctly) that in any sufficiently large 
> organization, it takes process and time to make sure marketing is aware of 
> policies, and the fact that no such process exists isn't cause to jettison 
> the PMC, but it should be something that is corrected. 
> What didn't happen, though, was any admission or acknowledgement that the 
> premature and inflammatory behavior was wrong on the part of the very senior, 
> very vocal folks that said it. Instead, they've continued making inflammatory 
> comments - often because problems continue to happen where they need to be 
> involved, but the tone is such that it's very easy to interpret it as 
> hostile, which makes it very difficult to keep peace in the community.
> It's often said that when the board acts, they act as a sledgehammer because 
> they have no scalpel. That's true, but the board never actually swung the 
> sledgehammer - they threatened it, but they never needed to jettison every 
> Datastax employee from the PMC, because the Datastax employees actively 
> worked in good faith to correct problems. Sometimes that work was 
> insufficient, and sometimes the PMC as a whole is less responsive than we 
> should be (because many of us are still learning). We (the PMC) have been 
> fairly open about acknowleding our shortcomings, and working to correct them. 
> Unfortunately, while there was acknowledgement from the board that the PMC 
> acted to correct problems (visible in the minutes, we're TRYING to do 
> better), there's never been an acknowledgement that members of the board 
> acted inappropriately - there was, at most, a single statement that it was 
> out of frustration (which appears to be a half-acknowledgement that it may be 
> out of line, but nowhere near an apology for being out of line).
> I can't speak for Datastax, but if I were in their shoes, and someone 
> threatened to jettison me from the PMC for something I had no prior knowledge 
> of, and then continued to act in an aggressive manner without ever 
> acknowledging that they, too, were wrong, I would also distance myself from 
> that group - not a "take my ball and go home" mentality, but a "these people 
> act in ways that I don't understand, they seem overly hostile, and I should 
> protect myself from them". What's frustrating is that it appears, in many 
> ways, that basic empathy and professionalism on the part of the ASF board 
> members could have potentially prevented this situation entirely. I suspect 
> that members of the ASF who believe the board handled this cleanly 
> re-evaluate that assertion, and ask themselves whether board members acted 
> with empathy, friendliness, and professionalism in their communication with 
> Datastax.
> If the members of the board take that recommendation to heart, and re-read 
> threads on private@ in an objective manner, and agree with my assertion that 
> they have room for improvement as well, I encourage both the board and 
> Datastax management to reconsider their decisions made in the past few 
> months, for the sake of the community.
> Because that's why we're all here - the community.

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