"Chris Withers" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote in message 

This has to be one of the more ill-informed, offensive posts
that I have seen from a member of the Zope community, and
that's saying a lot.

It's obvious that there's a good ventriloquist pulling
Chris' strings, since he's making assertions that are so
easily proven incorrect that they are laughable.

> I'm not sure muppetism applies to the Zope community, it appears to be 
> Zope Corporation who are coming out of this looking less than clever.

Yes, of course, we are looking less than clever. We offer up
a Foundation. We give all of our ZPL copyrighted code to
this Foundation. We give committers free membership and an
equal number of board seats to vendors who pay for those
board seats. Somehow, we're "bad guys" in this.

I agree. Trying to work with some of the people in this
community make me personally feel less than clever...

ZEA takes marks _directly from our website_, registers them
as their own, and they are "white knights". You're a genius.

> It's a shame, because really, they should be the ones benefitting from the 
> community they've created, but instead they're more and more isolating 
> themselves from a community which is finally starting to realise that 
> Zope's continued popularity is not predicated on the survival of Zope 
> Corporation.

See above. More and more we are isolating ourselves, by
joining sprints internationally, contributing our code to a
Foundation that _we_ are bringing to the community, and by
offering to participate completely in the ECM project as
well. I can see how this is isolationist. Again, you're a

> I hope Lois in particular reads this and understands that you can't bully 
> an open source community, and doing so is likely going have much worse 
> consequences for the bully in the medium to long term than it will for the 
> people being bullied.

And now, for the ultimate in idiocy.

Lois has not _once_ communicated directly with the
"community" on anything other than announcements regarding
training. Certainly, she has never "bullied" the community
on any topic, including the Foundation.

So, how do I know you are being manipulated into making
stupid public statements? Someone obviously had to tell you
that Lois was involved in the ZEA discussions. Want to know
how? Probably not, since you were stupid enough to parrot
someone else's words, but for the benefit of everyone else
who has a brain, and cares to really understand the truth,
here goes:

Rob and I had the only interactions with any ZEA members,
and they were _exclusively_ with Xavier Heymans and Paul
Everitt. After one exchange with Paul, he requested to be
let out of the continued discussions due to potential
conflicts of interest (which we respected).

Lois received an email out of the clear blue from another
ZEA member (who had not been on any of the emails between
Rob, Paul, Xavier and myself). He reached out to Lois asking
her to participate in a conference call with him, another
ZEA member (also not on any previous communications) and
Xavier. Rob and I were not invited to participate in this

Lois was _not_ in the loop on our side either previous to
this attempt to reach out to her. The three ZEA members
discussed the issue with Lois for 70 minutes. I doubt they
reached out to her because they thought she was the "bully"
in our bunch.

At the end of the conversation, Lois came to Rob and I and
supported some of the requests that ZEA made in terms of
compensation for the transfer. The amount that was
originally requested (20,000 EUROS, plus additional
"transfer fees") was absurd to me, and even though Lois was
willing to find a middle ground, she was the "messenger"
that related to them that "management" rejected their offer.

Three days later, Lois wrote back a note to Xavier (this
past Friday), again playing the messenger, with a offer to
pay any expenses that we otherwise would have had to pay to
be the original registrars of the marks. It is my contention
that if someone steals something from you, you shouldn't
have to pay them a premium to get it back, should you?

We have had no response to that note, and we informed them
more than a week in advance that we would make this matter
public if they didn't respond. Obviously, they didn't mind
it being made public, or they would have found a way to work
it out.

Now, let's continue with the history lesson, this time
concentrating on me, rather than Lois.

I invested in Zope Corporation (then Digital Creations) in
October 1998. I was the largest investor (using my personal
money) then, and through two additional rounds of funding
remain the largest single personal investor (by a long
shot!). So, my money is where my mouth is in this company.

It was _me_, and me alone that suggested in November of 1998
that we open source the software (before it was even called

It was me that discussed the licensing issues with Bruce
Perens to come up with ZPL 1.0. It was me who discussed the
licensing issues with Richard Stallman to come up with ZPL
2.0 which was also GPL compatible (which ZPL 1.0 was not).

I participated personally in the numerous hours on the phone
last year (yes, last year!) with our attorneys to discuss
what the steps were in forming a Zope Foundation. When Zope
3 was finally ready for prime time, at the request of Rob
Page, I fully supported kicking off the process of launching
the Foundation, and giving over all of the copyrighted ZPL
code to it.

For those who don't know me, I'm the greedy VC in this
bullying company who has been so abusive to the community.
It's obvious that I (and by extension) Zope Corp are out to
get all of you...

The bottom line is that I have been supportive of the
community from the minute it was formed, and have never done
anything to hurt the community in any action since then (7
years is not a short track record!). To be accused of
anything nefarious or "bullying" is simply a personal
affront. To accuse Lois is simply ignorant, since she
doesn't deal with the community at all.

It is people like you, and posts like this, that make me
wonder whether the economic risks of starting a Foundation,
donating our copyrighted code to it, and licensing our marks
to it on an irrevocable basis are worth the trouble.
Obviously you don't think so. Perhaps, we could work
something out by paying everyone in the community $100,000
per year to download Zope and use it. Would that work for
you personally?

The only reason that I won't consider not continuing with
the Foundation is that like in everything else in the world,
I honestly believe that there is a true _silent majority_ in
the Zope Community. Hard-working honest people who don't
think that Zope Corp is "out to get them", who appreciate
most of what we've done _for_ and _with_ the community, but
are too busy leading their lives to chime in and publicly
support our various efforts. It would be a double outrage to
hurt those people in any way, just to spite an idiot like

So, I won't, and you too will benefit from our largesse. Too

> cheers,
> Chris

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