Matt Hamilton wrote:
These are serious claims. I talked to Paul who looked into it and
gave me the following information. Note that, since the negotiations
are finished and the terms are agreed to, we can talk about this with
whomever is interested.
We have always been here to discuss the issues, and have continued to
discuss them with numerous emails with a ZEA managing partner since my
post yesterday. We have not ignored a single communication between us.
Some quick points:
1) ZEA emailed ZC on Aug 29, twice on Aug 30, Sep 5, and Sep 15.
True, nearly always in response to a prodding email from us, but that's
not really the point.
2) The Sep 15 note reminded ZC of two points:
a. We don't have the paperwork yet. We can't transfer something we
don't have. (Contrary to public statements, the Plone paperwork
hasn't arrived either.)
I'm glad that someone finally admitted this (that the Plone paperwork
hasn't been done!). As you say, it has been been claimed _publicly_ that
this transfer was _complete_, and that only the WIPO database hasn't
As you can imagine, if the previous public claims were taken to be true
(which we did!), then it should be a matter of "search/replace" 'Plone
Foundation' for 'Zope Corporation' and we'd already have been done. I
don't think it served anyone's interest to so loudly put ZC down for
pointing out that ZEA still owned the Plone TM, when in fact it turns
out that this is still the case months after we pointed it out...
b. We can't finish the transfer until ZC provides foreign address
information for certain countries. This was discussed in the mails
This has already privately been pointed out to ZEA as incorrect. That
said, even if it was correct, not a single paragraph of "terms" has been
sent to us with a "blank" address line. Surely, a draft of the agreement
can be shared with us before this address is supplied?
Also, there are _many_ countries (the ones we care most about, as we've
been very honest and transparent about this fact in public) where the
transfer can happen _immediately_ to our US address. To hold up the
transfer in the UK (for example), because we might not qualify in
Algeria (no offense to Algerians!!!), is beyond our comprehension.
3) ZEA has well over a hundred manhours over the last 18 months on
this trademark. We are getting no compensation for past, present,
or future work. Yet, ZEA continues to help the process, as the
emails will attest.
Agreed, and we appreciate that. Let's not rehash that ZEA shouldn't have
ever spent one hour or one penny in this process, had they simply told
us that _we_ were in danger from the "subversives"...
4) ZEA gave the contact info for the trademark attorney to ZC,
encouraged ZC to contact her (hasn't happened), and instructed her
This too is bogus. She is your vendor, and you are her client. You can't
get any paperwork out of her even for the Plone Foundation, where there
is "no contention or timing issue", but you expect us to deal with her
directly, when we have no business relationship with her. Sorry, it
These points might not be 100% right, ZEA might have made mistakes,
we're not perfect, the trademark attorney could respond faster, we
could email ZC twice per day, etc.
This is silly. It has dragged on for months, not days. If we don't
write, we get _no updates_. Only when we ask, do we get updates. The
updates always say "soon", and then we get _no updates_ again until we
ask again, when we again hear "soon"...
On a personal note, ZEA is working for free to help ZC improve the
value of a sharelholder asset. ZC might have legitimate complaints
about ZEA's performance. However, public mudslinging does not incent
our pro bono help on the transfer process. As ZEA has stated, ZC can
go directly to the trademark lawyer.
I don't agree that my post yesterday was public mudslinging. In fact, I
went out of my way to say that we reached an agreement quickly and
amicably, and that working with the ZEA people was a positive process.
That simply doesn't negate the fact that no "progress" has been made,
even though a theoretical agreement has been reached.
Andreas is a recognized leader in the Zope community (being the primary
release manager for Zope 2.x), and is someone I personally respect from
my years of interaction with him when he was a Zope employee. He asked
two legitimate questions, that deserved answers (I'm sure many more
people were hoping someone else would ask).
As I pointed out today to one of the ZEA managing partners, the last
communication we had from ZEA _after_ we informed them that we had
restarted the legal process (the communication was from this same
partner) stated clearly that there was nothing that ZEA could do to move
the process forward. It didn't seem so harsh to simply answer Andreas'
question accurately, with no disparagement to ZEA or their people.
Instead, public mudslinging and constantly threatening the Zope
Foundation could have a dire effect. We are one reporter away from a
"Zope: The Next Mambo?" story.
Hmmm. Not only wasn't there a threat to the Foundation, I went so far as
to share an internal idea that Rob proposed, which would allow the
Foundation to launch on time, even if this wasn't sorted out. It seems
to me that we are taking great care to continue to do the right thing by
the community, regardless of our current situation with ZEA.
We should immediately stop using the mailing lists and the Zope
Foundation as negotiation tools for ZC property.
And yet you would like yours to be the last word. While I completely
agree that this is not the best forum to debate these issues, I am also
not afraid of doing so. I believe that our position is reasonable, and
that we have been 100% transparent in pursuing it. Therefore, as much as
I too would like to avoid these public outbursts, I am willing to be
judged by what we _do_, as well as by what we say.
You could have written to me privately if you really didn't want to
continue this in public, but you chose to respond publicly, which is
fine, and I will do so as long as you do as well.
ZEA might have mishandled things, or you might simply believe ZEA
isn't acting in good faith. Let's find an alternate outlet for this.
I believe ZEA is acting in completely good faith. I believe that they
are also not handling it well. I believe that if we had understood at
any point before today that the Plone Foundation transfer documents did
not exist either, that we might have taken a different course of action,
but that doesn't mean that the delay would have been acceptable anyway.
The Plone Foundation might be able to wait another 10 years to get the
TM transferred. We have a date by which we'd like to launch the Zope
Foundation, because we told everyone that we would try to launch by
then. It was our belief that this would best be accomplished by having
the TM issue resolved between us by then. That's still the case, but we
will try to launch without it nonetheless.
For example, add someone from ZEA to the advisory board that you
mentioned. If you feel that ZEA isn't acting right, take it to the
advisory board. ZEA gets a chance to respond. If the advisory board
votes against ZEA, ZEA gets publicly thrown off the advisory board.
Our TM issue is our issue, not the advisory board's issue. They are
helping us form a "fair" Foundation, not advising us as to how best
protect our TM.
ZEA has agreed (from the beginning) to hand over the marks at no
financial gain. Once ZC provides the missing information and ZEA gets
the papers, we're probably a few weeks away from wrapping this up.
Speak to your partner to see how this isn't the real holdup, but is a
relatively easy excuse ZEA to lean on. In any event, just get us
documents with blanks for the address if that is truly the only
Any niggles in this are just niggles. The deal is done and there are
no disagreements on the terms. The transfer process, although
complicated, is in progress. Given this, the risk of being "The Next
Mambo" outweighs the perceived benefit from mudslinging.
Again, like I said, I don't believe I engaged in mudslinging, and I
don't believe that this response constitutes mudslinging either. I hope
you agree (after the fact) with that assessment.
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