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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Business models that will not work [was: Re: Can we update our migration status table?]
Date Mon, 28 Nov 2011 17:11:33 GMT
On Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 11:27 AM, Marcus (OOo) <> wrote:
> Am 11/28/2011 05:48 AM, schrieb Dave Fisher:


>> I changed the MirrorBrain row to make it clear that this issue only
>> effects the legacy OOo downloads. All AOO releases will be on the Apache
>> Mirror system.
>> Perhaps is one way that AOO can team up
>> with TOOo?
> Maybe not a bad idea. AOO will take care of the code and produces the source
> release (and maybe also some binary releases) and hosting of install files
> can be done by TOO. Could be a good thing of collaboration.

Anyone is free to take Apache releases and redistribute them.  Anyone.
 That is the nature of open source license.

However, there is no exclusivity to this.  We can't designate one
party, outside of Apache, as the "official" distributer of builds or
to give them special access to our download page that we do not offer
fairly to others.

So I'm afraid that business models based on things like this are doomed to fail:

1) Selling web ads based on being the exclusive or preferred download
site for OpenOffice

2) Having a 3rd party "contribute" link on a page that is the
Apache-promoted exclusive or preferred download site for OpenOffice

3) Having a special build of OpenOffice that has internal ads or links
to ads or contribute links, that is given exclusive or preferred
placement on Apache owned domains, including

4) Using names that infringe on Apache-owned trademarks in order to
confuse users and drive traffic to pages with web ads, contribute
links, or downloads with embedded ads, sponsored co-installed software
(bloatware), etc.

In other words, a business model that is based on the name recognition
and familiarity of the name "OpenOffice" rather than the goods or
services one actually produces will fail, since the above would either
violate Apache policy, the Apache-owned trademarks, or both.

Business models that might work, include:

1) Having a derivative of OpenOffice under a different name that
distinguishes itself in some way that users value, and by building a
unique brand name around these values, get traffic to your website,
where you can then sell ads, ask for contributions, etc.

2) Having an independent company that is clearly distinguished from
Apache and the AOO, that accepts donations or payment to add features
or fix bugs in AOO.  Of course, one needs to be sensitive to the fact
that you can never guarantee that a given feature will be accepted by
other committers.

3) Deployment, migration services, customization, training, extension
development for enterprise users of OpenOffice.

Perhaps there are other good business models?


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