[OpenStack Foundation] Understanding DefCore

Joe Gordon joe.gordon0 at gmail.com
Tue Jun 24 23:53:39 UTC 2014

On Tue, Jun 24, 2014 at 2:56 PM, Mark McLoughlin <markmc at redhat.com> wrote:

> On Sun, 2014-06-22 at 22:19 -0700, Joe Gordon wrote:
> > Hi all,
> >
> >
> > In trying to wrap my head around DefCore, I read the DefCore
> > committe's mission as documented on the committee's wiki page[0]. The
> > mission is to "define 'OpenStack Core' as chartered by the by-laws and
> > guided by Governance/CoreDefinition.'  While the bylaws don't have any
> > reference to "OpenStack Core" they do define a term called "Core
> > OpenStack Project"[1]. Is this what the DefCore Comittee is refering
> > to when talking about "OpenStack Core?"
> Yes, it is. The crucial bit is:
>   "The Core OpenStack Project means the software modules which are part
>    of an integrated release and for which an OpenStack trademark may be
>    used. The other modules which are part of the OpenStack Project, but
>    not the Core OpenStack Project may not be identified using the
>    OpenStack trademark except when distributed with the Core OpenStack
>    Project."
> The aspect of this I think everyone is agreed on is that "The Core
> OpenStack Project" is a subset of the integrated release. And that "The
> Core OpenStack Project" has something to do with the OpenStack
> trademark.
> There are two interpretations of this AFAICT:
>   1) Only the core modules can be called OpenStack Foo and OpenStack Bar
>   2) Only the core modules can be required in some way for commercial
>      products which license the OpenStack trademark in some way

Isn't legalese fun.  I have a third interpretation that combined those two.

Only the core modules can be called OpenStack Foo and OpenStack Bar (as
long as the usage is in line with the Trademark Policy), and how the
trademarks are licensed is subject to the Trademark Policy. The Trademark
Policy cannot define a trademark that only requires something outside of
the Core OpenStack Project. For example the Trademark Policy clearly states
what is required to use the "Powered by OpenStack™" trademark. So the issue
of licensing the trademark for commercial products is purview of only the
Trademark Policy. Any requirements of running or passing specific tests
would fit under the Trademark Policy.

> The DefCore effort is about clarifying (2) "by defining 1) capabilities,
> 2) code and 3) must-pass tests for all OpenStack products. This
> definition [..] drives interoperability by creating the minimum
> standards for products labeled "OpenStack."

Based on my interpretation above, this goal would not apply to defining
core, but about amending the Trademark Policy, as the bylaws describe when
talking about how the Board of Directors may amend the the Trademark Policy
without doing a general vote as long as the amendment is made prior to
January 31, 2013.

"amend the Trademark Policy prior to January 31, 2013 to establish testing
and certification requirements for the use of the trademarks owned by the
Foundation in connection with the use of the Core OpenStack Project."

> >  If so, the bylaws already clearly state the process to change what
> > software modules make up the "Core OpenStack Project." The Technical
> > Committee(TC) proposes a change to what is in the "Core OpenStack
> > Project" and the Board of Directors has the sole authrity to approve
> > or reject the TC's recommendation [2].
> Under interpretation (1) above, that means the TC can ask the board for
> e.g. Heat to be called OpenStack Orchestration:
> http://git.openstack.org/cgit/openstack/governance/tree/resolutions/20131106-ceilometer-and-heat-official-names.rst

To the best of my knowledge the Board of Directors has not approved this
resolution. I have not been able to find any evidence of a vote on this.

> Under interpretation (2) above, the TC would be recommending that Heat
> should in some way be required for OpenStack products.

The current list of The current list of modules in "Core OpenStack Project"
are "Block Storage, Compute, Dashboard, Identity Service, Image Service,
Networking, and Object Storage modules." But the Trademark Policy says "The
Powered by OpenStack' Logo, shown immediately below, may be used by
individuals, organizations, and companies that use formally released
OpenStack Compute (Nova) code in their application or product." And never
says an OpenStack product must run all the modules in  "Core OpenStack
Project." In fact it never uses the word 'Core.'

which makes me thing interpretation (2) is not entirely correct.

> >  This mismatch between DefCore's mission and the bylaws has already
> > been identified by the DefCore committee itself [3]. So if the current
> > mission statement doesn't align with the bylaws then what is the
> > DefCore committe's current mission statement?
> It's part of the DefCore committee's mission to help get the bylaws
> confusion clarified AIUI.
> AFAICT the assumption is that the language should be clarified such that
> interpretation (2) is clear.
> > The 'Core Definition' document[5] mentions DefCore will help
> > "determine how commercial implementations of OpenStack can be granted
> > use of the trademark," and the committee "may suggest changes to the
> > by-laws to clarify the definition of core." So presumably DefCore is
> > not about defining "Core OpenStack Project," but rather about revising
> > the trademark policy as defined in Appendix 8 of the bylaws [6].
> It's about changing how "Core OpenStack Project" is defined such that it
> is no longer "a set of modules which is a subset of the integrated
> release" but instead "a set of API tests and required sections of code".
> That involves both coming up with the process for managing that (in that
> it wouldn't begin simply with the TC nominating some modules for Core)
> and proposing the bylaws changes to reflect the process.
> That raises the question of what happens if DefCore-recommended bylaws
> changes can't be passed. What interpretation of the current bylaws
> allows the commercial trademark requirements process to evolve in this
> way?

The bylaws seem pretty clear about this, the commercial trademark
requirements cannot evolve without a large vote " In addition to the vote
of the Board of Directors as provided in Section 9.1, the amendment of the
following Sections requires an affirmative vote of (i) two-thirds of the
Gold Members, (ii) two-thirds of the Platinum Members, and (iii) a majority
of the Individual Members voting (but only if at least 25% of the
Individual Members vote at an annual or special meeting): Article II (not
including the Appendices referenced in Article II), Sections 4.1, 4.2(a),
4.9, 4.10, 4.11, 4.13, 4.17, 4.20, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4 "   7.3 is the
Trademark Policy

> >  This interpretation alligns with the special clause on ammendments in
> > the bylaws "the Board of Directors may by majority vote, amend the
> > Trademark Policy prior to January 31, 2013 to establish testing and
> > certification requirements for the use of the trademarks owned by the
> > Foundation in connection with the use of the Core OpenStack
> > Project."[7]  What is the progress on drafting a revision to the
> > trademark policy? Is there a preliminary draft on the proposed change?
> > Seeing this would help me wrap my better understand DefCore.
> Good question, I don't know if the Foundation is working on drafting a
> new trademark policy.
> AIUI the Foundation staff is responsible for the details of the
> trademark policy and it has changed somewhat since the bylaws were
> drafted. I think it was only included in the bylaws for informational
> purposes and doesn't require a vote of the Individual Members. Then
> again, section 9.2(a) suggests voting is required to change any of the
> appendices.
> Thanks,
> Mark.
> > [0] https://wiki.openstack.org/wiki/Governance/DefCoreCommittee
> > [1] http://www.openstack.org/legal/bylaws-of-the-openstack-foundation/
> > Sections 4.1.b
> > [2] http://www.openstack.org/legal/bylaws-of-the-openstack-foundation/
> > Sections 4.13.b
> > [3] https://etherpad.openstack.org/p/DefCoreBylawsIPE
> > [5] https://wiki.openstack.org/wiki/Governance/CoreDefinition
> > [6] http://www.openstack.org/brand/openstack-trademark-policy/
> > [7] http://www.openstack.org/legal/bylaws-of-the-openstack-foundation/
> > Sections 9.2.d
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