[Distutils] Process for taking over abandoned packages

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at gmail.com
Thu Oct 16 07:47:09 CEST 2014

On 16 October 2014 14:21, Richard Jones <richard at python.org> wrote:
> I am currently trying to decide what to do in the case of this request:
> https://sourceforge.net/p/pypi/support-requests/420/

A couple of points on the specific request:

1. http://sourceforge.net/p/py-googlemaps/bugs/4/ indicates the
package owner is aware their package doesn't work anymore, and is
redirecting folks to pygeocoder.

2. As noted in the draft policy, the next step would be to file an
issue at http://sourceforge.net/p/py-googlemaps/bugs/ to provide a
public record and timeline of attempts to contact the existing owner

(I know email is a pretty unreliable way of contacting me, for
example, since I don't read all of mine - if Gmail flags it as
promotional, social media, or spam, I may never see it)

> It is remarkably similar to the request which only just recently got me into
> trouble, with the slight difference that there may be a trademark issue
> which I am definitely not able to address. Therefore I am extremely hesitant
> to actually grant the request. It certainly falls under the final statement
> in the written-up policy:
> "Transfer will not be performed where an individual or project wishes to
> take ownership of a name because they feel the current owner has left it
> stagnating, or even broken, in the absence of the above transfer
> conditions."

Moving on to more general comments on the draft policy, I'm inclined
to agree with Holger's comment on that paragraph: if someone abandons
a project entirely, but there's someone else willing and able to take
it over, then it's desirable for us to have an agreed way to deal with
that. His proposed thresholds of no releases for two years, and no
response to a tracker issue regarding the transfer for 2 months sound
reasonable to me, but I'd be quite open to bumping them higher (in the
case at hand, the last py-googlemaps release and the last commit were
both 5 years ago, while their last tracker activity was almost a year
and a half ago).

> Your thoughts, as always, are welcome.

I see Noah already raised the trademark dispute question as a comment
on the draft policy, but you may want to make it explicit that in the
absence of an amicable resolution at the community level, trademark
related questions would need to be escalated to the Python Software
Foundation as the legal entity backing the PyPI service.

I'd obviously prefer to see us resolve things through the more
collaborative community processes, but talking to lawyers (both ours
and other people's) is one of the reasons the PSF exists.

At this stage, the point of escalation would be directly to the board
- dealing with *other people's* trademarks is not something that is
currently delegated to anyone.


Nick Coghlan   |   ncoghlan at gmail.com   |   Brisbane, Australia

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