First, my apologies for the lack of updates on the Hudson/Oracle situation for
the last few weeks. While talks have been ongoing, the holidays have slowed
things down, and we didn't want to send out information that would later turn
out not to be true. We've been waiting for the talks to reach a resolution -
and I believe they now have.
Since the java.net migration problems, Oracle and representatives from the
Hudson community have been involved in talks on the future of the project in a
number of areas. The Hudson representatives have been myself, Kohsuke
Kawaguchi, and Sacha Labourey (CEO of CloudBees and Kohsuke's boss), who was
brought in to help provide experience with discussions on a corporate/executive
level which neither Kohsuke nor I have, with Alan Harder and R. Tyler Croy
advising on the side.
These talks have in many ways been fruitful - we came to working agreements
with Oracle on the project infrastructure (such as mailing lists and SCM
repository location), code review policy for Hudson core, and perhaps most
significantly, a governance structure for the project going forward. Some
issues are not yet entirely resolved, such as questions on restrictions on
third party dependency licenses. But one issue, which we feel is the most
significant issue of all, one for which we now believe no resolution is
possible: the rights to the name Hudson.
Oracle has told us that they have trademark applications filed in both the EU
and US for Hudson, based on Hudson's creation by Kohsuke while working at Sun.
The problem is that this trademark ownership gives Oracle the ability to revoke
the Hudson project's right to call itself Hudson at any time, and while Oracle
has made an attempt to offer some guarantees (most notably, that binary
releases of Hudson, once they've been released with the name Hudson attached,
will always retain the right to the name), they are not offering any binding
guarantee that the Hudson project will be able to retain its use of the name in
Therefore, to continue using the name Hudson means ceding some of the project's
independence to Oracle - if the project and its governance board opted to go in
a direction Oracle disapproved of, Oracle would be able to take away the naming
rights. Or, in a less dramatic scenario, Oracle could insist on certain changes
to the code, infrastructure decisions, process, etc, regardless of opposition
from the Hudson development community, in order to retain the rights to the
In short, we'd be living under a sword of Damocles, regardless of the goodwill
of the individuals we've been negotiating with at Oracle - Hudson as a project
would be beholden to Oracle's whims for its continued use of its own name, and
we believe that's not viable.