Nagios unity gets lost in translation

Nagios unity gets lost in translation

Summary: The fork of Nagios and Icinga may not have happened had not Nagios' position gotten lost in translation.

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TOPICS: Open Source, Google
10

The good people at Nagios, the open source security monitoring company, were in a triumphant mood yesterday.

Thanks to its community, the company said, it had recovered its trademark and ended "gross violations and misuse" of the name by Netways, a German company.

Suspecting there may be more to the story, I worked with Peter Marwan of ZDNet.DE seeking the other side. Marwan contacted Netways founder and managing director Julian Hein.

"Hein stated to me, that they registered the trademark Nagios in Germany at a time, when (Nagios founder) Ethan Galstad seemed to have no interest in it over here, but never used it actively nor claimed some money for selling it," Marwan reports.

"Sometime even Nagios linked to the site nagios-exchange, which was basically the only use, Netways made out of the name."

In other words, a misunderstanding.

This much is true. Netways is not a domain name troll. The company is a member in good standing of Germany's open source community, Marwan notes, regularly organizing meetings and events that contribute to the community.

Hein also offers a full explanation on his blog (translated here via Google).

His story of grabbing the trademark to keep it out of others' hands becomes more plausible when you realize that the Netways name is owned by an Arab developer (with offices in Canada) and that even Netways Europe is owned by someone else. In order to distinguish his company the German usually goes by NETWAYS.

According to Hein, Galstad demanded his name and URLs back at a 2008 Netways conference, including a site called NagiosExchange which Netways was making good use of. Despite what he considered rudeness, Hein says he immediately began the process of renaming his conference and supporting products.

The same drama happened in France, Hein writes. After ignoring the issue for some time, Galstad swooped in, demanding action, and basically rubbed people who were trying to support his software the wrong way.

Even Galstad seems to have recognized that tempers were getting frayed. In launching a Sourceforge list dubbed Nagios drama in February, he wrote, "It wouldn't be a proper OSS project if there wasn't some over-hyped drama every once in a while."

All this climaxed a few weeks ago in a Twitter argument, in which Hein agreed not only to surrender his rights to the name but under liability clauses. "Why is it not enough declaring that I want to transfer the mark? Why do I have to surrender under liability clauses I do not understand?"

Then he answers his own question, "I guess it is also some kind of revenge that we support the Icinga fork."

That's the real bottom line here. While Nagios got all its rights back, on terms it could accept without a law suit, the price was to stimulate creation of a fork that is now a direct competitor in the marketplace.

It's true the two groups seem to have different aims (Nagios is focused on enterprises, Icinga now has mobile support) but I suspect the fork would not have happened had things not gotten lost in translation.

Topics: Open Source, Google

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10 comments
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  • RE: Nagios unity gets lost in translation

    god, I cant belive people would actually think for a second anyone with a TM would not be "interested in it" especially on as big as nagios. come on people use common sense here. would you care about yours. would you care if someone refused to give your back for 5 years. this is a joke its gotta be right? author
    netways ca
    • RE: Nagios unity gets lost in translation

      @netways ca Apparently Nagios did not defend its trademark for some time, then acted in a pre-emptory manner in reclaiming their rights. This caused a fork.

      All I'm asking for here is a little tact and diplomacy.
      DanaBlankenhorn
      • RE: Nagios unity gets lost in translation

        @DanaBlankenhorn I'm surprised you didn't take some time to at least check the facts before repeating FUD that is constantly spewed by Julian Hein. Why didn't you take a moment and contact us at Nagios before just accepting an IP violator's statement as fact? I have been personally defending the Nagios trademark for nearly a decade. And I started defending it against Netways' violations nearly 5 years ago. Its ridiculous to think that I didn't/don't care about the trademark and community. I just don't negotiate with companies that steal and leverage blackmail tactics.
        ethangalstad
  • RE: Nagios unity gets lost in translation

    Julian Hein always stated: "if Ethan wants the brand name back, i'll give it to him immediately".
    Then why the f*ck didn't he give it back then all those years? Well, take a closer look at the documents and you see, why. Netways wanted Ethan to sign some kind of partnership contract before he would get his trademark back. No wonder he showed Netways the middle finger. Blackmailing...
    bambata
    • bambata

      @bambata I am glad to see there is atleast one other person with common sense who is reading all of this. This author is either horrible, or he has fatter pockets after this article ;) mr. Hein will you reveal the magic number?
      netways ca
  • What's the Fuzz All About?

    they have their trademark they apparently didn?t care about for quite some time. So why the ongoing embarrassing and childish bitching? @nagios: get a life and start coding!
    kalmetto
  • RE: Nagios unity gets lost in translation

    Another interesting article that is riddled with inaccuracies, assumptions, and opinions. The big question here is why the reporter did not contact Ethan at Nagios for a statement. This is clearly biased reporting and not "newsworthy" in my opinion. Shame on you for not checking your facts before publication.
    mstarr4
  • Nice Article Dana

    How much money would it cost to get a completely biased article full of misleading one sided information for my company. Why did you contact netways and not nagios?
    why do you assume its all fact with out question? aren't authors supposed to investigate for the truth?
    Did you even read both side's of the story? because I could wright a more accurate article my self, based on both of there statement's!
    netways ca
  • So...Jullien is thieving the name netways as well

    So he just steals anything he can doesn't he. He has now tried to steal the Nagios name/ he couldn't! so... he steals the entire project, very nice "classy guy". And now he has also already stolen the name netways from an Arab Developer. what a "classy guy". and your article sucks:(
    netways ca
  • RE: Nagios unity gets lost in translation

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