Postgres Core Team launches unprecedented attack against the Postgres Community

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2021-09-13 18:00:06

One of the often cited advantages of the PostgreSQL project is its resiliency. Especially in the presence of rogue actors: being a distributed Community, it is hard to target any individual, group or entity and affect/disrupt the whole Community. Similarly, it is not possible to “buy PostgreSQL”, irrespective of how much money you have, since there’s no single entity, group or company that constitutes the whole project and thus could be acquired. PostgreSQL is a Distributed Community, and this is one of its core strengths.

But actually: Who is the PostgreSQL Community? Who develops PostgreSQL? The “PostgreSQL Global Development Group” (PGDG), which is an abstract term that covers developers and volunteers around the world that have contributed to PostgreSQL. Diving into the COPYRIGHT, we see that effectively for the period 1996-2021 it is assigned to the PGDG. The PostgreSQL Developer FAQ further clarifies that “contributors keeps their copyright […]. They simply consider themselves to be part of the PGDG”. Copyright is also distributed, reinforcing the previous reasoning about PostgreSQL’s resiliency.

Intellectual Property (IP) protection for the project also requires adequate trademark protection. As of today there are three PostgreSQL Community Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) that hold trademark registrations for the PostgreSQL project. And the three of them have made them public, open and free for anyone to use for the benefit of PostgreSQL: the PostgreSQL Association of Canada (PAC), PostgreSQL Europe (PEU) and Fundación PostgreSQL (FPG), though some of them introduced lately some restrictions to their use, as we shall see later.

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