Handling Module Name Disputes
This document describes the steps that you should take to resolve module name disputes with other npm publishers. It also describes special steps you should take about names you think infringe your trademarks.
This document is a clarification of the acceptable behavior outlined in the npm Code of Conduct, and nothing in this document should be interpreted to contradict any aspect of the npm Code of Conduct.
npm owner ls <pkgname>
Don't squat on package names. Publish code or move out of the way.
There sometimes arise cases where a user publishes a module, and then later, some other user wants to use that name. Here are some common ways that happens (each of these is based on actual events.)
foo, which is not node-specific. Alice
doesn't use node at all. Yusuf wants to use
foo in node, so he wraps it in
an npm module. Some time later, Alice starts using node, and wants to take
over management of her program.
Yusuf writes an npm module
foo, and publishes it. Perhaps much later, Alice
finds a bug in
foo, and fixes it. She sends a pull request to Yusuf, but
Yusuf doesn't have the time to deal with it, because he has a new job and a
new baby and is focused on his new Erlang project, and kind of not involved
with node any more. Alice would like to publish a new
foo, but can't,
because the name is taken.
Yusuf writes a 10-line flow-control library, and calls it
publishes it to the npm registry. Being a simple little thing, it never
really has to be updated. Alice works for Foo Inc, the makers of the
critically acclaimed and widely-marketed
They publish it to npm as
foojs, but people are routinely confused when
npm install foo is some different thing.
Yusuf writes a parser for the widely-known
foo file format, because he
needs it for work. Then, he gets a new job, and never updates the prototype.
Later on, Alice writes a much more complete
foo parser, but can't publish,
foo is in the way.
npm owner ls foo. This will tell Alice the email address of the owner
Alice emails Yusuf, explaining the situation as respectfully as possible,
and what she would like to do with the module name. She adds the npm support
staff email@example.com to the CC list of the email. Mention in the email
that Yusuf can run npm owner
add alice foo to add Alice as an owner of the
After a reasonable amount of time, if Yusuf has not responded, or if Yusuf and Alice can't come to any sort of resolution, email support firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll sort it out. ("Reasonable" is usually at least 4 weeks.)
In almost every case so far, the parties involved have been able to reach an amicable resolution without any major intervention. Most people really do want to be reasonable, and are probably not even aware that they're in your way.
Module ecosystems are most vibrant and powerful when they are as self-directed as possible. If an admin one day deletes something you had worked on, then that is going to make most people quite upset, regardless of the justification. When humans solve their problems by talking to other humans with respect, everyone has the chance to end up feeling good about the interaction.
Some things are not allowed, and will be removed without discussion if they are brought to the attention of the npm registry admins, including but not limited to:
If you see bad behavior like this, please report it to email@example.com right away. You are never expected to resolve abusive behavior on your own. We are here to help.
If you think another npm publisher is infringing your trademark, such as by using a confusingly similar package name, email firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the package or user account on https://www.npmjs.com/. Attach a copy of your trademark registration certificate.
If we see that the package's publisher is intentionally misleading others by
misusing your registered mark without permission, we will transfer the package
name to you. Otherwise, we will contact the package publisher and ask them to
clear up any confusion with changes to their package's
README file or
This is a living document and may be updated from time to time. Please refer to the git history for this document to view the changes.
Copyright (C) npm, Inc., All rights reserved
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