Updated: December 2019
- 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 https://www.npmjs.com/policies/conduct, and nothing in
this document should be interpreted to contradict any aspect of the npm Code of
Get the author email with npm owner ls <pkgname>
Email the author, CC email@example.com
After a few weeks, if there's no resolution, we'll sort it out.
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.)
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 foo, and
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
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,
because Yusuf's 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
email@example.com and we'll sort it out. ("Reasonable" is usually at least
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
Malware (that is, a package designed to exploit or harm the machine on which
it is installed).
Violations of copyright or licenses (for example, cloning an MIT-licensed
program, and then removing or changing the copyright and license statement).
"Squatting" on a package name that you plan to use, but aren't actually
using. Sorry, I don't care how great the name is, or how perfect a fit it is
for the thing that someday might happen. If someone wants to use it today,
and you're just taking up space with an empty tarball, you're going to be
Putting empty packages in the registry. Packages must have SOME
functionality. It can be silly, but it can't be nothing. (See also:
Doing weird things with the registry, like using it as your own personal
application database or otherwise putting non-packagey things into it.
Other things forbidden by the npm
Code of Conduct https://www.npmjs.com/policies/conduct such as hateful
language, pornographic content, or harassment.
If you see bad behavior like this, please report it to firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com with a link to
the package or user account on https://www.npmjs.com/ 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 https://github.com/npm/cli/commits/latest/doc/misc/npm-disputes.md
to view the changes.
Copyright (C) npm, Inc., All rights reserved
This document may be reused under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike
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