[linux-elitists] BurnAllRedHat?

M. Drew Streib dtype@dtype.org
Wed Dec 12 09:18:46 PST 2001

On Wed, Dec 12, 2001 at 05:03:15PM -0000, Rusty Foster wrote:
> But Jason Phillips, founder of CD seller/auction house UnixCD.com says
> it seems like Red Hat wants to stop all discounted and free
> distributions of its operating system. Phillips received a letter last
> week asking his company to stop selling discounted CDs with the Red
> Hat brand...

Sorry to say that I have to support Red Hat on this one. Phillips is wrong
that this is a GPL violation, and in fact the FSF actively promotes the
separation of copyright and trademark law. Protection of "Red Hat" is a 
trademark issue, not a copyright one.

That said, using the phrase "based on Red Hat Linux" may still be ok, as
long as you are clear that the actual product you are selling is not _the_
"Red Hat Linux". The issue becomes one of confusion for the consumer.

That said, I haven't used unofficial nor official versions of RHL as my
primary OS in years. That doesn't affect my belief that RH should be able
to defend a trademark, however.

As always: IANAL, TINLA.


M. Drew Streib <dtype@dtype.org>, Free Standards Group (freestandards.org)
co-founder, SourceForge.net | core team, freedb | sysadmin, Linux Intl.
creator, keyanalyze report | maintnr, *.us.pgp.net | other, see freedom/law
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