[linux-elitists] BurnAllRedHat?

David Shaw dshaw@jabberwocky.com
Wed Dec 12 10:52:09 PST 2001

On Wed, Dec 12, 2001 at 10:14:59AM -0800, Greg KH wrote:
> On Wed, Dec 12, 2001 at 05:51:17PM -0000, Rusty Foster wrote:
> > 
> > I would agree with this. It's unclear to me how far RedHat wants to
> > take this, though. While definitely not a GPL violation, it strikes me
> > as somewhat anti-community. If they're OK with "based on redhat linux"
> > though, I'd have no problem with it.
> Red Hat does spell out, in many detailed words, exactly what is ok to do
> about copying their cds.  They even drill down to the size of the font
> that you have to say "based on Red Hat Linux" on the cd :)
> Unfortunately I can't find the document anymore on their site, but I do
> remember reading it when I was working on the Immunix distro (which is
> based on Red Hat.)  From what I remember, I thought it was quite fair,
> and seemed to be so that people would not buy copied cds and try to
> claim that Red Hat owed them support in any way.
> Anyone have a pointer to that page?  Steve?

The page is gone, but Google has it cached:

That page says:

     You may state that your product "is based on Red Hat Linux X.X,"
     but you must do so in a fashion that indicates that "Red Hat
     Linux" is not the name or brand of your product and that Red Hat
     is not a source or sponsor of your product.

 and gives tips (including the font size) for how to handle things.

The new page at
http://www.redhat.com/about/corporate/trademark/page9.html says:

     You may not state that your product "contains Red Hat Linux X.X."
     This would amount to impermissible use of Red Hat's trademarks.

After reading the new trademark guide, I'm not sure if there is any
way to sell a Red Hat CD while still using the words "Red" and "Hat"
in near proximity to each other.  It's chock full of legaleze that
lists all the things you can't do, but isn't particularly helpful in
saying what you *can* do.

It all seems sort of unfortunate (a more innocent era has passed),
though frankly, I'm leaning towards feeling RH is in the right on
this.  The GPL doesn't say anything about trademarks.


   David Shaw  |  dshaw@jabberwocky.com  |  WWW http://www.jabberwocky.com/
   "There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX.
      We don't believe this to be a coincidence." - Jeremy S. Anderson
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