Wed Dec 12 10:59:49 PST 2001
On Wed, 12 Dec 2001, David Shaw wrote:
> 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.
Well, and consider that, since they give away their main tangible
product (or semi-tangible; I'm too tired to think of a more
appropriate word here) - the packaging and whatnot that goes into the
CDs, the ISOs of which you can download and burn - the main advantage
that they have is a trademark, a reputation. And whether you or I
think that reputation is good or bad, it's still their main means of
differentiating themselves from a business standpoint, and increasing
the number of people willing to pay for that reputation.
If one is trying to sell a CD of Linux, the only reason to NEED to put
the words "Red Hat" on it is to piggyback on the brand itself, and to
increase *sales* of it by specifically using the reputation built by
the company. And that, of course, has nothing to do with the GPL, and
everything to do with trademark infringement.
So I have to side with RH on this one, too.
Ryan Waldron ||| http://www.erebor.com ||| firstname.lastname@example.org
"The web goes ever, ever on, down from the site where it began..."
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