Civic's class Re: [linux-elitists] BurnAllRedHat?

Ben Woodard
Fri Dec 14 08:54:58 PST 2001

Do y'all remember talking civics class in high school. I remember
thinking at the time that the civics class was a complete waste. The
older I get, the more I learn about the legal world that we live in,
the more that I realize that I was spot on with regards to
civics. The thing that has changed for me over the years is the
realization that I NEEDED a civics class. Young people need a really
good civics class. They need to know how their government works. They
need to know a substantial bit about copyright, trademark, consumer
protection and a whole host of other laws.

Drew, I really appriciate the rather informed comment about trademark
law. I learned something. Here we all are, adults in our 20's and 30's
and we are discussing trademark law. Why isn't this common knowlege to
everyone by the time that they leave high school?

I'm sort of building up a mental syllabus for my dreamed for Civics

* How our federal government works
* How to petition your representatives
* How to get information from government agencies. FOIA
* Different public aid and entitement programs and how they work.
* Special interest groups -- how they work
* Elementary tax law
* Regulators and licences
* Introduction to IP law (copyrights, patents, and trademarks)
* Elementary contract law
  - How to read service agreements
  - how to read job agreements, settlements
* Due process and what to do if you are pulled over or arrested
* Police, enforcement and public safety
* How to find an good attorney or lawyer.
* How our state government works
* Elections and campaigns.
* Serving on a jury
* Consumer protection law
  - antitrust
  - labeling
* Civil lawsuits
  - When to sue
  - What to do if you are sued

Anyone want to add anything?

Another idea that I had would be to team up with a lawyer and write an
O'Reilly book on the legal environment for open source developers.


begin  M. Drew Streib  quotation:
> On Thu, Dec 13, 2001 at 10:54:58AM -0800, Rick Moen wrote:
> > But the Red Hat legal page claims that other vendors may not _mention_
> > the words "Red Hat" in product information and related advertising.
> > See:
> Heh, nice try on their part, but they can't enforce that.
> I'm no trademark lawyer, but I've got a variety of books on my bookshelf
> that support this. According to "Patent, Copyright, and Trademark" by
> Nolo Press:
> "
> The following uses, although technically not trademark fair use, are often
> lumped under the same label by courts and attorneys:
>   * comparative advertising
>   * journalistic accounts of the owner of the mark or the goods or services
>     identified by the mark, and
>   * parodies involving the mark
> What all of these uses have in common is that the public is not being led
> to believe that the non-owner is the source of the goods or services 
> identified by the mark. In other words, fair use of a mark is possible when
> no customer confusion is likely to result from the use.
> "
> It seems that most of what we're looking for falls under comparative 
> advertising, when it is made clear that Red Hat is not the source of the
> copied distribution.
> I'm too lazy to look up case law right now.
> -drew
> -- 
> M. Drew Streib <>, Free Standards Group (
> co-founder, | core team, freedb | sysadmin, Linux Intl.
> creator, keyanalyze report | maintnr, * | other, see freedom/law

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