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RE: Understanding GPL: was...What price do you want?
- From: "Buck" <RHList towncorp net>
- To: <fedora-list redhat com>
- Subject: RE: Understanding GPL: was...What price do you want?
- Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2003 15:39:10 -0400
Thank you, Stephen, for your reply.
> You mixed in the Red Hat logos and other trademarks. From what I
> understand, I can copy, sell, or otherwise distribute Red Hat Linux 9.
> Is this correct? Does not GPL give me that right? RHL includes logos
No you can not sell the product as Red Hat Linux 9. You can give it away
without changes but if you sell it you must rename it something like
PinkTie Linux etc. This is a minimal requirement to keep the trademark
under international trademark law.
I can't speak for 9, but earlier versions of Red Hat have been copied
and sold as Red Hat Linux CD-ROMs only for years. I have quite a
collection of them myself beginning with 6.something. (I just looked
for them and see I have an old 6.0 on a cdr with a paper label that I
purchased on EBay years ago.)
I was not referring to changing the code on the RH 9 Disks, just
literally burning the ISOs and selling the disk as the Red Hat Linux on
CD-ROM only. I understand that if I change the logos I could call it
PinkTie and sell it as my own product.
Also, in case you didn't pick up on it, I once believed that GPL gave me
the right to distribute those binaries, but it may have been Red Hat
that allowed it, or it may be that whomever was doing it is hoping to
find a file in his cake. In either case, I am having doubts about that
now. I am wondering if the GPL is only concerned with the distribution
of the source code.
I believe that Emacs is free and if I wanted to create a package of
discs that include Emacs and a few other programs, I could sell the CDs
keeping the program in tact as is (together with the source) and be
within my rights, but then I think about the Open Office rules. A
person could give it away for free but could not charge for the disk.
Your Brain On Linux (The name of the seller from which I bought my
original Red Hat) got around this by offering a free CD ROM delivered
with the Linux Disk or in exchange for a prepaid mailer and blank CD.
(I am going on a rusty memory so this may not be exactly what he did.
Take it for what it's meant to be, an example.)
So, again, I find myself sorting this all out in my mind.
As for the rest of your reply (which I deleted), I do recognize that the
version update support by Fedora is normal for the industry, I just
believe there is a good nitch (am I spelling this right?) for a year's
update support. (and I will check out Owl River.)
We addressed stripping out the proprietary and recompiling the srpms and
I would have my own product. I wonder how hard that would be.......
Hmmm. Lol Last time I played with a c compiler, I remember the command
line to the compiler being longer than my email messages. I doubt I
would master that easily.
Seriously, Thank you for your reply and the link. Hopefully I'll learn
all this (except the part we agree that a lawyer needs to figure out)
and I'll find an adequate solution.
From: fedora-list-admin redhat com [mailto:fedora-list-admin redhat com]
On Behalf Of Stephen Smoogen
Sent: Friday, September 26, 2003 1:47 PM
To: fedora-list redhat com
Subject: Re: Understanding GPL: was...What price do you want?
> Begin quote:
> You can not represent that you are offering to others a Red Hat
> product because you are not - you are not offering support, you are
> not offering any of the genuine Red Hat services that we provide for
> our products. We're working really hard to make sure that a Red Hat
> product, when it gets offered, it gets offered with the whole set of
> support options and services that we currently provide.
> End quote:
> You are effectively saying that if a person distributes Red Hat
> Advanced Server that it isn't Red Hat unless it comes with the service
> contract. Here you are mixing the product and the service together.
I think he is only mixing it where the two intersect (the code that you
recieve is supported and maintained by Red Hat). The easy way to get
around this restriction is to take all the SRPMS, remove/replace the Red
Hat trademarked items (ICONS, Artwork, and maybe one or two), and then
recompile the SRPMS into RPMS. At that point you have created your own
work. You can not call it Red Hat, but have an almost identical
> Hat Advanced Server powered by Red Hat enhanced Fedora Linux and
> supported by Red Hat Corporation" (That's too much to say lol) then I
> believe that your statement would be more accurate. Besides, does it
> cease to become "Red Hat Advanced Server" at the end of the year if
> the support contract lapses? This is just a technicality and not
> worth arguing over...
I will be honest, it is at this point in the nitty gritty of the GPL and
other licenses that my head gets dizzy and I need to get a lawyer. I
think that most people who are not fully trained in the legal proffesion
can not parse the code into applicable law-machine-code that will run in
the court-system-CPU. Instead we parse it into a code that runs in our
heads, and then find that we arent compatible with how the court-systems
> >From what I understand, Fedora will be supported by updates only
> the 4-6 months that it is the active release and 4-6 months while the
> following release is active. This means the support period will vary
> from 8-12 months. If, on the other hand, we were guaranteed a full 12
> months updates support for each release, I believe it would fill a
> very big nitch in the market. It isn't as good as what we had with an
It is up to the Fedora Legacy committee (when it is sanctioned by Red
Hat) to come up with this in the end. THey will need machines, rules,
etc. The basic line might be that Red Hat engineers wont be doing any
work on any old package after 6 months. It will be up to the community
to bring forth engineers who will volunteer and maintain things
longer... if there arent engineers who can/want/will to this then it is
more of a statement of the community.
This isnt too different from what the Debian legacy people do. They
usually issue a 'we will support the old release for 2-3 months after a
new release, but might support it a bit longer.. but dont count on it.'
And after every release there are the same complaints that this isnt
long enough yadda yadda... however very few of the complainers step up
to help out the maintenance people.
This is also an oppurtunity for resellers to change their markets into
support full organizations versus light support. People like
OwlRiver.com do this already.. they will support Red Hat Linux 5,6, and
7 if you will pay them...
Stephen John Smoogen smoogen lanl gov
Los Alamos National Labrador CCN-5 Sched 5/40 PH: 4-0645 (note new #)
Ta-03 SM-1498 MailStop B255 DP 10S Los Alamos, NM 87545
-- So shines a good deed in a weary world. = Willy Wonka --
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