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Re: OT: Media format patents and commercial installations

On Fri, 2006-05-26 at 12:56 -0400, Jesse Keating wrote:
> On Fri, 2006-05-26 at 11:37 -0500, Matt Domsch wrote:
> > 
> > In any company with >1 employee, the liklihood of one person not
> > knowing what another person is doing is high.  Intentionally tying
> > actions of one person to the work of a (quite likely) functionally
> > unrelated person is frowned upon.  Legally requiring that the sales
> > web site, paper (translated) docs, etc. change whenever a software
> > developer fixes a bug is a sure way to ensure Fedora isn't as widely
> > used as we would like. 
> So where do you draw the line on when 'changes' are changes enough to
> require a name change?  Blurring the trademark line is a sure way to
> lose the trademark, and we do NOT want that to happen.

Remember, IANAL, I'm just a man with a SPARC (or twenty).

This is a very tricky issue, Debian is going through the same pain.
There isn't an easy answer here.

When does Fedora stop being Fedora? Does a new kernel stop it? Does a
new kernel module stop it? Does a different glibc stop it? Does a
different compiler stop it (icc)? Does an addon package outside of Core
or Extras stop it?

Even with these hard questions, I have a proposal:

IMHO, the most logical thing is to say that only board approved Fedora
projects can generate new content that is permitted to use the Fedora
trademark/logo (people redistributing/selling these generated Fedora
works aren't generating new content, so it's still Fedora).

(The board would retain the right to cancel projects (what happens if
some formerly acceptable project decides to start making malicious
Fedora viruses?) and no longer permit those former-projects the right to
use the trademark/name.)

But while this would cover things like Fedora Legacy and Fedora Unity,
it wouldn't cover the Third Party/OEM case where they have a want or
need to add/change things in a Fedora work. We want to encourage these
vendors to use Fedora works, but at the same time, we don't want to have
damage done with something calling itself Fedora.

One idea might be an Third Party/OEM policy case, where Fedora Board
approved Third Party/OEM works can use the name Fedora as long as it is
accompanied with some additional text, and the modifications are

Fedora Core 5 $OEM_3RDPARTY_NAME Edition

This gives the Fedora Community some oversight into how the
trademark/logo is used, but increases the responsibility of the Fedora

Does the Third Party/OEM have to "recertify" with the Fedora Board if
they want to change/update a package on the release? I'd argue that if
they were merely updating it with newer Fedora content (aka, Fedora
Core/Extras updates), then they do not, but any other changes (adding
new packages not from existing Fedora Works, modifying Fedora Works
beyond what was originally documented and approved) would require a new
"trademark certification".

I'd also like a page on the wiki that lists all approved Third Party/OEM
efforts, where each item links to the documented modifications.


Tom "spot" Callaway: Red Hat Senior Sales Engineer || GPG ID: 93054260
Fedora Extras Steering Committee Member (RPM Standards and Practices)
Aurora Linux Project Leader: http://auroralinux.org
Lemurs, llamas, and sparcs, oh my!

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