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Re: An official trademark policy for CheapBytes-type RHL CDs?

--- Charles Bronson <packetgeek chuckiechanboys com>
> James J. Ramsey wrote:
> > There is a vast difference between a hint that can
> be
> > misunderstood or misinterpreted and being direct.
> > References to names being changed for "legal
> reasons"
> > could be considered a sign that something is fishy
> > about the CD. As long as Red Hat has its own
> retail
> > distribution, that works to Red Hat's advantage,
> since
> > confused users looking for a canonical
> distribution of
> > Red Hat Linux could just buy a box clearly labeled
> > "Red Hat" from Red Hat. THAT WILL NO LONGER BE AN
> The issue wasn't that Red Hat was losing sales to
> the other distributers 

You misunderstand. I never said that Red Hat's
trademark crackdown was for the *purpose* of taking
sales away from the cheap-CD distributors. Rather, my
point was that as long as Red Hat was selling the
official boxes, there was at least one supplier of
clearly marked Red Hat CDs to which potential Red Hat
users could turn, even if they were confused or
otherwise put off by the whole "Pink Tie" business.

> but 
> rather that customers from the other distributers
> expected the same level of 
> technical support(free) that the people who bought
> an official boxed received.

But now Red Hat won't be selling official boxes *at
all*, let alone ones with the privilege of tech
support. That changes the landscape dramatically.

> > Sorry to shout, but it makes no sense to me for
> Red
> > Hat to rely on third parties for CD distribution
> I don't imagine that Red Hat does *rely* on third
> parties for CD distribution. 
> They still have their FTP site open so that uncle
> Bob can pull them down and 
> burn them for everyone that wants them. 

Not everyone *has* an Uncle Bob.

> Besides,
> purely from a commercial 
> standpoint, customers who don't buy boxed sets,
> support or RHN subscriptions 
> are not *customers* and Red Hat doesn't have to
> protect themselves from losing 
> that nonexistent income.

Then why make downloadable ISOs available at all? From
what I understand, Red Hat plans to continue to do
that not out of altruism, but to provide a branch of
Red Hat Linux that will serve as a test bed and a
source for improvements to its higher-end products.
That means that Red Hat *needs* users of Red Hat
Linux, even if they aren't buying it.
> **gasp
> > after shot at top of lungs**) while forcing them
> to
> > tap dance about what they are distributing.
> Let's be honest. Red Hat has, does and probably will
> continue to do a LOT to 
> support and promote the Open Source community. They
> don't strike me as some 
> petty little empire builder bent on "owning" their
> users.

I don't think Red Hat is trying to be a "petty little
empire builder." I think that Red Hat is shooting
itself in the foot with a trademark policy designed
with a retail channel in mind, a channel that is soon
to cease to exist.

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