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

On Mon, 2003-08-18 at 10:59, Tom 'spot' Callaway wrote:
> If it were up to me (and it surely is not), here is what I would do:
> My idea is to set up an approved vendor program, where, at no cost,
> vendors can use an approved logo and name, but they must be part of the
> program and approved by Red Hat. Now, here's where the lawyers need to
> jump in (and admittedly, our lawyers have plenty on their plates these
> days). If we do this at no cost, is it binding? We may have to charge a
> nominal fee to make it hold up in court. Is the program enough to ensure
> that Red Hat is protecting its trademark?
As spot mentioned previously I have no authority in the above option.
That being said,

It seems there are several avenues for expanding our development
mindshare which could have a pleasant side effect of generating some
revenue (which should cover the endeavor). One such avenue that jumps
out is "on-demand-publishing." Does it make sense to anyone else to

1) an active and current view into the current build trees of all RHLP
rpms with current blogs, mailing list links, and forum links in one
place. Which will provide:

        a) the ability to conveniently select "send me an iso" of todays
        snapshot which adds it to your rhn channel, and then forwards
        you to cheapbytes or whomever wishes to provide the "on-demand"
        service, whom will secure an agreement to produce these
        "on-demand" isos into cds for download.


        b) the ability to subscribe to the RHN channel of latest
        "official beta iso." Which conveniently includes daily
        snapshots, and beta trees. This should be able to connect to an
        "on-demand" service for purchase in cd format.


        c) the ability to conveniently select the rpms you want built
        into a downloadable iso which starts with a list of either a:
        todays snapshot, or b: the beta snapshot, of which these base
        rpms are also switchable with the most current alpha/beta
        versions available in the publicly viewable tree.

2) A trade redistributable iso version in bulk licensing format. Which 
should provide base functionality. If further functionality is required
either purchase an RHN contract, or use the "on-demand" cd channel to
expand offering to its full capacity. This should cover us
trademark-wise, as well as not avoiding coasters in the desire to
distribute to bulk "trade" style distribution requests. 

3) *Controversial beware* Since these packages are provided by Red Hat
and in theory should be fairly sound, Support should be purchasable in
full on the installation and basic desktop support including tasks such
as email configuration and basic network interface usage, of the above
beta and trade products providing a few criteria are met:

        a) If the answer is not a configuration problem (most likely,
        and best value to the customer), the answer may well not
        currently exist, as the product is a beta or "bulk" version. In
        which support will consist of assisting the user to file a bug
        and wait for a new rpm.

        b) The proper answer may be that the "rawhide" rpm user needs to
        update to a later rpm, or "downgrade" to an older version.
4) If pursuing this path I would also propose a downloadable or
"on-demand" mpeg on the optimized use of the system for interacting with
peers which are probablly encountering the same problems. Using Red Hats
knowledge repositories, and working in the new development model for
either helping peers support their packages, or provide patches/provide
cases for new packages.

5) Last, another possible though might be Red Hat provides a forum which
allows users to build an online reputation and provide support through
our portal to other users that have problems. A "connection" of minds.
This could include homepages with howtos, and other Red Hat Linux
related help issues coupled with possibly a banner for their consultant
services. I would assume there would be a means of providing an
"associates" credit (possibly an education credit?) to the successful
answer of a question. The more answered accurately the more they get.

Access would be based on the level of RHN subscription the user has.
ie. beta user would get one level of support, daily snapshot user
another, and trade user a third. These levels of support can include up
to Red Hat technical dial in support, or at the lower levels just web
tickets, or just forum access. This would replace the old model, and
might include the shipment of documentation (perhaps with the trade

Alright, call me crazy >;-D

> The support problem may be something that we just have to limit and
> accept. We should make sure that "This product comes with no support
> from Red Hat or $VENDOR" is written on all RHLP media sold. Put an entry
> in the phone queue (Press 1 if you are calling for RHLP...) that goes to
> a prerecorded message that politely reminds the customer that this
> product has no support options, then offers to transfer them to sales to
> discuss RHEL, which does have support options. In my experience, nothing
> scares people off more than sales. ;)
> Yeah, people are still going to ignore all that and punch through to
> support, but when I was in support, we were still getting calls on
> long-ago end-of-lifed versions of RHL. You get skilled at politely
> telling people that we cannot help them.
> There is no doubt in my mind that our policies towards the low-cost
> distributors will have to change along with RHLP.
> ~spot
> ---
> Tom "spot" Callaway <tcallawa(a)redhat*com> SAIR LCA, RHCE
> Red Hat Enterprise Architect :: http://www.redhat.com
> Project Leader for Aurora Sparc Linux :: http://auroralinux.org
> GPG: D786 8B22 D9DB 1F8B 4AB7  448E 3C5E 99AD 9305 4260
> The words and opinions reflected in this message do not necessarily
> reflect those of my employer, Red Hat, and belong solely to me.
> "Immature poets borrow, mature poets steal." --- T. S. Eliot
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