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Re: Logo -- let's move on ... the legal loophole of "Fedora(TM)" for Red Hat

On Tue, 2005-08-23 at 23:29 -0400, Jeff Spaleta wrote:
> Don't you mean.. why hasn't anyone made a big public fuss about it in
> a mailinglist like you are doing.  How about you WAIT for the details
> of the foundation to be made public.  The foundation doesn't exist
> yet..so how about you stick to second guessing existing institutions
> and organizations and leave the crystal ball reading of the future to
> the professionals like me.

Dude, I don't have to have a crystal ball on this one.  I had always
assumed Red Hat would keep ownership on the "Fedora(TM)" because of the
tie to the Shadow Man trademark.  I mean, how can Red Hat allow "Fedora
(TM)" if it doesn't own it?

> Once the foundation does exist...and you have had a chance to read
> through all the related legal paperwork associated with constructing
> the non-profit entity and the transfer of assets..then please...if
> there are any specific unresolved legal issues you want to discuss
> with the boardmembers..do it then...don't do it now while no one other
> than the people working on the paperwork can comment.

Dude, this isn't imagined.

If Red Hat foresees an enforcement issue a problem with anyone using a
"hat" in an illustration, then why don't they see the same with

> And frankly I'd MUCH rather have them concentrating on the paperwork
> than fending off imagined problems about how the trademarks are going
> to be transferred.

Frankly, I think the paperwork is _moot_ if the "Fedora" name is a
serious trademark loophole others can follow it through and use it as an
example of non-enforcement.

If I'm "throwing a wrench" into the Fedora Foundations plans by bringing
this out, DON'T SHOOT THE MESSENGER!  In fact, something like this makes
me wonder if I shouldn't send an e-mail to Brooks over at eWeek, or
write an article myself for any one of the publications I regularly
write for?!

Now if it is Red Hat's intent to "license" the trademark "Fedora(TM)"
but state that they name has no relationship to an illustration of the
same term, that _might_ be something.  But it really seems ... well, how
can I put this ... "legally weird" in my experience.  ;->

> As it stands... the decision about the project name has been made...
> the decision about "no hats" logo has been made. Sorry you didn't get
> to have the final say about those decisions..but they were made..and
> thats that.

I'm beyond that.  I could care less about the hat now.  Go hatless for
all I care, I'm not even debating that anymore, so drop it yourself.

I'm just saying if the reason for "no hats" is because of legal
enforcement issues, then if "Fedora(TM)" is outside of Red Hat's
control, possibly under "looser" trademark guidelines, it's just going
to cause Red Hat future issues!  And those future issues could threaten
the name Fedora in general as an independent project!

So what more "whistle-blowing" can I do?

> We can not continue to hashout the SAME dicussion every month.

This isn't about the "hat" anymore.  Forget I even mentioned it.

This is about the "Fedora(TM)" trademark in general.  At what point
under "less restrictive" guidelines will "Fedora(TM)" not be an issue?

> Actually I thought this logo topic was now a little past being
> worthwhile, the original purpose of coming up with ideas has been
> served and the designers have been tasked to actually do something
> that doesn't suck. At least that's what I read from the marketing
> meeting minutes and from other posts.

Yes, I agree.  Forget I even mentioned the hat.  Dude, I'm dead serious
here, I'm not even talking about the hat anymore, and I'm _not_ being

I had always assumed that Red Hat would maintain ownership of "Fedora
(TM)" because of the legal tie to Shadowman's Red Fedora hat.  I mean,
how can Red Hat let an independent party use Fedora from an enforcement

Don't give me "you're not a lawyer" junk because that's not what this is
about.  I have been in the middle of Fortune 20 companies on the SCO
lawsuit and have had projects canceled because of lawyers fearing too
much over little things.  This one is pretty cut'n dry in my experience.

> As far as I can tell this past weeks discussion about logos has been a
> wee bit self-indulgent.. and frankly has gone on way too long to serve
> anything but frustration if the design team really has been tasked to
> deal with it now.  The tagential legal issues that you are bringing at
> this late date are just dragging the purpose of this list backwards
> not forwards.

Then point me to the _correct_ list.  I won't mention it here again.
Otherwise, this has got to be the #1 "wake up call" to me.

Again, I had always though "Fedora(TM)" was a non-issue for Red Hat
because Red Hat owned it, and dictated the terms of its use.  If this is
not going to be the case ... man, I can only assume the legal issues as
a result.

Please see this as a _sincere_ consideration for the future of Fedora,
not some "argumentative" non-sense.

> If you are itching to do something constructive i
> suggest you read over the last marketing meeting minutes and look at
> the defined action items and see if you can help out specifically with
> one of them. You will of course probably disappointed that none of the
> action items was "second guess the yet-to-be-created foundation's
> ability to manage and its ip assets"

Again, I'm not a lawyer, but I have been involved with high-level legal
considerations on major issues and found very rational explanations and
considerations to be very helpful to many Fortune 20 legal departments.

Bryan J. Smith     b j smith ieee org     http://thebs413.blogspot.com
The best things in life are NOT free - which is why life is easiest if
you save all the bills until you can share them with the perfect woman

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