Quoting Niall O Broin (niall at linux.ie):
[RHES service agreement:]
> So if you want to use RHES without paying for it, all you have to do is
> find somebody willing to provide you with a copy free of charge. Note
> that the EULA also says:
>> If Customer makes a commercial redistribution of
> the Software, unless a separate agreement with Red Hat is executed
> or other permission granted, then Customer must modify the files
> identified as REDHAT-LOGOS and anaconda-images to remove all
> images containing the Red Hat trademark or the Shadowman logo.
> Merely deleting these files may corrupt the Software.
>> That is why you won't find Cheapbytes selling copies of RHES.
Just a comment: This is the sort of maximalism that the realities of
international trademark law pretty much force on any owner of a valuable
commercial mark. We should be sympathetic with the company's pragmatic
need to publish such claims, but it's wise to also realise that the
company's representations about trademark law -- and its related
attempts to assert trademark rights -- will inevitably tend to exceed
the actual _reach_ of trademark law.
That is, I'm not aware of any legal jurisdiction in which trademark
holders are given complete monopolies over their marks' use in business.
1. With one legal exception that doesn't apply here, a mark is valid only
within the trade or industry in which it's established. Thus, you
have every right to sell "Red Hat Lemonade" outside Matthew Szulik's
window or anywhere else.
2. Even within the same trade or industry, trademark law doesn't
prevent you from using the covered mark for competing goods and
services -- as long as the trademark owners' customers are
highly unlikely to be confused by your usage into thinking that
the trademark owner produced or endorses your competing offering.
Thus, I can sell "Rick Moen's 'Not Produced or Endorsed by Red Hat'
Enterprise Linux" all day long outside Matthew Szulik's window,
as long as a judge would agree that the informational screens I
put on my CDs saying "Hey dummy, this is the precise contents of
a set of RHEL 3.0, but is produced and endorsed by Rick Moen and
NOT by Red Hat, Inc." is warning enough even for RH's least
I also find it doubtful that RH can bindingly impose such obligations
onto its customers via contract, to compensate for the lack of such a
provision in trademark law. However, even if that were so, it would
not be binding upon third-party recipients of the "commercial
redistribution" alluded to, since those recipients would not be a party
to the service contract.
(I am not an attorney. This is not legal advice.)
Cheers, Founding member of the Hyphenation Society, a grassroots-based,
Rick Moen not-for-profit, locally-owned-and-operated, cooperatively-managed,
rick at linuxmafia.com modern-American-English-usage-improvement association.
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