Quoting Paul Jakma (paul at clubi.ie):
> Sigh, this is why I find it so pointless to try discuss^Wargue
> anything with you:
Look, Paul, I _really_ don't have time for this sort of thing.
[snip a lot.]
> Let's recap: I quoted two sections of text of yours, which, between
> them, stated (to paraphrase):
>> - RHEL image distribution hinges on following RedHats' non-commercial
No, that is inaccurate. What I said was that RH, Inc. state in its
licence for two RPMs of their devising that they grant copyright licence
over those RPMs to recipients only if they agree to observe RH, Inc.'s
Web-posted trademark policy.
> - RPM build process mixes trade-marked images with the other packages
> during "compilation"
More precisely, I was speculating that such is very _likely_ the case,
that having been asserted to me, as being true, by my friend James
Sparenberg. (See below.)
> Let's deal with the former first, and clarify. And it depends on what
> you mean by RHEL image:
Your entire analysis, here, hinges on having failed to comprehend what I
said. Therefore, I will not dwell on it. Moving on, though:
> For the case of 2 GPL RHEL (RHEL minus the two non-free RPMs), it's
> pretty clear you have a right to redistribute it (commercially or
> not) under the GPL:
I will note in passing that RHEL minus the two trademark-encumbered packages
actually consists of quite a huge variety of licensing regimes -- hardly
just "GPL" -- and that quite a number of owners have granted those
licences (hardly just RH, Inc.)
> The above is to clarify. I don't think there's anything in the above
> which I have asserted you contradicted.
You unfortunately started from some erroneous premises. Moreover, you
persist in treating the contents of the CDs as if they were a property
RH, Inc. owns outright. Instead, it's of course a collection of many
copyright owners' works. (Note that RH also putatively own title to the
arrangement/selection of those third-party works, which is what in law
is termed a "compilation copyright".)
> Now let's move on to the latter of your arguments that I have taken
> issue with, *this* is the one concerning trade-marks and which I
> shook my head at, I'll quote it again:
>> >>2. Does the RPM build process mix trademark-encumbered contents from
> >>redhat-logos and anaconda-images into various other packages'
> >>installations, during compilation? The answer to this is almost
> >>certainly "Yes". If so, then many more of RHEL's _binary_ RPMs are
> >>trademark-encumbered (and thus proprietary) than just redhat-logos and
>> "RHEL's _binary_ RPMs are trademark-encumbered (and thus proprietary)"
>> This is just waffle. On two points:
>> 1. Technical: RPM build process mixing trademark-encumbered contents
> into all RPMs
>> What? Where? I don't believe this is at all true.
Again, you are arguing with something I did not say.
I referred to a friend having _asserted_ to me (not _me_ having
asserted) that the normal build process mixes trademark-encumbered
images, etc., from the two trademark-encumbered SRPMs into _numerous_
(not "all") of the resulting binary RPMs. I listed this as, albeit
probably correct, nonetheless one of two factual questions I will have
to investigate before revising my rhel-isos.html page.
My friend's point was that, given that one may not freely redistribute
for all uses (e.g., commercial ones) the contents of the two
trademark-encumbered SRPMs, he concluded that the build process thus
additionally encumbers the binary RPMs those contents get mixed into.
He further speculated that this is one reason RHEL-rebuild distributions
like CentOS and Scientific Linux actually take the trouble to recompile
all of RHEL's packages, instead of simply substituting independently
created images of their own for the two encumbered RPM packages.
Now, you'd like to hand-wave this concern away by saying "The GPL takes
no notice of trademarks" (paraphrased). I don't think that's a rational
answer, but perhaps if you're determined to have a verbal donnybrook
with someone over the topic, you should do it with my friend, not me.
His name is James Sparenberg (http://linuxrebel.us/), and he's very
active on (among other things) Mandriva technical forums. Knock
yourself out, Paul. Have fun.
> 2. Trademarks: Even if 1 is correct, how on earth do you get to
> "proprietary"? (I presume you mean this in a "non-Free" /
> non-redistributable kind of way).
One of the requirements for open source (see, for example, the OSD) is
that software in question must be usable for any purpose. Obviously,
if an otherwise open source binary package may not be commercially
redistributed by third parties, then it is not open source.
To reiterate, I find absolutely no fault with RH, Inc. for placing
trademark-based restrictions on their emblems, images, etc. that embody
their brand identity -- and admire the ingenuity of their solution,
which benignly permits rebuilds like CentOS, Scientific Linux, et alii,
while still protecting their brand identity for their flagship product.
> Assume 1 is correct, please explain how a binary RPM of a GPL work,
> containing say a trademarked RedHat logo, is not subject to the GPL,
> is not redistributable, because of the trademark on that logo?
Excuse me, but you are perhaps forgetting that the logo images are also
_copyrighted_ works. Please read again RH's licence for those two
encumbered SRPMs. They state that you may use the contents (gain a
licence under RH's copyright title) in various ways provided that you
consent to the posted trademark policy.
Without going back and re-reading all of that posted trademark policy,
can we agree that it says, roughly, that you may not use the product
name or "shadow man" logo in competing products or even play-on-words
similarly named products, without RH's separate permission?
So, one's _copyright_ licence to use the trademark-encumbered image
files is conditioned on agreeing to eschew certain uses -- and, per my
friend James, those images get mixed into sundry (he did not say "all")
binary RPMs during the standard build process. So, if you grant my
friend's assumption, a number of RHEL's binary RPMs, above and beyond
just the two, contain some files whose copyrignt licences are not only
NOT GPL but also constitute proprietary restrictions.
Now, please don't start yelling again that "RH specify GPL for those
package". They specify GPL for _source_ packages that provide some but
not all of the built binary RPMs my friend hypothesises.
For purposes of illustration, let's consider rhn-applet-2.1.17-5.src.rpm
(picked almost at random from
and assume -- just for purposes of illustration -- that the following is
true of it:
1. Red Hat, Inc. own copyright over that package's source code.
2. Red Hat. Inc. grant GPL licensing terms over that package's
3. Building it into a binary pulls in files from trademark-encumbered
source package redhat-logos-1.1.25-1.src.rpm .
Granting those assumptions-for-illustration-only, the resulting binary
RPM contains both GPLed contents and non-GPLed contents. The non-GPLed
contents in that case have proprietary licensing terms, because they
grant permission to use and redistribute the covered files (a logo image
file, say) only if one is willing to observe trademark restrictions.
Therefore, the hypothetical binary RPM cannot be said to be open source.
> Yes, you can hinge a copyright licence on the licencee following some
> trademark policy, but that in no way means their realms are relevant
> to each other.
Sorry, I deny your conclusion.
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