[lpi-discuss] Red Hat: A tale of two identities (plus my predictions of the Linux market to come) -- WAS: RFC8

Bryan J. Smith b.j.smith at ieee.org
Wed Mar 9 07:07:26 EST 2005

On Wed, 2005-03-09 at 04:00 -0800, Bryan J. Smith wrote:
> Red Hat allowed this, and it came back to haunt them when Sun
> Microsystems (among select others) made it an issue when Red Hat balked
> about commercial entities modifying and leaving the Red Hat(R) trademark
> all over the place.

It's like anything else, once someone makes an issue of something, they
ruin it for everyone else.

Sun, like many, distributed Red Hat(R) without a license.  Eventually it
reached a point where Red Hat could no longer tolerate it (pretty much
once Sun bought Cobalt and started releasing its own x86 releases).

But instead of just licensing Red Hat(R), Sun barked.  That _ruined_ it
for everyone.  And no matter how many times Red Hat updated its
"Trademark Guidelines" to make exceptions for CheapBytes and other
entities distributing unmodified version, they got demonized time and
time and time again.

And when Sun ran to SuSE, they presented SuSE with a licensing agreement
as well.  No commercial entity but Red Hat had allowed widespread
distribution of their major, commercial trademark to the point where
there was a very valid and serious complaint to the USPTO that the name
Red Hat(R) should be considered "public domain."

The only trademark I now see coming close is SuSE(R) since the Novell
acquisition.  As such, I can only assume that Novell considers SuSE(R)
to be of the same value that Red Hat has on its newer Fedora(TM)

Bryan J. Smith                                  b.j.smith at ieee.org 
Community software is all about choice, choice of technology.
Unfortunately, too many Linux advocates port over the so-called
"choice" from the commercial software world, brand name marketing.
The result is false assumptions, failure to focus on the real
technical similarities, but loyalty to blind vendor alignments.

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