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Re: Juridical problems
> > The installation program is RedHat's but the putting together of the
> > ditrib is ours. RedHat has insisted with Gael Duval (author of
> > Mandrake) for the removal of the RedHat name from everywxhere where it
> > appears. In fact we will be forced to add some "legality" RPMs: for
> > instance to have it display Independence at login prompt.
> Well, he can't possible remove it from everywhere (e.g., a source rpm might have
> "email@example.com" as the build host). The point is not to be facetitious but to get to the
> point about thinking reasonably what needs to be removed and what doesn't. To the extent
> RedHat has GPL's stuff, including their logo, they are stuck w/ having it be on derivative
> distributions. The relevant provisions of the GLP 2 provide that the license "applies to any
> program OR OTHER WORK" (emphasis added). The GPL then goes on to say (and I quote b/c it's
I was referring to everything who could make believe it is a RedHat
> You may copy and distribute verbatim copies of the Program's
> source code as you receive it, in any medium, provided that you
> conspicuously and appropriately publish on each copy an appropriate
> copyright notice and disclaimer of warranty; keep intact all the
> notices that refer to this License and to the absence of any warranty;
> and give any other recipients of the Program a copy of this License
> along with the Program.
> Thus, if RedHat has GPL's some software, like glint, they can't make you take their name off of
> it.. Thus, no offense, but I do not believe, as you said above, that RedHat insiated that Mr.
> Duval remove the RedHat name from "everywhere where it appears".
Please don't cut hairs in four. They don't want a login prompt
stating RedHat Manhattan, nor an install boot prompt stating
"Copyright Red Hat" nor a Web page with the RedHat logo. Everything
implying it is their distribution. Glint is an individual program and
they don't want you claim it as yours in the same way they don't claim
Emacs is theirs just because they include it in their distrib.
> So the real question is this: what have you changed in a GPL'd work that would require you to
> notify people of the changes? All this in context of what RedHat has a legitimate copyright on
> (as opposed to just a license), which are only a few programs in their distributions, like
> glint, rhprintfilters, etc., and some documentation, like their installation guide (which is
Mandrake changes _much_ less than INdependence to RedHat (only change
is the addition of KDE) and they required for him removing RedHat's
> It seems to me the real issue here is that you not violate RedHat's trademark in its name.
> Thus, IMHO you should definitely change the logon screen from RedHat to your own so you don't
> mislead people into thinking it is a RedHat distro (i.e., causing a confusion as to the
> _source_ of the package). But trying to remove the work "redhat" from the CD is going way
> overboard (and, in fact, would violate RedHat's rights in cases where it is the valid copyright
Never suggested I would present Redhat _programs_ as ours.
> > I have taken a look to Pacific High Tech this week and the
> > installation is a slightly modified RedHat (boots in 50 line mode).
> > And guess what you see in the boot prompt? "Copyright Pacific High
> > Tech". The reason is because it refers to the whole distrib not to
> > the install program.
> To me it is inherently vague what Pacific High Tech is claiming a copyright in. Is it a
> graphic they display at bootup? Certainly a work of art may be copyrighted. But are they
> trying to claim a copyright in the programs included in the distribution, including such things
> as "ls", "man", the kernel, etc.? I hope not, that would be folly.
About the distrib per se.
> > There is a "Project Independence" US political organization.
> Well, I would think if that's the only other person using it your on pretty safe ground. But
> besides for Common Cause's "Project Independence", a quick Internet search found the "Federal
> Energy Administration's Project Independence Report" (publ. ca. 1985), there is a Project
> Independence Services at 250 Elm St. in Fair Haven, HUD (the US federal housing agency) has a
> "Project Independence", etc., etc.
The fact many are using this name without being sued means we could use it.
> I am not trying to imply you are not doing something useful -- in fact, I subscribe to this
> list precisely b/c I think you are all doing a great thing. But producing something useful
> does not entitle you to a copyright in it. And, again, people claiming copyright doesn't mean
> they have it. What you need to consider is what you have a copyright in -- is it your logo,
> the graphics displayed when you log in, the documentation you distribute, the scripts you write
> to simplify installation, etc. It's not as easy as saying, I put these programs together,
> I have a copyright in that combination. If that were so, I would take my 30 favorite novels
> together, distribute them and claim a copyright in the distribution (whatever that means).
Yes you would have a copyright not in the individual novels but in the
combination per se. Anthologies are copyrighhted.
Every distribution from Caldera to Slackware has a copyright in the
combination and the install work.
> > Ah! This distribution is GPL and that means any person participating
> > in it can deny to the main author (me) the right to change license
> > while keeping the work he did. RMS had a great idea when he took
> > provisions for forbiding the "smart guy" syndrom: original author who
> > wants to "privatize" his free software after unpaid contributors allowed
> > the program reaching commercial grade.
> > > If you want some sort of intellectual property protection for the PI distribution, your
> > > best bet is to use a trademark or service mark, whose purpose is to signal to people the
> > > _source_ of a product or service, which is what I gather you are really trying to do. To
> > > do this you will likely want to form a legal entity (this opens a bird's nest of issues,
> > > such as control, ownership, liabilities) or to pick a representative to hold the
> > > trademark.
> > In times of Shakespeare, Cervantes or Moliere there were no
> > intellectual property laws so authors concentrated in writing great
> > litterature instead of looking for a subject who wasn't vaguely close
> > to a book of someone else. Perhaps a coincidence but since
> > intellectual property has been enforced there are only dwarfs in
> > litterature.
> Well, I can think of quite a few writers/authors who I do not consider dwarves (Dostoevsky,
> Sartre, Nietzsche, Marx, Hegel, Marcuse, Kant, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Saul Bellow, Picasso,
> Dali, Hitchcock, etc., etc., etc.) who have been protected from thievery by intellectual
> property laws :-) .
I don't want to disappoint you but Sartre spent his life being wrong
by lack of intellectual honesty and courage, Marx and Hegel aren't
precisely _litterature_ giants.
> > I don't get give a dime about intellectual property but
> > a) RedHat don't want people think this is a RedHat distrib
> This is the most direct and important concern, I agree. I would take pains to make clear that
> it isn't.
> > b) I don't want any smart guy including my work in a non-GPLed
> > distribution.
> I'm not sure how that can happen. The components of your distribution would not fall outside
> of the GPL b/c you did not claim a copyright in it. Again, if you have actually created a new
> work of authorship (such as documentation, or a script, logo, graphical image or something)
> that is tangibly expressed, by all means copyright it and release it under the GPL so nobody
> can do that.
> > c) because I am not in this to make money there is also a limit
> > in what I can spend so no trademarks (remember I don't trade)
> > unless we get a sponsor
> I'm not at all sure about EU rules, but in the US you can get what's called a "common law"
> trademark w/out paying any money on the trademark itself (except when you try to enforce it, of
> course), all you need is to get enough people to associate your name with a particular
The problem is: I don't want _my_ name appearing but the collective
Jean Francois Martinez
Project Independence: Linux for the Masses