[Centos] Diff files to be made publicly available.

Bart Schaefer schaefer+centos at zanshin.com
Thu Jul 15 09:05:27 UTC 2004

On Thu, 15 Jul 2004, kevin wrote:

> However, can someone please explain the following line
> from redhat-logos.spec in CentOS 3.1 SRPMS:
> License: GPL - CentOS logos Copyright 2003 and Trademark Definitive 
> Software Ltd
> I hope CentOS is 100% GPL, open source software,
> free for all men (and women) to copy and distribute at a small cost

Copyright is not license.

Materials can be *licensed* under the GPL, and therefore freely copied, 
even when copyrighted.  In fact, the entire basis of the GPL, as I 
understand it (IANAL etc. etc.) is copyright law -- someone has to hold a 
copyright on the material in order to have legal grounds for applying the 
GPL.  If no one holds a copyright, then the material is in the public 
domain and the GPL is neither necessary nor applicable.

It is true that in many cases the copyright of GPL'd material is assigned 
to the FSF or some similar entity, but that is not a necessary condition 
of licensing it under the GPL.

*IF* there were a statement somewhere that explicitly *excludes* these
images or other selected parts of CentOS from the terms of the GPL, then
you might have grounds for complaint, but the statement that they are
copyrighted does not AFAIK constitute such an exclusion.

The effect of the copyright is that you cannot separate the CentOS logos 
from the rest of the sources and use them, independently, for some other 
purpose, without permission from Definitive Software Ltd.  The effect of 
the GPL is that you can copy and distribute CentOS as a whole, even though 
it includes the copyrighted images.  Do you see the distinction?

(Again, I am not a lawyer, and the GPL has all sorts of other effects that 
might be construed to make it possible to re-use the logos.)

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