[CentOS] Re: Linux Trademarked?

Wed Aug 24 00:11:06 UTC 2005
Mike McCarty <mike.mccarty at sbcglobal.net>

Bryan J. Smith wrote:
> Mike McCarty <mike.mccarty at sbcglobal.net> wrote:
>>If you make modifications to the source, and redistribute
>>it according to GPL, then source you are distributing has
>>the trademark in it.
>>And that's a violation.
> ???
> Then you'd have to yank every God damn piece of Linux
> software on the shelf, distributed on the Internet, etc...
> anytime someone put a trademark on them.  You'd eventually
> _kill_ anything GPL being marked with anything, because GPL
> couldn't be used for anything where someone applied a
> trademark.

That was, I think, the concern of the OP.

> I can distribute 100% non-GPL software with GPL software, yet
> I can't distribute a trademark.
> Now if this all because you're frustrated with Red Hat, need
> I remind people that Red Hat does _not_ have to put SRPMS out
> on the Internet at all.  In fact, that's exactly what SuSE
> does not do -- they only distribute them with the SLES
> product.

I have said nothing about Red Hat. I am not frustrated.

What I saw was a post by someone who noted that Linus Torvald
has trademarked Linux(R) and is now actively *enforcing* that
trademark, and wondered whether this had any impact on GPLd
code, specifically the kernel itself, which has the Linux(R)
mark embedded in it in comments.

I'm not a lawyer. I only know that I was at a company which used
a term in source comments which another company later trademarked.
We were forced to change those comments in source to remove the
use of the trademarked sign. This was in source which was not
distributed (except to contractors who helped maintain it, under

So, I think that the concern about possible conflict with GPLed
code is not an unreasonable one. Anyone who wanted to distribute
the source to the kernel might be required to remove the
trademarked sign first, or at least to change it to Linux(R)
somewhere and explain who held the trademark in each file
where it first occurred.

Why would anyone be frustrated with the Red Had(R) Corporation?

This message made from 100% recycled bits.
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