[CentOS] About CentOS Marks

Mon Dec 7 19:07:34 UTC 2015
Jake Shipton <jakems at fedoraproject.org>

Takuya Yamamoto wrote:
> Hello
> https://www.centos.org/legal/trademarks/
> According to above, I found following message.
> ----------------------
> Notwithstanding anything to the contrary provided in these Guidelines, the following are examples of unacceptable uses:
> 1.Use of the CentOS Marks in connection with commercial redistribution of CentOS software
> ----------------------
> I have a question.
> What means "Use of the CentOS Marks"?
> For example,
> While CentOS is booting up, CentOS show the CentOS logo on Full screen.
> Is it unacceptable? Or acceptable?
> If commercial redistribution of CentOS software, Developer have to hide this logo?
> For example,
> CentOS System is working, user can show the "CentOS" text words on console.
> Is it unacceptable? Or acceptable?
> -----------------------
> Yamamoto Takuya


I'll try to answer this for you, however please note I am not a lawyer
and do not hold an authoritative position of the CentOS distribution. I
am just a regular user like you.

I'm fairly certain in most cases that using CentOS and its trademarks
are perfectly acceptable and allowed for example if you are doing the
two options above.

However, you will run into a problem if you modify CentOS Sources, for
example making a derivative distribution (like CentOS is to RHEL) then
tried to call it "CentOS Scientific Linux" and tried to sell it as your
own work. In this case you would have to rebrand to "Scientific Linux"
and cannot (legally) use the CentOS trademarks in this case.

This is also for the same reason CentOS is called "Community Enterprise
Operating System" instead of "Red Hat Enterprise Linux Community Edition".

So if you had plans to remake or alter CentOS in major ways (Source code
editing) to redistribute as your own work, you cannot call it CentOS.

However, if you are for example working for a commercial employer you
are free to install, setup, configure and run CentOS on any commercial
or non-commercial machine at any time without risk of breaking the
trademark rules.

In the case that you need additional software included with your
installation media then a self-made repository is probably the best
option as you can legally include a "kickstart"[1] file with your
installation media to include the extra repository and install the extra

I hope this is able to answer your question.


Kind Regards,
Jake Shipton