[License-discuss] Red Hat compilation copyright & RHEL contract

Bradley M. Kuhn bkuhn at ebb.org
Tue Sep 3 18:26:29 UTC 2013

Al Foxone wrote at 07:57 (EDT):
> Red Hat customers receive RHEL compilation as a whole in ready for use
> binary form but Red Hat claims that it can not be redistributed in
> that original form due to trademarks (without additional trademark
> license, says Red Hat) and under pay-per-use-unit restrictive
> contract.

Do you have evidence that Red Hat's trademark requirements aren't of the
nature that are permitted by GPLv3§7(e) and similar clauses in other
Free Software licenses?  Nothing you said above seems to be such

> (quoting Red Hat Enterprise Agreement with [snip] editing)

Noting your [snip], you selectively quoted from the RHEA.
I admit it's been many years since I reviewed the RHEA in detail,
and my arguments are based on that old version I read.  If it has
changed in some way that now causes a new problem under GPL, I'm just
not following your arguments as to why.

> My understanding is that when the GPL licensee distributes copies of
> derivative works prepared under the GPL permission, the GPL insists on
> licensing the copyright in a derivative work under the GPL and only
> the GPL.

Correct, AFAIK.

> Since creation of derivative work (and even distribution of
> adaptations under 17 U.S.C. 117) requires permission I can understand
> that demand. ... Please prove me wrong. :-)

You seem to be arguing that RHEA has some sort of GPLv2§6/7 (or
GPLv3§10/12) problem.  However, you've not shown any evidence for that.
Determining such a violation likely hinges on what Red Hat's restrictions
on their customer are if the customer fails to comply with RHEA.

Meanwhile, I've spent the plurality of my life enforcing the GPL and other
copyleft licenses.  I hope based on that you'll take seriously my next point:
it's unfair and aggressive to publicly accuse and/or insinuate that someone
is violating the GPL without exhausting non-public remedies first.

If you believe someone is actually violating the GPL but need help
collecting the facts, you should report it to the copyright holders,
not a license-discuss list.

At the very least, it seems this subthread is more appropriate for
   -- bkuhn

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