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Use this page to discuss problems that are not yet resolved with the use cases seen on the content page itself.

License of the trademark guidelines and template

You should explicitly license the trademark guidelines themselves under a open permissive license such as CC attribution share alike license. Also if these guidelines are meant to be more of a template for other projects as well, then we shouldn't need to mention "Fedora" so many times over and over again. I mean, anybody who reads a link that says "Fedora trademark guidelines", already know that we are talking about Fedora here. So just saying trademark instead of "Fedora trademark" would much it more succinct. I am also worried about the length of the guidelines. We should strive to make it short and sweet so it is easy to follow and easy to enforce as well. Again, refer Much to learn.

  • The guidelines appear on the wiki and are licensed with the rest of the wiki, as OPL without additional restrictions.
  • The use of the word Fedora is as reviewed and approved by Red Hat Legal, and not inappropriate.
  • Trademark law for Ubuntu's trademarks may differ significantly, as you know, given their nation of origin. We did look at their policy as a starting place but US law still has to guide our wording.


"the Fedora-specific fedora-logos, fedora-release, and fedora-release-notes packages are removed and replaced with, respectively, generic-logos, generic-release, and generic-release-notes packages, "

This won't work. You are leaking implementation details all over the place instead of describing what you want to accomplish. You are mandating certain packages be replaced with others. This doesn't work at all. A few examples, if I replace fedora-* with generic-*, I still get "Fedora 10" on plymouth since the string is stored in initrd. What If I want to replace fedora* with foo* instead? I don't think "non-visible" parts like filenames can even be controlled under trademark guidelines.

  • This is informative, thanks, but generally criticism should be accompanied by a suggestion with how to do better. My purpose is to note that remixes must remove trademarks where possible. I may need to simply indicate "the Fedora Trademarks are removed," and leave it at that. If you have can describe the process more effectively, drop some text in this Talk page and I'll work through it with Legal.
  • I've added text that I think does a better job of indicating the requirements -- which are simply to remove those branded packages, and any replacement is left to the remixer to accomplish in accordance with technical best practices to be provided elsewhere, for instance by the Spins SIG.
    • I refrained from suggesting alternatives earlier since it wasn't quite clear, what you were trying to accomplish. If it merely just a mandate to rebrand, then the following text might work better: "The Fedora trademarks should be removed from the distribution in visible places by not showing either the Fedora logo or the wordmark. This can generally be accomplished by replacing the software packages fedora-logos, fedora-release and fedora-release-notes with generic-logos, generic-release and generic-release-notes or your own equivalent packages or a alternative implementation that has the same result. " You can rephrase this as appropriate but keep these things in mind
      • Merely replacing fedora* with generic* doesn't always accomplish your goals. generic-logos accidentally included a branded version of the splash screen. I reported and got this bug fixed in a update but we can't rely on us being perfect. There was another related issue with Plmouth as well. Instead, if we describe the goal and leave the implementation details to the people merely suggesting something as a easy way, they will be responsible for the rebranding, however it is done and we will have less implementation details to rely on and potential bugs can be someone else problem which I think is the legally safe choice.
      • Thoroughly cleansing Fedora of all signs that it is a derivative is impossible and afaik, we are not aiming for that. So filenames and package names shouldn't bother us much. My understanding is that, we only need to worry about "visible places", since trademarks are meant to prevent confusion. This doesn't extend to things like filenames
      • You cannot mandate replacing fedora-release because I might choose to keep the package as it is and then merely run sed on it, which would for all practical purposes, distribution. Not sure changing fedora-release-notes as such. Why is that required?
      • A related question, is Firefox having and fedora bookmarks a problem?

Secondary Mark

Can you please provide (perhaps from marketing) a short acceptable tagline which would be acceptable for (1) Adding an application on top of fedora and (2) Changing base fedora packages. I would think for (1) we would want something akin to "deployed on fedora. Perhaps. not for (2). Bkearney

  • This was something that came up in legal discussions, so I've pinged Legal about it. The "Fedora Remix" term was immediately their preference because it makes a clear distinction between what is unmodified Fedora and what is not. Do you have any suggestions for another way to say this? "Modified Fedora" and "Combination of Fedora and..." would seem to work, as a start, but let's see what comes back. -- Paul
    • For secondary marks where they change a package which is in fedora, then I like Fedora Remix, or Fedora Mixin, or Fedora Blend. Something which connotates a change to the original
    • For secondary marks where they add something on top of fedora (aka Alfresco on Fedora, JBoss on Fedora), then I would like to see something akin to the "Intel Inside". I would want it to connotate that what they are getting includes and is provided on a valid fedora install. It happens to include other things. I could see (although you have nixed some of this) -- Bkearney
      • Powered By Fedora
      • Fedora Based
      • Driven by Fedora
      • Enabled by Fedora
      • Freedom by Fedora


On this change

 Spins may be subject to additional requirements imposed by the Fedora Board or its designees or delegates

Can I assume that this is "Spins hosted by fedoraproject?" Becuase I may host a spin (as you have defined it) on my own page and use the secondary mark. -- bk

  • Good catch, thanks. It really should say "Spins using the official trademark" regardless of where they're hosted. -- Paul


What is considered Disparaging? -- Rahul

disparaging: adj. -- expressing a low opinion of; same as derogatory;
as, disparaging remarks about the new house.
  • The common definition generally comes first in law, AFAIK. In other words you can't use the trademark to set up an "I Hate Fedora" site. This is a common requirement in these types of guidelines and not something I invented; and to the best of my knowledge it doesn't conflict with fair use, such as a news site that identifies Fedora with a logo and does serious criticism of the distribution, for instance. -- Paul

I am not sure, why we should restrict this. There are sites like f*** and A equivalent for Fedora would be restricted by such guidelines. I am not saying we should encourage this. Maybe distorting the logo shouldn't be possible but using the name should be, I think - Rahul

  • OK, noted, but disagreed by pretty much everyone I've talked to, including Legal and Board members. By the way, you should probably read this and this. -- Paul

I can show you other examples -

Personal blogs or news websites

The trademark guidelines don't seem to taking these into consideration. These websites are unlikely to add hyperlinks to every usage of the logo. -- Rahul

  • You're right, this needs to be more reasonable. -- Paul

"The use is in connection with promoting the Fedora Project" is listed as one of the requirements. Let's suppose I am criticizing it and depromoting it. What then? - Rahul

  • It might fall into fair use in that case, but IANAL, etc. Look around at any major news site for examples of logos owned by companies with considerably more money to spend on lawyers than Red Hat. These guidelines are meant to promote the use of the logo in ways that benefit the Fedora Project. Other uses we would continue to look at and police on a case by case basis. The point of guidelines is to make sure our trademark is not diluted through a lack of action on our part. -- Paul

Again, news sites such as slashdot or personal blogs might want to use the logo in connection with criticism and they should be free to use the logo in such instances. I don't know whether fair use allows it. I think this condition should be dropped atleast for non-commercial content. - Rahul

I also wanted you to check the section on commentary or parody at We really should explicitly allow this.

Business cards

(Should we point people here to Ambassadors/BusinessCards? Do we want people to use the business card template that we advertise, or are we ok with anything homemade? We need to follow up on Ian's work to make a new Business Card template. --Max)

(I believe Ian's card template is the way to go, and we should require Ambassadors to use it. I feel that's a very low barrier for some project cohesion. -- Paul)

Originality/usefulness of spins

So, the granting of trademark permission is only based on whether or not 100% of the spin is in the Fedora repositories? Is there any sort of "usefulness" or "originality of spin" requirement, or is that a separate process? --Max

I think there needs to be some sort of 'usefulness/originality' metric for anything advertising it as 'Fedora <whatever>'. -- Bill

If it's gonna be named "Fedora <whatever>" it has gone through the Spin Submission Process, which takes into account the usefulness of spins being advertised as "Fedora <whatever>". We will however, NOT accept spins with patches unless there's a very, very good reason. Topic in this little thread might be a little misleading --Jeroen

Domain names

Well, we can't exactly force this on anyone - see -- Bill

  • I'd like to find out how much carrot and how much stick have been applied in that particular case to date. -- Paul

Hybrid? FOSS? ISV?

On the "Hybrid Pure Fedora-derived spins and additional content on same medium", or "Pure Fedora-derived spins", not entirely clear:

  • Joe wants to hand out his Presentation/Artwork on a Fedora Live CD or USB thumb drive - pure Fedora, added content
  • Doh Inc. wants to demo their ISV product

"Hybrid pure derived?"

Which is it?

  1. Hybrid? Free and Open Source software altogether, found in Fedora, but with added content?
  2. Pure? Pure genuine Fedora altogether?
  3. Derived? Recompiled and rebranded and not Fedora anymore?
  • This is an interesting question. I would say the Live USB presents a thornier issue. With a Live CD, the image in its entirety is what makes up the content of the media. With a Live USB, it's not as simple -- because someone can distribute materials outside the image we call "Fedora." My take on it is that if someone takes advantage of that Live USB feature to distribute some added content outside the Live image, we don't have any controlling interest in that "outside space," if you will. We'd want someone in that case to refer to it as "Fedora plus X added content." The previous guidelines allowed for that sort of treatment, as long as the distributor leaves the addition of the outside materials to the user's discretion. The distributor could even include an Autorun enabler, as long as it didn't automatically take any action without the user being given the choice. -- Paul
  • See below, but i think that there are two items "Based On" and "Derived From". Based on adds packages to Fedora, but does not change anythin in Fedora. It would be nice to have to rebrand in that case.. or have a fedora-based-logos.rpm (This is your Hybrid Model). Derived changes something in fedora. I could see not supporting Derived. -- bkearney
    • This seems like a very confusing approach to me. I think this is best covered with a simple approach -- either a derived spin is only made with materials from the Fedora repositories, or it is not. Having two different marks like this has already been proven to be unworkable, see Microsoft's earlier forays into "Made for Vista," "Vista certified," et al. The more clever we try to be, the more problems we are likely creating. I don't think we want to go there. -- Paul
      • I am fine with a single "based on" which is additive packages not in fedora, not modifications to items in fedora. I think this should apply to all forms of use (spins, appliances, usbs, etc)
  • The original question remains. Either something is "Fedora", or something is "derived from" OR "based on" Fedora, which is quite the same. Added content to a USB thumb drive still is a Fedora OS installation.
    • I think the comment directly above was from Jeroen. Yes, that's much clearer in the current state of the page. You're either purely Fedora, or not. The former gets the Fedora mark; the latter, the secondary mark. Images are treated the same way whether they're raw disk, Live ISOs, or installation sets -- we shouldn't get into declaring those technicalities because it just means more loopholes and headaches. -- Paul

Appliances (Related to ISVS)

  • Live USB, and Appliance tools allow anyone to distribute running systems. It is highly likely that they will want to add additional software (both FOSS and not) to the media. I would like to see a policy which allows them to say "based on fedora". I believe it would need to have the following guidelines. (bkearney)
    1. Include fedora repositories
    2. Include different fedora logos
    3. Only add packages which are not in fedora (i.e. I can not replace glibc and say it is "based" on fedora). Per this from mark webbink, I believe that the additional packages in (3) need not be FOSS. There is probably some additional license statement/requirements that must be done to allow this. (bkearney)
    • The actual text will probably not be "based on Fedora." But we will find some acceptable term that makes sense. (pfrields)
      • That is fine, as long as there is some notion that the company is delivering an appliance which uses fedora. Good for the company, good for fedora. --bkearney
    • The document to which you link concerns FOSS licensing and patentability, but doesn't really have anything to do with trademark guidelines. But I agree completely that the downstream applicance creator who uses any non-Fedora materials in an applicance would be responsible for addressing any of the licensing concerns over and above what Fedora provides. (pfrields)
      • I put that link there becuase I believe an appliance is not a deriviative work. Rather, it is an aggregation. So.. ACME vendor could distribute an appliance which is a proprietary application "using/based on/built on/" fedora. -- bkearney

Pure Fedora spins with other content on same medium

I am glad to see this under trusted. Why limit this to live-cd? What about raw disk images, or some other binary/bootable item yet to be created? --bkearney

  • My intention isn't to limit, just to give use cases (examples) that demonstrate an application of the guideline, to help define what we're trying to achieve with the legal text. The take-away in this case is that we are not concerned with anything *outside* the image purporting to be Fedora. If it's a raw disk image, that image is either purely Fedora or it's not, which determines for which mark it's eligible. If it's a Live image, same thing. If you distribute a purely Fedora VM image along with an .ISO file of extra stuff, that's Fedora. If you distribute the same image with extra content inside, it's "derived/based on/foo." -- Paul

Fedora-derived spins

I am glad to see this under trustd. an we remove the applying for board approval? -- bkearney

  • If I understand you correctly, yes, we're trying to remove gating on the Board for this, moving instead to a community trust model. Enforcement will still be down to the Board and Red Hat Legal as always, we just presume someone's a good guy until he makes a mess. -- Paul
    • great. Can we remove the first line which says "Community members may apply for Board permission to use the "Fedora Upstream" mark....."
  • Looks like the secondary mark will still require board approval. Is that correct? -- bkearney
    • Whoops, that was my mistake when I was editing. I was looking at too many old drafts. -- Paul
      • Great.. this looks good! -- bkearney



demonstrates that the required birdseed text on pages with the logo will be difficult to enforce.

Examples for the how to use the mark

  • Always distinguish trademarks from surrounding text with at least initial capital letters or in all capital letters.
    • Acceptable: "Fedora" or "FEDORA"
    • Unacceptable: "fedora", "bigFedoradays!"
  • Always use proper trademark form and spelling.
    • Acceptable: "Fedora(R)"
    • Unacceptable: "F!@#ingdora rocks!"
  • Never use a trademark as a noun. Always use a trademark as an adjective modifying the noun.
    • Acceptable: "Download a Fedora distribution here."
    • Unacceptable: "Download Fedora here."
  • Never use a trademark as a verb. Trademarks are products or services, never actions.
    • Acceptable: "Install Fedora on your system."
    • Unacceptable: "Fedoraize your system."
  • Never modify a trademark to a plural form. Instead, change the generic word from the singular to the plural.
    • Acceptable: "Update your Fedoras with this tool."
    • Unacceptable: "Update your Fedora servers with this tool."
  • Never translate a trademark into another language.
    • Acceptable: "Quiero instalar Fedora 9 en mi sistema."
    • Unacceptable: "Quiero instalar Sombrero 9 en mi sistema."
  • Never use trademarks to coin new words or names.
    • Unacceptable: "Fedora Fashion for geeks."
  • Never alter a trademark in any way including through unapproved fonts or visual identifiers.
    • Unacceptable: Adding a blue hat on the top of the trademark
  • Never combine your company name with the Fedora name or use the Fedora name in a way that it could be perceived that Red Hat and your company have an organizational link such as a joint venture.
    • Acceptable: "Our Company uses Fedora software on all our servers."
    • Unacceptable: "Big Max servers are a partnership of Fedora and Our Company."
  • Never abbreviate or use any Fedora trademarks as an acronym.
    • Acceptable: Fedora Users and Developers Conference is called FUDCon.
    • Unacceptable: Fedora Users and Developers Conference is not called FedUDCON.
  • When using the Fedora trademark or the Fedora Infinity design logo you must provide the proper trademark symbols and a trademark attribution statement.
    • Acceptable: Use Fedora® for the first instance (?), "Fedora® and the Infinity design logo are trademarks of Red Hat, Inc"
    • Unacceptable: Never using the ® mark for Fedora; not having the trademark attribution statement as per the guidelines.

First use v. forever use of trademark symbol

It is common to request that first use of a trademark be accompanied with (TM) or (R). Can we note in the User:Pfrields/NewTrademarkGuidelines#Usage_Guidelines that only first use is required to use a symbol? As written, it implies that it muse be used in all cases. Used in all cases is ugly and onerous. quaid 23:17, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

  • I don't want to declare that unilaterally here. Let accepted trademark law rule that usage. We don't explicitly say "all," which means we do want people to use it, but generally (and legally, AFAIK) accepted practice is to do it just the first time. Otherwise you'd see us using Linux® everywhere. -- Paul

Fixing lopsidedness

The point of the guidelines was to make it easier to use the secondary mark than the official logo. Right now that's lopsided, and my informal polling shows the Board is more keenly interested in protecting the official logo. That doesn't mean tightening up all the restrictions, just that the official logo may gate on the Board after all. Since many users are going to opt for the secondary mark, these changes wouldn't affect those users much. I'll be working on that today. -- Paul

The new changes reflect the Board's desire to continue approving the use of the Fedora trademarks for spins, while making the secondary mark a much lower barrier for community usage. The secondary mark still has to be designed, but I did come up with an idea for the secondary mark: "Fueled by Fedora." -- Paul

Perhaps Fedora Remix? - Rahul

  • Yeah, not bad -- I'll include that in the proposals. -- Paul