Trademark rights and copyright for "Cygwin" and logo.
Fri May 11 17:42:00 GMT 2007

Dear Christopher Faylor,

> On Fri, May 11, 2007 at 04:13:12AM +0200, wrote:
>>Nonetheless I continue to be thankful for anybody's input (esp.  if I
>>just missed a plainly visible and well known document on that topic
> It is unclear to me what kind of insight you expect to get about matters
> like these which would be definitive enough to actually allow you to
> distribute a product.

Well, to tell the truth, isn't that obvious? I want to trick you in a
slip of tongue, use that by way of sneaky lawyering to disenfranchise
Redhat of their rightful IP and take over cygwin and achieve world

But seriously, what kind of attitude is yours? I thought I was quite
explicit that I'm NOT asking for YOUR permission to use the logo, but
for sources of information, like written policies, precedence cases
("In the case of XYZ he was allowed to use the logo, but a written
permission by Redhat was necessary -- best apply to") or FAQs I've

Actually it is not so farfetched to assume that the members of
projects know about who owns the rights to their logos (or a
compilation/collection copyright if something like this exists) and
can point to appropriate sources of information or the right people to
talk to. Many projects actually are legal entities in their own right
and own the trademarks and logos they are using, so they can give
answers I've been searching for themselves (though I gather that is
not the case for Cygwin, but even that I'd have to ASK about, since
it's AFAIS not in the FAQ).

(and I notice that cygqin-licensing is frequented and answered by a
subset of project members from here, so licensing questions are hardly
answered and worked at by a totally different set of people).

So it would not have been so absolutely farfetched at least to hope
that a more or less reliable answer to my question might gotten here
at this list. But I didn't even ask for permission, as I said. I asked
for information (permission != information about current practice of
permitting -- different thing, isn't it?).

To elaborate a bit more: 

There is a number of possible scenarios the most simple, that in all
my googling I've overlooked a statement somewhere at which
just gives the permission to use that logo and the word "Cygwin" under
certain circumstances (I.e. has such a general policy
statement, OpenOffice.Org has at least some rudiments of some and
intents to produce some more in the future). Then I'd have stuck to
those rules and -- guess what -- yes, I'd have considered that legally
binding if I'd found or been referred to a permission at

Another scenario would have been a statement of the kind "this is
generally not a problem (to use the logo). Some other projects did it"
-- but this I WOULD have had to verify with Redhat, credit me with
this much due diligence, even if the statement would not have said
explicitely "but it was/is necessary to get that in writing from".

A third scenario would have been a "don't bother, nobody ever got
permission, I tried (or somebody else tried) and we where told that
Redhat doesn't want to see the Cygwin logo and the Cygwin word at the
covers of third party produced CD sets, look at this thread". And
again that would have been a useful answer, since than I'd not even
have bothered to request anything from Redhat and just never released
my scripts or the CD sets (or under some other name -- the question of
how to attribute properly in this scenario would have then to be
researched, though).

Is the "kind of insight" I expected to get clear now?

Overall I've made the experience that it is generally better to
research the background as far as possible and then ask specific
questions (in this case probably to Redhat) if necessary, instead of
asking some too broad question like "What can I do with Cygwin" which
hardly is going to be answered in a useful form. And finding a general
policy document is even better, since it spares me the question and
then in turn to answer all that "what exactly do you want to do"
questions that probably come back, to which the full answer would be
hardly helpful, too: "Everything I'm legally allowed to".

> If the 75% of the mailing list thinks you're ok do you think that Red Hat
> will just take that as gospel?

Again: Opinions != information. I can understand if that is sometimes
difficult to keep in mind on mailing lists or in usenet, but just do

> If you want to get definitive answers about this, then you should be asking
> Red Hat, not this mailing list.

I think that might be answered by now.

Actually I seriously resent that you trying to portrait me as a fool
who doesn't know what he doing. That coming from a visible member of
the Cygwin project will certainly keep any others from giving any
useful hints on that topic in this thread, after you have so
prominently marked my request as utter bullshit.

Thanks a lot for that. Nice first official contact with a project. Me
seems, there is a bit of that spirit of openess missing in your (first
person) case.

But maybe you only want to say, that I've violated the list charter?
Can't see that at the moment, but YMMV. If so, why haven't you stated
just that, instead of questioning and putting into doubt my motives
(which are not your's to judge, after all)?

Finally: I don't intend to distribute "a product" (as you said
that). I've just been thinking to provide the service to deliver
snapshots of the Cygwin mirrors (and subsets thereof) on CDs to people
who'd appreciate that service and in situations where that is actually
useful. Exactly that is the reason why I'd like to use the name Cygwin
for the CDs and not some of my own making. It seemed only fair
(attribution and this like). Your response leaves me in doubt wether
that is been appreciated.

-- Markus

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