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Building on a Linux brand

Mar 24, 2010, 15:32 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Richard Hillesley)

"A feature of free and open source software is that anyone can make a copy of the software, rebrand and market it and sell it to the world, as long as they abide by the terms of the original license(s) under which it was distributed.

"Most, but not all, of the distributions that Distrowatch currently lists began life as copies or derivatives of one or other of the generic Linux distributions - Red Hat, Slackware or Debian - each of which owed some kind of a debt to Linux pre-history in the shape of SLS or Owen le Blanc's MCC Interim Linux, which is often claimed to be the first installable Linux distribution.

"Red Hat owns the brand and the quality assurance that goes with the Red Hat trademark, but does not "own" the software it sells. For this reason CentOS and Oracle are able to provide rebranded versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux which provide "complete upstream compatibility" with Red Hat's product without fear of legal approbation."

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