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  Don't link our website -- Red Hat outside counsel  

The text of the letter from Red Hat's outside counsel was sent by an authorized recipient, into a public mailing list, from which archive a copy was at one time freely available after it was posted there. Additionally a copy was received directly by the PNAELV site maintainer from Red Hat's counsel through an email address known to Red Hat security staff as an email exploder.

The next to last sentence of the third paragraph contains the rather unusual request about not linking into their client's website [not so-called 'deep linking', but simple linking]:
 
 Moreover, our client does not allow others to provide links to our client's web site without permission.


We represent Red Hat, Inc. ("Red Hat") with respect to its intellectual property matters. As you are aware, our client is the owner of rights for numerous trademarks, including but not limited to its famous RED HAT mark and RHEL (collectively, the "RED HAT marks"). Our client has made extensive use of the RED HAT marks in interstate and international commerce in connection with the advertising, promotion, and sale of its goods and services. We understand that our client has failed to receive a response from you to its correspondence, including its letter of January 7, 2005, and, therefore has requested that we follow up with you to bring this matter to closure. We understand that you are distributing, on your web site located at http://www.centos.org, CentOS Enterprise class Linux software that was developed using Red Hat's open source software. While Red Hat permits others to redistribute the software that constitutes Red Hat Linux, Red Hat does not authorize any person to use the RED HAT marks in association with such redistribution in any fashion, except by express agreement. In this regard, our client is concerned that your use of the RED HAT marks on your web site in this manner is likely to create confusion, mistake and/or deception among consumers with respect to the source, origin, sponsorship or approval of the products sold under your company name. While we appreciate that you may have taken some initial steps to disassociate your company and products from Red Hat, the fact remains that the extensive use of our client's RED HAT marks on your web site goes beyond the permitted use of our client's trademarks. Please refer to our client's web site at http://www.redhat.com/about/corporate/trademark, and in particular http://www.redhat.com/about/corporate/trademark/guidelines/page6.html, for the Red Hat trademark guidelines. Our client also objects to your use of the RED HAT marks as embedded text in your web site metatags. Moreover, our client does not allow others to provide links to our client's web site without permission. Your use of the RED HAT marks while linking to redhat.com suggests that Red Hat somehow sponsors or endorses your company which is false and misleading. Consequently, our client is concerned that your unauthorized use of its RED HAT marks in this manner will confuse consumers and dilute the distinctive qualities of its marks. To avoid any dilution or consumer confusion, we request that you contact us to confirm that you have removed from your web site all unauthorized uses of the RED HAT marks, as well as all other improper uses of our client's intellectual property, including within your web site metatags. We trust you will understand our client's interest in protecting its valuable intellectual property and ensuring that consumers are not misled as to the source or sponsorship of goods and services sold and/or distributed under the RED HAT marks. Again, we trust that this issue can be resolved promptly and amicably and appreciate your attention to this matter. We look forward to your reply and request a response no later than February 4, 2005. Thank you. Sincerely, (Signed by Red Hat Outside Counsel)

This is a copy with the firm contact information and author's contact information elided, to discourage rash and unthinking acts by misguided people who might object to the content.

[ Link Farm ]; Linked in slashdot news summary body - 2 March 2005
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