that old GNU/Linux argument

Alexandre Oliva aoliva at
Tue Jul 22 02:02:16 UTC 2008

On Jul 21, 2008, Alan Cox <alan at> wrote:

> Sticking a mark in the middle of other things in a way that causes
> confusion generally needs that and may well need the permission of
> the rights holder.

What if the trademarked term causes confusion by itself?  What if it
was created to cause this confusion?

> The difference between talking about a Xerox machine (genuinely by Xerox)
> and trying to sell your own product as GNU/Xerox is quite different.

We're not talking about selling products here.  In fact, we've already
established that this is not about distributions, it's about the
operating system name.  Which is not a product.

The kernel named Linux is hardly a product either.

So, would you please explain how your intervention in this thread,
bringing trademark confusion into an already-complicated issue, was
even relevant?
looks like estoppel to me, regardless of

> (compiling products with Linux/gcc - after all if GNU needed Linux,

GNU didn't have a complete kernel, indeed.  GCC, a small part of the
GNU project, runs on several operating systems, including GNU/Linux.
It doesn't run just on Linux, though.

> RMS said they needed a kernel then clearly gnu products

What's with this obsession with "products"?  What GNU products are you
talking about?  We're just talking about software.

Alexandre Oliva
Free Software Evangelist  oliva@{,}
FSFLA Board Member       ¡Sé Libre! =>
Red Hat Compiler Engineer   aoliva@{,}

More information about the fedora-list mailing list