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bryansailer
01-Apr-2016, 12:26
I am planning on opening my own computer and electronics store to provide an alternative for to having to buy prebuilt computers with proprietary software. Where I live there is currently no store to buy computer components. I also intend on marketing Linux and open source solutions. Do I need to get permission from openSUSE and other distros to advertise for them? My intent is to make money from selling hardware and support while educating users about open source alternatives.

What are some thoughts?

hendersj
02-Apr-2016, 12:47
On Fri, 01 Apr 2016 19:36:01 +0000, bryansailer wrote:

> I am planning on opening my own computer and electronics store to
> provide an alternative for to having to buy prebuilt computers with
> proprietary software. Where I live there is currently no store to buy
> computer components. I also intend on marketing Linux and open source
> solutions. Do I need to get permission from openSUSE and other distros
> to advertise for them? My intent is to make money from selling hardware
> and support while educating users about open source alternatives.
>
> What are some thoughts?

You probably want to consult with an attorney, since your question
involves licensing issues, just to be safest.

Speaking not as a lawyer (because I'm not one), I seem to recall that the
way it works is that if you're not using the distributions' trademarks,
you're probably OK. For example, if you were doing a respin the way
CentOS does for RedHat, they can't use the RedHat name or logos because
those trademarks are...well, trademarked.

For advertising, it's a little less clear, because it probably depends on
the advertising being done. You can ask the openSUSE board (board at
opensuse dot org) and get a definitive answer from them for openSUSE.

Jim



--
Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator
Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

galko_ferdinand
03-Apr-2016, 03:04
It should be good to send your questions to opensuse-marketing mailinglist
https://lists.opensuse.org/opensuse-marketing/

For example
They helped me to obtain openSUSE promotional materials for some open source conference last year.

Knurpht
03-Apr-2016, 04:36
Send a message with clear explanation of what you're going to do to board@opensuse.org . They will guide you to the proper people/places.

bryansailer
11-Feb-2017, 17:52
I appreciate all of the great feedback. When it gets closer for me to move forward with my business I will definitely contact the openSUSE board for clear direction as well as legal advise to keep myself out of trouble.

shanecortiz
25-Nov-2018, 22:38
I would rather like to see some improvements / new features added to the software.opensuse.org page rather than a software-center. I think having categories added to the page would be useful. For example tabs could be added, which could like - Popular Applications, Music/Video Players, Office applications, Photo/Video Editing.

tsu2
26-Nov-2018, 08:28
Echoing other comments,
And I'd expect there should be a license-use link somewhere on suse.com as well which should be able to answer questions for both paid and open source products.

From experience though,
Each of the following probably has an associated license to verify...
- Actual products. Product licenses are usually bundled with the software but it can't hurt to ask about them again.
- Services you provide. Some ecosystems provide certified support. AFAIK openSUSE has not had this for many, many years. Uncertified support generally means that you can provide your own services and there is no one to say you can provide a better service than someone else.
- Use of graphics including logos, trademarks, other official image assets. Requires license to use in your company literature including but not limited to business cards, letterheads, print and online advertising..

Probably the above applies not only to openSUSE but each specific product(FOSS or not) you want to explicitly market special support (I doubt that mentioning something in passing would get much attention). Be aware that the business model for many FOSS products is to provide their own paid services, you just need to avoid conflicts. Sometimes simply getting certifiied or registered is enough for the product to grant you their OK.

TSU