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Thread: marketing of opensuse and open source

  1. #1
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    Default marketing of opensuse and open source

    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?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: marketing of opensuse and open source

    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

  3. #3
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    Default Re: marketing of opensuse and open source

    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.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: marketing of opensuse and open source

    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.
    ° Appreciate my reply? Click the star and let me know why.

    ° Perfection is not gonna happen. No way.

    https://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Board#Members
    http://en.opensuse.org/User:Knurpht
    http://nl.opensuse.org/Gebruiker:Knurpht

  5. #5
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    Default Re: marketing of opensuse and open source

    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.
    Bryan Sailer
    SpaceMonkey
    openSUSE LEAP 42.2
    KDE
    "Don't sweat the small stuff, it's all small stuff"

  6. #6

    Default Re: marketing of opensuse and open source

    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.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: marketing of opensuse and open source

    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.

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