Redistributing Mint

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Redistributing Mint

Postby davidgs on Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:53 pm

I've read through the forum topics covering this and still don't have an altogether clear answer, so I'll ask …

I'd like to be able to build a Mint Linux image for VirtualBox that contains a couple of simple modifications -- mainly adding a couple of custom scripts and menu items, and pre-installing a python SDK we are developing -- and then be able to redistribute the VM to make life easier for developers that want to use our SDK. The current version of this VM uses vagrant to build a VM, but that takes some additional work on the part of the end user, and I'm trying to minimize the barriers to entry.

So, what, from a legal standpoint, would be required to get permission to redistribute Mint in this nominally modified form?

Any help or pointers appreciated, as I'll have to work this whole process through my company's legal department. I should probably start drinking now in anticipation, right? :D

Thanks in advance,
dg
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Re: Redistributing Mint

Postby xenopeek on Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:07 pm

Redistributing Linux Mint in a modified form (however small) is not permitted without explicit permission from Clement Lefebvre (owner of the worldwide Linux Mint trademark). However well intentioned, distributing a modified Linux Mint under the name "Linux Mint" and with the Linux Mint identity (artwork etc.) included will make users think it is an official Linux Mint work. From a legal standpoint, you need permission from the trademark owner :) (In any case if you'll be using the trademarked product for commercial purposes.) So please contact Clement for permission at root@linuxmint.com.

Linux Mint has partnerships with various companies and open source projects, so that might be something also of interest and could benefit both parties.
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Re: Redistributing Mint

Postby davidgs on Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:36 pm

Would the answer change if I were to redistribute this WITHOUT the Linux Mint name and if I removed all Mint artwork, etc.?
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Re: Redistributing Mint

Postby xenopeek on Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:59 pm

Yes, certainly. You are free to create a respin of Linux Mint if you remove the Linux Mint name, artwork, and other elements with the Linux Mint name or identity. Basically, you can include packages having "mint" in their name, you can include programs showing that these were developed by Linux Mint, and you can include the Linux Mint repository, but all other references to Linux Mint and artwork from Linux Mint needs to be removed.

So Cinnamon, Software Manager (mintinstall), Update Manager (mintupdate), and so on you can all include without change. However, some software does present itself as if you are using Linux Mint, like the Welcome Screen (mintwelcome), and such packages you'd can't include. As a started all mint-artwork-*, mint-backgrounds-*, grub2-theme-mint, and mint-mdm-themes packages will have to be removed.

I think you mean to deliver an already installed image, but if you include the installer not that Linux Mint has modified the packages ubiquity, ubiquity-frontend-gtk (or -kde on KDE), and ubiquity-ubuntu-artwork, and has included the package ubiquity-slideshow-mint. You'll either have to remove all these packages, or remove ubiquity-slideshow-mint and edit the other to remove the Linux Mint references.

You will also have to edit some files in /etc to remove the Mint name (like issue, issue.net, lsb-release and motd). You can find which files still have text reference to Linux Mint that may be displayed to users with this command:
Code: Select all
grep -Ri mint /etc/*
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