How can "AlmaLinux" with official typeface be used in an image?

I’m coming in peace, don’t take it as an aggression! :slight_smile:

I’ve just read the “The AlmaLinux OS trademark usage policy” and there are a few things that I found somewhat ridiculous. Yes, I know that “These Guidelines are based in part on the Model Trademark Guidelines.” And I’m familiar with the legal jargon and issues (a bit less with the US legal system than with a number of European ones, but believe me, I started reading the legal system of my country in 1984, at age 14, with the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure; in the 1990s, I became familiar with the French legal system; in the 2000s, I was reading the SCOTUS’ Opinions, but also various Codes, including State Codes; I’m much less skilled in the British legal systems). And I’m also pretty much aware of the grammar of a number of languages; however, English is not my first language.


Don’t use “a” or “the” to refer to an instance of the trademark. When you use a trademark following an article, you should only use the trademark as an adjective modifying a noun.

  • Unacceptable: I installed an AlmaLinux OS on my friend’s laptop.
  • Acceptable: I installed an AlmaLinux OS release on my friend’s laptop.

Don’t use a trademark as a possessive.

  • Unacceptable: AlmaLinux OS’s distribution is stable.
  • Acceptable: The AlmaLinux OS distribution is stable.

Now, was this really necessary?

In the first case, everyone, literally everyone, would say, “I installed AlmaLinux on my friend’s laptop.” Find me a real person who ever said or wrote, “I installed an AlmaLinux OS release,” and I’ll eat my shoes! They might have said so to contrast “release” with “beta”; this doesn’t count as a standard usage, so I keep my shoes.

Please note that you yourselves are not observing your own rules, as long as:

  • ALL pictures, from your “logo with name” to the wallpapers;
  • most announcements;
  • “About this System” in KDE;
  • etc.

don’t use “AlmaLinux OS,” but just “AlmaLinux”!


  • the “logo with title” has the 5-color graphical symbol + “AlmaLinux” at the right (no “OS”)
  • “Announcing AlmaLinux 8.9 Stable!” (no “OS”)
  • “About this System” reads: “AlmaLinux 9.3” (no “OS”)

In the second case, this is preposterous. What would you do if a blogger writes, “AlmaLinux OS’s latest release is fabulous!”, cease-and-desist them? What if they wrote, “AlmaLinux’s latest release is fabulous!”?


Then, I see you provide for “Use of logos. You may not change any logo except to scale it. This means you may not add elements to the logo, change the colors or proportions of the logo, distort the logo, or combine the logo with other logos.”

By this, do you mean the logo as in “the 5-color graphical symbol,” or as in “the 5-color graphical symbol + AlmaLinux OS” (which you yourself are using without “OS”)?

Either way, how about the visual identity that is the “Word Mark” “AlmaLinux OS” (which you yourself are using as “AlmaLinux” most of the time) in the graphical form that uses the official (but unspecified) typeface, and the official (but unspecified) color?

You must be aware that various websites are creating images (à la “og:image”) by building around the text “AlmaLinux x.y” (with the official typeface), with or without the 5-color graphical symbol, to announce when you release something. By common sense alone, this is just fine. By your trademark usage policy, it’s at best undefined. Are they authorized to add text and whatnot to that logo?

Have you ever consulted a Visual Identity Manual aka Brand Identity Guidelines? Canonical once had a good one. You don’t even name the font used in the logo! (OK, it’s Gilroy. And the color seems to be #00245E, which has no Pantone equivalent, and no name by any convention.)

Sorry for being picky, but I stick to one rule: a law that’s not observed by too many is too weak a law. Also, the trademark principles in any jurisdiction say that the rightful owner should actively fight any infringement; but when the owner itself (themselves?) don’t stick to their own usage policy rules, then… it’s debatable.

Please don’t take it as a negative message. I was actually hoping to understand your trademark usage policy, and I segfaulted in the process.

Hi there, and thanks for the detailed feedback! You’ve certainly identified some places that our trademark policy can be improved. Would you be interested in collaborating with me on an update to the policy that we can then take the to board to get approved?

No problemo, just tell me what to do.

1 Like

Awesome! If you don’t mind sending me an email (benny at AlmaLinux dot org), and we can workout how to collaborate! I’m based in the US and it’s a holiday tomorrow, so I won’t likely get back to you until next week, but I’d love to work with you!

Off the top of my head, a few suggestions. Not related to any template (I hate boilerplates), and not US-centric, but based on common sense.

  1. I would cover the usage of both “AlmaLinux” and “AlmaLinux OS”; trying to enforce the latter is like trying to enforce “GNU/Linux”: it didn’t work, as most people would use “Linux distro” to mean more than the kernel. (Also in conjunction with “release” or “distro.”)
  2. I would drop the references to adjectival/attributive, possessive and verbal use. Everyone says, “I googled this” or “I scotched that”; and this is actually free advertisement for the owners of these brands!
  3. I would define the legitimate use by third parties of “AlmaLinux” in Gilroy, with or without the graphic symbol, in the defined shade of blue or in white, off-white, dark gray, or black, in the context of news sites, blogs, magazines, and in connection to reporting news, reporting personal experiences, reviewing, etc., provided that:
    (a) any addition on the image that uses it does not create the false impression of any affiliation or endorsement;
    (b) the graphic symbol, if modified, is only scaled, or made grayscale;
    (c) the resulting image doesn’t create a prejudice to the AlmaLinux Foundation or to the public image or perception of the AlmaLinux OS.
  4. Generally, all the references to “AlmaLinux [OS]” should make sure that affiliations or ownership are not implied or suggested; especially for legal entities, where this is necessary, one or more of the following disclaimers should be added, as appropriate:
    (a) mentioning of the owner of the trademark;
    (b) mentioning of no endorsement;
    (b) mentioning of no affiliation.

I believe that everything should be clear for the layman. This is not a horrendous EULA, nor a 20,000-word TOS. Even with plain language, it would be legally enforceable, if properly formulated (attention should be paid to commas and conjunctions, to avoid double interpretations). Any thoughts, @bennyVasquez?

1 Like