oreilly.comSafari Books Online.Conferences.


The Perl Camel FAQ

Camel Q: So are you saying that O'Reilly has trademarked an entire animal?

A: No. When a company receives a trademark, it receives protection for a symbol in a particular category of products or services. For example, Owens Corning has trademarked the color pink. The whole color? No, only for insulation. O'Reilly has protected the camel image for books and online publications related to the Perl language, and related product and services. The only reason an association exists between camels and the Perl programming language is because we've used a camel image on our Perl-related products.

Q: Do you just own the particular Camel on the cover of Programming Perl, or all camels?

A: We own the particular camel image shown above, which has lead to an association between camels and the Perl language. If someone were to use a different camel on their Perl book, there could be confusion over which one "The Camel Book" referred to, and we might need to step in and stop use of that camel image. That's how trademarks work, helping to protect confusion in the marketplace.

Q: I want to design a T-shirt with the Perl camel on it. Do I need to get your permission?

A: Yes. But we're willing to make allowances for those of you who have creative ideas and want to do something fun for your friends. So, if the lifetime print run of the T-shirt design is less than 100, you may consider permission automatically granted. For larger print runs, please ask first. We promise to answer quickly!

Q: Why isn't your trademark just restricted to books?

A: We also do conferences, software, research, and online publishing in Perl, and we use the camel image for those things as well. We may want to camel-brand other Perl-related products in the future.

Q: I want to use $camel as a variable name in a Perl program. Do I need to acknowledge the trademark?

A: No.

Q: I want to use a cartoon camel as the logo for my software product. Is that okay?

A: It depends on what your product is, how it was developed, and how you intend to distribute it. Please send email to with information about what you'd like to do, and we'll get back to you.

Q: I want to place a picture of a camel on my Perl web page. Am I allowed to do that? Do I have to use your camel?

A:Yes, as long as your page is non-commercial, and the context in which the camel is placed portrays Perl in a positive light. You will need to include the following language in small text somewhere on the page where the camel appears:

"The Perl camel image is a trademark of O'Reilly Media, Inc. Used with permission."

Please make the "O'Reilly Media, Inc." part of the statement a link to our home page (

We'd encourage you to use the Perl camel we use, as it has wide recognition as "the Perl camel." But if you have another camel you'd like to use on a non-commercial site we generally would not object, so as long as the image is in no way derogatory.

Please note: If you use the "Powered by Perl" or the "Programming Republic of Perl" buttons, please make those active links to, not the O'Reilly home page.

Q: What is the Programming Republic of Perl logo?

A: The Programming Republic of Perl logo was developed some years ago for non-commercial use on web sites, and serves as a pointer to Feel free to use it on any non-commercial pages. You can find it on the main Perl Camel Usage and Trademark Information page.

Q: Where can I find out more about camels?

Sponsored by: