In his great answer the secret to Red Hat’s success, Donald Rosenberg really, really, really understands the balance of Red Hat, Fedora, and CentOS. (digg that article if you dug it.)
What made me bounce in my seat was this insight:
… Red Hat … did not abandon the little people. Instead, they found their way into a distributed and open source brand-extension plan. The other two brands, Fedora and CentOS, are not Red Hat owned.
My first thought was, “But Red Hat does own the Fedora brand?” Then I listened to myself and remembered what I’ve been learning. It is the community around a brand that owns it. Red Hat has the copyright and a trademark that it enforces, but in the case of Fedora that enforcement is specifically for supporting the freedom loving community around the brand.
That’s when I realized Donald’s article really does provide a concise and modern picture of this tribe: Red Hat + Fedora + CentOS.