You are allowed to do it. We don’t have a Mark Shuttleworth investing his personal fortune in manufacturing and free worldwide shipping however.
Cost analysis for the DVDs:
- DVD pressing costs about 0.57c per DVD when oredered by 1000 (it decreases if you order larger quantities)
- Shipping costs 2.7€ currently (this increases by 10 cents every year or every 6 months)
So if you want to ship 1000 DVDs for free, you have to put 3000€ of your own pocket. I don’t think Haiku Inc would find this a good way to spend our money. With 3000€ we can organize something like 1 to 3 coding sprints of 1 week each (depending on where and how they are organized, number of people attending, etc).
The goal of the DVDs was then to both promote Haiku (and indeed some were given away), and also to act as an enabler for donations. It helps people to know they “get” something in exchange of their donations, and I think some decided to give us some money because of that.
I don’t know the cost for mass buying USB sticks, but I’d assume we want something of decent quality and fast, so it would probably not be 0.57c per unit. Especially if you want our logo etched or printed on it. And you would want to put them in a somewhat decent packaging, not ship them in a recycled enveloppe.
Anyway, Haiku is under the MIT license which means you are free to redistribute it. The logo is trademarked, so if you want to make changes to the distribution, you have to get agreement from Haiku Inc, or use the de-branded version which removes the logo (or uses the alternative “Walter” logo in some places now). The agreement is not too hard to get if your changes make sense (maybe you are adding some extra software to your USB stick, as it was done for the “discover haiku” one from TuneTracker systems: http://www.tunetrackersystems.com/discoverhaiku.html)