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Re: Ongoing Firefox (and Thunderbird) Trademark problems

* Julien BLACHE ::

> Matthew Garrett <mgarrett@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:
> >> The Debian Way (tm) would be to drop mozilla, firefox and
> >> thunderbird from Debian -- there's no reason what works with
> >> the FSF can't work with the MoFo.
> >
> > The downside to this approach is that the Mozilla Foundation
> > have no good reason to /care/. They're a group that produces
> > free software, but they're not campaigning for freedom. In any
> > case, we can make their software DFSG-free by removing any
> > references to the trademarks.  Dropping it entirely wouldn't
> > really help anyone.
> It seems to me that what the MoFo really cares about is market
> share, and producing /free/ software comes after that on their
> list of priorities.

I don't even think the restriction to rebrand their software is
*really* compatible with the "You may not impose any further
restrictions on the recipients" GPL#6 clause. Do *every* source file
in the mozilla trees belong to the Mozilla Foundation?
> We drop their products from Debian, they lose market share. We
> drop their trademarks, and *we* lose market share: "eh, wtf,
> Debian hasn't got firefox? mozilla? thunderbird? sunbird? omgwtf
> $DISTRO has them!"

Maybe my market perception is *very*, *very* different from yours,
but IMHO the  would be quite the opposite.

If we drop their products, the market sees: "Debian is without the
main FOSS internet suite!" and says "$DISTRO it is then", ie *we*
lose market share.

If OTOH we drop their trademarks, our (prospective) users won't even
notice, because:

(1) if they install or use a live-cd, they will see the browser icon
and "Iceweasel Web Browser" caption, and won't notice, and

(2) if they read about Debian before they install/use a live-cd,
they will stumble somewhere in the info "Debian uses a rebranded
version of Firefox called Iceweasel to protect its users (that may
want to modify and redistribute the software) from any trademark
> Their trademark policy is something that should not exist in a
> free software context. They don't care about free software. They
> don't care about distributors/vendors.

I agree, to a point. They have reason to protect their assets from
"evil" versions of mozilla, but their current policy is too hard.


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