[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Ongoing Firefox (and Thunderbird) Trademark problems

* Towns ::

> Eric Dorland wrote:
> > Now, the Mozilla Foundation is willing to give us permission to
> > use the marks, but only to Debian specifically. To me, this
> > feels like a violation (at least in spirit) of DFSG #8.
> "Our priorities are our users and free software"
> Does having the package actually be called "firefox" or
> "thunderbird" make life easier and better for users? I think so.

I don't think so.

> Does the opposite make it worse? I think so.

IMHO it makes no difference at all. The "normal", "regular",
"I-dont-read-debian-mailing-lists" folk install the "Gnome Desktop"
or the "KDE Desktop" tasks, see the "Web Browser" icon, double-click
it and voila. As long as it works (and as long as they can install
the Macromedia plugins), they don't care. The rest of the world
knows Debian renamed Firefox as Iceweasel to escape Mozilla
Foundation's arcane trademark license.

> Does calling it "firefox" or "thunderbird" hurt "free software"?

At first, no. But it *does* hurt our users. Why? Because they are
confident that getting something from the Debian mirror, modifying
it and re-distributing under the same terms is allowed. And they can
be burned after some time. And they *will* blame it on Debian.

Someone told me there was a maxima "if you get a new client, you got
*one* new client, if you lose an old client you lost eleven clients
(old and prospective)"... It would hurt Debian, and as I think
Debian is one *big* power in favor of Free Sotware, it hurts Free
Software, too.

> It doesn't hurt us -- we're already doing it, it doesn't hurt
> upstream -- they're happy for us to do it, it doesn't hurt our

They are happy for Debian to do it, but they are *not* happy enough
to allow Debian users to do it too.

> users as above. Does it hurt Debian derivatives? Depends on the
> permission -- it seems hard to give Debian permission but not give
> random people permission to redistribute Debian's deb, which is
> all most distributors do.

No, a lot of derivatives will make additional changes in the .deb
and not just pass it along.

> Does changing the name hurt "free software"? It hurts us, by
> taking away time from other things, it hurts upstream by


> decreasing their name recognition and providing a bunch of FAQs of
> the form "what's wrong with firefox that Debian doesn't distribute
> it?". Depending on how much time it takes us to do it right, it

Agreed, but this is *their* problem and not ours.

> might hurt our derivatives even more, by introducing new RC bugs
> and destabilising the release, and providing a base system that
> users are less happy with ("Why doesn't it come with firefox?").

I don't think this question will *ever* happen.

> YMMV, of course.


HTH, Always, Respectfully,

Reply to: