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Re: Ongoing Firefox (and Thunderbird) Trademark problems

* Anthony Towns (aj@azure.humbug.org.au) wrote:
> 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. Does the opposite 
> make it worse? I think so.

Certainly retaining the name makes life easier. But the easier thing
and the right thing are often in conflict. I've clearly been very
reluctant to take the renaming step, because I know it will cause a
lot of acrimony. But just because it's a painful step doesn't
necessarily make it the wrong one.
> Does calling it "firefox" or "thunderbird" hurt "free software"? 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 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.

The reason we're already doing it was for expediency during the sarge
release. We shouldn't use that as justification for continuing to do

I think keeping the name does hurt Debian. Keeping the name means we
cut a Debian specific deal. That doesn't sit well with me. I don't
want to get special treatment just because we're popular. 
> 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 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?").
> YMMV, of course.
> Cheers,
> aj

Eric Dorland <eric.dorland@mail.mcgill.ca>
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