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Re: Ongoing Firefox (and Thunderbird) Trademark problems

On Tue, Jun 14, 2005 at 03:05:20PM -0400, Eric Dorland wrote:
> * Adrian von Bidder (avbidder@fortytwo.ch) wrote:
> > As I understand DSFG 8, this covers only the case that the firefox package 
> > distributed by Debian *as is* must still be usable legally when used 
> > outside Debian.
> Come on, that can't possibly be the intention. I could craft a license
> that says "you have all the rights of the BSD license, as long as your
> code is exactly the same as it is in Debian". That would be
> insane. 

Yes, but it's not relevant to the case at hand.

In the firefox case, people say "You have all the rights of the license;
and as long as it's in Debian or it's not modified, you may call it

Your example isn't even close to that.

> The first sentence goes "The rights attached to the program must not depend
> on the program's being part of a Debian system.". Clearly if we
> accepted the MoFo proposal, the program would have more rights within
> Debian than without, and wouldn't be compatible with DFSG #8.

First, a program doesn't have any right. People do.

Second, this trademark business has nothing to do with the program's
license. Trademarks licenses and software licenses are two entirely
distinct beasts, and you shouldn't even attempt to mix them.

The DFSG talks about software licenses. It does not talk about patents
(which is a problem), and it does not talk about trademarks either
(which I don't think is a problem, but I don't know whether other people
feel the same way). A trademark license simply /is not an issue/ with
regards to Free Software; whether you're allowed to use a trademark or
not has no impact on whether or not you're allowed to modify, study, or
redistribute the software. As such, it cannot make the license non-free.

The amount of time between slipping on the peel and landing on the
pavement is precisely one bananosecond

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