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Re: Ongoing Firefox (and Thunderbird) Trademark problems

* Wouter Verhelst (wouter@debian.org) wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 14, 2005 at 03:26:11PM -0400, Eric Dorland wrote:
> > People seem to be using DFSG 4 as a justification for keeping the
> > name, but I believe that is flawed. DFSG 4 allows for a license to say
> > "if you meet conditions X, you can use our name, otherwise you
> > can't". So the TeX guys have a test suite and specifications that you
> > have to pass to call the software TeX. What if the license said "You
> > can call the program TeX if it's part of Debian". Would we still call
> > it TeX?
> That's not what the Mozilla Foundation is doing.

Yes it is.
> They're saying "you can call it firefox if you adhere to our standards,
> and we will determine whether you do". Next, they have determined that
> Debian is adhering to their standards, so they allow us to call it
> firefox.

No they're saying to Debian: "you can call it firefox if you adhere to
our standards, and we will determine whether you do". They don't have
to make the same deal with anyone else. Maybe they will, but they may
not. So we have to assume it's Debian specific (or at least restricted
to a small group).

> Anyone who gets firefox from Debian has the same rights under the
> trademark license: either they ask the Mozilla Foundation whether they
> adhere to their standards, or they rename the thing.

The MoFo has made no statement that they would grant a trademark
license to anyone would adhered to the same standards as Debian. If
this were true (and hopefully in writing), I think things would be
much less problematic. 

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