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Re: Ongoing Firefox (and Thunderbird) Trademark problems

* Simon Huggins (huggie@earth.li) wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 15, 2005 at 12:07:16PM -0400, Eric Dorland wrote:
> > * Simon Huggins (huggie@earth.li) wrote:
> > > On Wed, Jun 15, 2005 at 02:16:18AM -0400, Eric Dorland wrote:
> > > > * Marco d'Itri (md@Linux.IT) wrote:
> > > Like others in this thread I disagree with your position.  I don't
> > > think you'd be compromising Debian's principles in doing this as
> > > it's just about the name and it's purported to be easy to change the
> > > name if downstream users do patch it.
> > > If people want to rip out the guts of firefox then they have to
> > > rename it.  I see no problem here.  Debian has proved it only wants
> > > to do nice, fluffy things to firefox, Gervase is being accomodating
> > > as far as I can tell.
> > > Why do you want to make Debian the distribution that users moan
> > > about shipping iceweasel when there is no reason not to just ship
> > > firefox?  Pragmatically yours,
> > Indeed the most pragmatic thing to do is to keep the name. But you
> > don't feel that accepting a deal with the Mozilla foundation is
> > against DFSG #8? Why not? 
> You have the right to modify the code whether or not it is in Debian.
> The license to the code is not specific to Debian so I don't believe
> that this contradicts the spirit of DFSG #8.  The rights are the same
> for you as they are for users i.e. they have the right to go to Mozilla
> and prove they produce good enough software to use Mozilla's trademark
> and call it firefox just as you have.  The license isn't specific to
> Debian therefore this satisfies that clause.

The code license is not in question. The trademark license/policy is. 
> I honestly believe the above paragraph is consistent.  Obviously there
> are people out there who will argue that this clause means you can't
> possibly do it as the name is different and Joe Random Hacker can't
> somehow break firefox yet ignore the Mozilla Foundation and trade on
> their good reputation by using their name.  I think however that that is
> a specious argument and that all sane users of firefox will be able to
> negotiate as you have done or not bother and change the name.
> The Mozilla Foundation have made many shows of good faith via Gervase in
> this long running debate which he has continued to follow despite the
> criticisms levelled at him/the Mozilla Foundation.  Obviously if they
> turn around in the future and say "oh we hate your blah patch you can't
> use the name" then we can /then/ make it a big issue and change the name
> to iceweasel and be happy.  I honestly think this is unlikely though and
> to do so now would be not only be premature but be harmful to users and
> your/the project's relationship with Mozilla.

Well actually to some degree they've already done this. Recently the
CAcert  (www.cacert.org) project's root CA made it into our
ca-certificates package. However I can't have Firefox use that as a
root CA by default and still use the trademark:


This seems like a pretty unacceptable to me.

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