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Re: Ongoing Firefox (and Thunderbird) Trademark problems

* Wouter Verhelst (wouter@debian.org) wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 15, 2005 at 07:23:39PM -0400, Eric Dorland wrote:
> > * Wouter Verhelst (wouter@debian.org) wrote:
> > > On Wed, Jun 15, 2005 at 11:48:55AM -0400, Eric Dorland wrote:
> > > > * Wouter Verhelst (wouter@debian.org) wrote:
> > > > > Where possible, sure. But "principles" doesn't mean "the rules should be
> > > > > exactly the same".
> > > > 
> > > > Please stop putting words in my mouth. I never said that the rules
> > > > should necessarily be the same. But I am of the opinion that the
> > > > spirit of DFSG #8 should apply.
> > > 
> > > To trademarks? Why? I don't see why that would be necessary, or even a
> > > good idea; but I'm sure I can be convinced given good arguments.
> > 
> > It's a question of fairness, which I think is embodied by DFSG
> > #8. We're getting this offer from MoFo because, I think, we are
> > Debian. We're big and we're cool, there's no denying it :) But other
> > entities, equally deserving of the trademark usage from a quality
> > standpoint won't get it because MoFo doesn't care about them.
> Is that a given, or is that a theory?
> If it's a given, I agree with you.
> If it's a theory, you should find out whether it's true. If it's not,
> there's no problem.

It's of course theoretical. The Mozilla Foundation could be perfectly
fair and even handed. Or they could just deal out trademarks to the
big distros and not anyone else. The problem is we won't know. They're
not laying out any guidelines (even imperfect ones) by which they're
going to judge whether someone is deserving of using the trademark or
not. So they can reject someone's petition merely because they're not
large enough to be interesting (or any other reason), and hide behind:
"We didn't think their package was of high quality", and we can't
refute them because we don't have a copy of the rulebook.

Yes, setting up guidelines like this is hard, but not showing us the
criteria they're going to be using isn't fair. I suspect that MoFo
won't care enough to give a distro with 100 users a trademark
agreement, it's not worth their while. And from their perspective,
rightly so. But I think from Debian's point of view we shouldn't be
buying into something like this. 

Eric Dorland <eric.dorland@mail.mcgill.ca>
ICQ: #61138586, Jabber: hooty@jabber.com
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