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Re: Ongoing Firefox (and Thunderbird) Trademark problems

Hi Eric,

Le jeudi 16 juin 2005 à 14:45 -0400, Eric Dorland a écrit :
> I'm not trying to say it's non-free. It is free. What I'm trying to
> determine is if we should use the marks within Debian.

If it's free, the project as a whole has already decided to be able to
include it. For the rest, it's up to the maintainer to decide what is
reasonable in his point of view.

Apparently, you couldn't make up your mind and so you asked for other
opinions. And you had plenty :

> Indeed, the most vocal (and rational) contributors seem to be saying
> these demands are reasonable. I'm still not convinced. 

Either you have no opinion and you should be following the majority
because that's was the point of your request, or you have one and you
should just follow you own decision.

It looks like you have your opinion and you based your opinion with
respect to point #8 of the DFSG. We explained you that your reasoning
was ill-advised because DFSG stands for "DF Software G" and not "DF
Trademark G". What can I say more ?

If you decide using "firefox" is not reasonable, please rename the
package and do whatever work you like with the renamed package. But let
someone else (which has no problem with the MoFo trademark license)
maintain a package named "firefox" !

Sometime the project as a whole has the last word on something because
it is related to our basic texts. Sometimes the project as a whole has
nothing to say and it's up to the maintainer to take the decision. And
this case it's clearly your decision.

> Let me try another example. If, say, the Apache Foundation came to us and said,
> "Sure the code is free, but that's our trademark you're using. It will
> cost you $5000 a year to use that trademark in Debian". Now we could
> easily afford this as a project, would we do it? I don't think we
> would do it, even though we could because a strict interpretation of
> the DFSG says trademarks don't matter.

Clearly we would never accept such a deal. We're all open minded but
we're not dumb. :-)

> The point I'm trying to make is that clearly not all trademark terms
> are reasonable. Their certainly are situations where we would find
> using the trademark unacceptable, even if the DFSG "apparently" says
> we can. 

Sure ! In the example you take with $5000 fees each year, the project
would never accept to pay that on its own fund. But if we have a rich
maintainer (or a sponsor) willing to pay that for us I'm pretty
convinced we'd accept nevertheless because it's unrelated to the fact
that it's free software.

> Is this Mozilla situation acceptable? I think it is, 

So end of discussion (but I think you mistyped ... :-))

> I think the spirit of DFSG #8 is that Debian should not have rights that the
> user doesn't have in terms of the software we distribute. Yes, these
> are not copyrights rights, but they are still rights.

And we don't agree on that. And it looks like several other people don't
agree with you on that point.

But this point of the discussion won't be resolved without a rewrite of
the DFSG with the added clarification. In the mean time, assume your
opinion and do whatever you feel is needed. But don't impose your
interpretation to the whole project when clearly there's no consensus.

Raphaël Hertzog

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