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Re: Mozilla Foundation Trademarks

* Michael K. Edwards (m.k.edwards@gmail.com) wrote:
> On 6/17/05, Eric Dorland <eric@debian.org> wrote:
> > * John Hasler (jhasler@debian.org) wrote:
> > > Exactly.  If Debian doesn't need such an arrangement, neither do our users.
> > > And if our users don't need such an arrangement, our accepting it does not
> > > put us in a privileged position with respect to them: they have the legal
> > > right to do everything that we want to do with or without permission.
> > >
> > > So let's accept the "arrangement" and move on.  There is no DFSG problem
> > > here even if we do accept the notion that the DFSG applies to trademarks.
> > 
> > If we don't need the "arragement", why exactly would we accept it
> > anyway?
> I wouldn't say "accept" it, I would say "acknowledge" the safety zone
> offered unilaterally by the Mozilla Foundation, and as a courtesy to
> them make some effort to stay comfortably within it while continuing
> to ship under the Mozilla names.  Their trademark policy is surely
> less draconian than, say, Red Hat's, and we aren't going around
> purging the RedHat Package Manager from Debian.

I think you're playing word games now. Even if this is a unilateral
"gift" we still need to decide if we want it or not. 

> If the offer from six months ago still stands (which, to my
> recollection and in my non-lawyer view, read like a unilateral "safety
> zone" rather than a trademark license as such), that's extraordinarily
> accommodating on MoFo's part.  It's a square deal from people with a
> pretty good reputation for square deals.  They deserve better from
> Debian than to have their flagship products obscured by a rename when
> they haven't done anything nasty to anyone yet.

What reputation are you referring to? Not that I necessarily disagree,
but what are you basing that assessment on? 
> The FSF has, at best, completely failed to offer leadership with
> respect to free software and trademarks, as the MySQL case and the Red
> Hat / UnixCD mess have shown.  I think it would be rather gratifying
> if Debian could step in to fill the void.  And it would be kind of
> nice to have a workable modus vivendi to exhibit if and when the Linux
> Mark Institute (or the OpenSSL team or the PHP folks or Red Hat or
> MySQL) comes knocking.

I do have to agree that guidance when it comes to trademark situations
is sorely lacking. There doesn't seem to be that consistent a
viewpoint with Debian either unfortunately. 

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