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Re: Ongoing Firefox (and Thunderbird) Trademark problems

* Andrew M.A. Cater (amacater@galactic.demon.co.uk) wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 27, 2005 at 01:59:09AM +1000, Hamish Moffatt wrote:
> > On Sun, Jun 26, 2005 at 08:59:22AM +0200, Wouter Verhelst wrote:
> > > In any case, since you're the maintainer of the package, the decision is
> > > ultimately yours -- see the Debian Constitution, §3.1, point 1. In other
> > > words, you /are/ empowered to accept or reject this deal; and although I
> > > would prefer that you accept it (since I think it's a reasonable one and
> > > one not in conflict with the DFSG), I would urge you to not keep the
> > > status quo.
> > 
> > If Eric were to rename the packages there is the potential for somebody
> > else to package again using the Firefox name. Redundant but useful for
> > our users.
> > 
> If the MoFo is willing to recognise that we can package their software
> for Debian and is willing to give us a "hands off, gentlemans agreement"
> license on the basis of the continuing quality of our code - accept a 
> licence in good faith _on that basis_ that the MoFo are licensing us to 
> use their trademark on the basis of our coding and that they can 
> revoke that licence on notice.
> Add something to the Help splash that can be agreed with MoFo along the
> lines of
> "This version of Mozilla Firefox has been modified by the Debian Project
> programmers with the explicit knowledge and consent of the Mozilla
> Foundation. The basis on which this consent was given can be found in
> /usr/share/doc/mozilla-firefox/DebianREADME which also details the
> Debian modifications. This consent does not extend to derivative works 
> which further modify the Debian packaging of Mozilla Foundation code or
> which package the Mozilla Foundation code in other ways - the authors of 
> such derivative works will need to seek the explicit consent of the 
> Mozilla Foundation to use their trademarks on a case by case basis."
> We're not being given special rights because we're Debian but because
> our coding and modifications are acceptable to MoFo: any other
> programmer can hold themselves out to MoFo as meeting a similar standard
> and will then, presumably, get the same approval.

"Presumably" isn't good enough IMHO. If they cared about fairness they
would develop a trademark policy that could be applied to everyone,
based on the "quality" criteria that is right now only known to the
MoFo. Debian shouldn't be encouraging the use of trademarks that are
not equally accessible to all. 

And we are definitely getting special treatment already from the MoFo:
would they really even be entertaining this discussion if we were not
such a large distribution?
> Just my 0.02c

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