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Re: Ongoing Firefox (and Thunderbird) Trademark problems

* Branden Robinson (branden@debian.org) wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 14, 2005 at 01:38:53PM +0100, Matthew Garrett wrote:
> > Julien BLACHE <jblache@debian.org> wrote:
> > 
> > > Their trademark policy is something that should not exist in a free
> > > software context. They don't care about free software. They don't care
> > > about distributors/vendors.
> > 
> > What is DFSG 4 if not a grudging acceptance of this sort of behaviour as
> > free?
>     Integrity of The Author's Source Code
>     The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in modified
>     form _only_ if the license allows the distribution of "patch files" with
>     the source code for the purpose of modifying the program at build time. The
>     license must explicitly permit distribution of software built from modified
>     source code. The license may require derived works to carry a different
>     name or version number from the original software. (This is a compromise.
>     The Debian group encourages all authors not to restrict any files, source
>     or binary, from being modified.)
> The point of DFSG 4, as I understand it, is to permit the licensor to take
> certain explicit steps to prevent people from drawing the inference that
> the licensor endorses modified versions in any way.
> I think if DFSG 4 had intended to grant licensors broad latitude to invent
> novel ways of prevent such an inference from being drawn, it would have
> been worded differently -- or, at least, the last two sentences would have
> been.
> In my opinion, DFSG 4 somewhat clumsily lumps together two related but
> distinguishable issues -- one is a presentation format for distribution,
> the other is a means for the work to identify itself.

My problem with it is DFSG 8. If we accept a trademark license, we're
attaching additional rights to the program that are Debian-specific. I
understand that the DFSG were framed in the context of copyright
licenses, but I think it makes sense in a broader context.

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