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Re: Debian & the Mozilla Firefox Trademarks

Eric Dorland wrote:

Hi Ben,
Hi Eric,

I'm replying to this including our QA person, Asa Dotzler who is interested in these matters.

You probably don't know me, so let me introduce myself: I'm the
Firefox maintainer in Debian. I'm contacting you because of the issue
of the Firefox trademarks, both on the name and the artwork. Looking
at your licensing and trademark page
(http://www.mozilla.org/foundation/licensing.html), we can only use
the Firefox trademark if we use unmodified sources. Unfortunately, our
sources will certainly be modified, in all likelyhood to fix bugs or
perhaps in the form of slight feature patches from our users or
changes to make it fit better within debian. These are minor
changes, and don't really differentiate the product substantially from
the official Firefox. We do distribute your sources unmodified, with
the debian-specific changes in a separate file, so there is an
unmodified copy accessible to users in debian, but it is not clear in
your statement whether you mean sources or binaries or both.

So if your trademark policies aren't changed/clarified we will be
unable to distribute your software with the name Firefox. This would
be a detriment to our users and confusion whether this is actually
your software or not. I would be more than happy if we could continue
to use the name, but noted in the about box or somewhere else that
this is an unofficial version. If it turns out we cannot use the name,
can you please suggest an alternative name that people in our
situation (we will not be the only ones, certainly) can use. We
understand that you want to protect your trademark, but if you impose
such strict limitations, you will likely hinder the progress Firefox
can make in the FLOSS communities.
Asa will comment more here.

The other issue that came up was that of the Firefox artwork. At the
request of a user I added the new (gorgeous) Firefox icons to the
package. I thought the fact they weren't already there was just a
oversight, but I now realize they're trademarked as well. Is there any
way we could get that icon or some derivative of it under a DFSG
compatible license. We would need something like this to distribute
them in Debian. Having different icons would again cause confusion and
worsen the experience for our users.
Does DFSG imply that anyone can modify and use the Firefox artwork for any purpose? If so, then we have additional issues.


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