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Re: Debian & the Mozilla Firefox Trademarks

On Mon, Mar 01, 2004 at 08:02:58PM -0500, Brian Thomas Sniffen wrote:
> On that theme, I think it's worth distinguishing between trademark and
> copyright licenses -- the icon is distributable if its copyright
> license is OK, but the trademark license is needed to make the graphic
> the default icon, and to name a package Firefox, presumably.

We already do, more or less. As a general rule (in the sense that I'm
not aware of anybody constructing a trademark license that was
actually a problem), we are unconcerned about trademark licenses as
far as DFSG-freeness is concerned, and don't worry about them unless
they cause actual problems with maintaining the packages (which is the
primary issue with Firefox).

This is justified on the basis that trademarks are so weak - you can
always just modify the trademarked work until the trademark does not
apply, and carry on. Alternatively, you can compare trademark licenses
to restrictions of the form "You can modify this, but you must call it
something different if you do", which are usually DFSG-free.

That said, DFSG-freeness is not the only test. We need to be able to
distribute the thing (and make security updates), and the Firefox
trademarks are a problem here.

> There is an interesting GPL compatability issue here, though: this
> trademark license is not GPL compatible, and the marks "Firefox" and
> the Firefox fox-and-globe logo are used within the work.  I know
> upstream, Mozilla is available under a trio of licenses.  Is Firefox
> actually distributable under the GPL at all?

I think so, but I'm not so sure about modified versions of
Firefox. Clause 7 is the relevant one here. You can always construct
something that is distributable under the GPL by modifying it to
change the name and artwork, though.

  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
 : :' :  http://www.debian.org/ |
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