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Re: Mozilla Firefox's icon and trademark

Andrew Suffield <asuffield@debian.org> writes:

> On Fri, Mar 05, 2004 at 12:26:55PM -0500, Brian Thomas Sniffen wrote:
>> Andrew Suffield <asuffield@debian.org> writes:
>> > We consider the former to be DFSG-free and the latter to be non-free
>> > (and require explicit permission to do the latter from the copyright
>> > holder). That's all there is to it. I can't imagine why Mozilla would
>> > want to forbid this, other than a total lack of comprehension of the
>> > difference between trademarks and copyrights.
>> I can -- they're currently very concerned about unstable or poorly
>> modified code being shipped as "Firefox" or "Mozilla" branded
>> software.
>> Debian *will* modify the Mozilla or Firefox products slightly to ship
>> them -- introducing better FHS compliance, for example, and probably
>> a few other things:  Different bookmarks, different home page, maybe
>> different text in some places and maybe different code.  These may
>> impact the stability or user experience of the product, so they're
>> concerned about us using their protected marks.
>> As a consequence of the above, even if we did have a copyright license
>> to modify the icon or the bitmap of the text "Firefox", we wouldn't
>> have a trademark license to use the word 'Firefox' to describe our
>> modified product.
> Did you even read what I wrote? Why does it help to prohibit me from
> taking the firefox logo, replacing the fox part with a cow, and using
> it as the logo for something else entirely? How could this possibly be
> relevant?

I did, but this last reply makes no sense to me.  I mean, you're right
-- assuming a Firemoo logo isn't confusingly similar to the Firefox
logo, there is no reason to prevent doing that.  But I don't
understand why you're saying that.

As far as I know, this is a conversation about the trademark license
and the packaging of Mozilla and Firefox.  You brought up that there's
also a copyright issue a few messages back; my response was meant to
say that even if the copyright issue gets resolved -- explaining the
distinction between copyright and trademark and convincing the Mozilla
folks to apply the NPL/MPL/GPL copyright license to the logo, and
convincing them that they won't have trouble from stupid or careless
people not understanding the distinction -- we'd still have to resolve
the trademark issue.

As it is, Debian's on shaky or at least impolite ground by
distributing a package called mozilla which isn't a pristine Mozilla

But if the trademark license is revised such that minor modifications
are OK, then it'll be easy to get the Mozilla foundation to move the
Mozilla and Firefox logos to a Free copyright license, because
there'll be a clear reason to do so.


Brian Sniffen                                       bts@alum.mit.edu

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