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Re: Mozilla and Trademarks

Alexander Sack wrote:
I suggest that we make a standard policy that works for all and not for debian only. Otherwise, I feel that there are problems with dfsg, since we cannot grant the same rights to our users, that you granted us. But, here I might be wrong and maybe others want to elaborate on this.

We have to maintain the right of everyone to make arbitrary changes, otherwise the software's not free. So we have to therefore say "beyond a certain level of change, please remove our trademarks". The general policy on this is the Community Edition policy. However, I am suggesting that for Debian, we can go a bit further and perhaps allow official Debian releases more flexibility in what they change, because we have a level of confidence in the Debian process for producing quality software which we don't have in Joe Q. Public's process.

Therefore, if the Community Edition changes aren't enough for Debian (and I can see that they might not be) then I can't see how we can avoid some sort of special arrangements. But I don't think this is a problem.

 > Another IMHO more important point is, that we need (they want us) to
 > add a statement to the thunderbird copyright file like:

This is just not true. I said that Debian _may_ wish to make their users aware of the need to remove our trademarks if they modified the package, and suggested some wording. I am well aware of the pitfalls of mandating text to be placed here, there or everywhere.

No, you said we _may_, but in parenthesis you stated "(and we would
request that they)".

Indeed. _Request_. Not _require_.

We would need to come to an arrangement about each package name (which may revolve around a naming scheme). But there's only three or four of them. And the statement about us "being a god for you" isn't true. We'd need to find some way to come to an accommodation - we don't want software hacked around to an arbitrary degree being labelled "Thunderbird", but obviously you need to make changes and security updates without delay or hassle.

It's not only about security updates or minor integration changes. Thunderbird and Firefox distributed in debian are actually of higher quality than what you provide ;). For example the extension manager is completely broken for global install and a patch for this (the patch the debian fox and bird use) is just hanging around in bugzilla waiting for a comment from ben for ages. Without this patch a distribution would be nearly impossible for us.

OK... so perhaps what we agree would include me giving some people a kick in order to get them to review and check in the major patches Debian adds. This would reduce the size of the difference, at least.

But there's not necessarily a conflict here - in that if the patched version has gone through the official Debian procedure and is therefore of a certain level of quality, then that would probably be OK. The larger issue arises when Joe Q. Public wants to take the Debian tarball, recompile with super-duper gcc-pre-release -O6 optimisations ("Hey! it doesn't crash for over five minutes at a time now!") or with his new UI "improvement" patch which adds sixteen menu items and three toolbars, and redistribute the result, trademarks and all. What can be done about that sort of scenario?

My suggestion here would be to give your projects something like a codename (e.g. thunderbird codename freehawk) and explicitly grant the right to use those codenames for derived works of thunderbird in your trademark policy. The same would be true for mozilla, firefox and sunbird.

I don't think we want to do that, because we want to come to an agreement with as many distributors as possible to use the names Firefox and Thunderbird :-)


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