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Re: mozilla thunderbird trademark restrictions / still dfsg free?

On Mon, Jan 03, 2005 at 11:56:24PM -0500, Brian Thomas Sniffen wrote:
> Gervase Markham <gerv@mozilla.org> writes:
> > We're happy to say that Debian doesn't tend to ship software that
> > sucks - but you want the freedom to do so, and let others do so. And I
> > understand that. :-)
> Here's an idea: a source package that builds either Thunderbird for
> Debian or Lightningferret, a trademark-free version -- and defaults to
> the latter, except on Debian autobuilders.  The real source to build
> the Thunderbird for Debian version is there, and it's a trivial
> switch.  But the work of producing a free-to-suck version is already
> done.
> For reasons I can't fully articulate, I don't think that's a good
> idea: source packages should be the plain and simple source of the
> binaries produced.  But I'm curious whether it would be accepted as
> Free by debian-legal.

What the package actually does is orthogonal to what rights are available,
other than the former being bounded by the latter (at least we hope it
is). If those rights are not available - under the same terms - to our
downstreams (be they users, custom distros... whatever), then by the spirit
of DFSG #8 (at least IMO), we shouldn't be able to make use of them either.

Beyond that, alternate package building paths for reasons other than
purely technical (debug libraries and the like) are just a Bad Idea. If it
isn't of use to build a Debian package - or to let anyone else build the
exact same package and distribute it just as we do - then, as a rule, it
shouldn't be in the package; it's cruft.
Joel Aelwyn <fenton@debian.org>                                       ,''`.
                                                                     : :' :
                                                                     `. `'

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