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Re: mozilla thunderbird trademark restrictions / still dfsg free?

Alexander Sack wrote:
In contrast, the package you want us to distribute is not distributed by upstream. You distribute something that is restricted by active trademark enforcement, which IMHO is non-free, because a trademark policy is just another way to restrict freedom.

I don't think it's as simple as that. After all, Debian has a trademark policy, and restricts use of its trademarks, as does the Apache Group. Is Debian's trademark policy "freedom-restricting"? I don't think so - it just makes sure consumers know what they are getting.

You referred often to 'we'd have to negotiate'. OK, fine. Let's start with it.

Maybe you give up on some off your procedures. e.g. you could give up restrictions you try to enforce on us. I mean, debian (as well as other free software distributors) is (are) should not need to care if there is a trademark for some package or something. There is no problem for thousands of packages we include, so why mozilla?

Because part of the Mozilla Foundation's strategy to raise enough money to employ people to work on the code involves leveraging the name. I think this is great - because it's not a model which restricts the freedom of the code. It also gives us an incentive to make high-quality releases, because if we don't, the goodwill associated with the name goes down the pan.

AFAIK, enforcement of trademarks can be of preventive or responsive nature. I think if you treat your trademarks like others do (in a responsive manner), there would be no problem either. (This might be wrong, though, because me != lawyer)

As I may have mentioned before, some sort of responsive scheme may well be OK - but that doesn't get to the heart of what I understand the problem to be, which is the onward transmission of rights.

I bet they would go after commercials or other organizations that actually want to harm the brand significantly.

...and their ability to do so may well have been harmed by a lack of trademark enforcement in the past.

What I am trying to say is that mozilla is far too eager in enforcing their trademarks. I hope this is because you just think this is needed by law. I hope this is not because you really believe it helps the overall purpose or will maximize the value of your brand.

We believe it helps the overall purpose in that it helps fund people to work on the code.


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