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Re: Firefox/Thunderbird trademarks: a proposal

Gervase Markham <gerv@mozilla.org> wrote:
> Here's my attempt at something which hopefully everyone can accept. [...]

Here's my attempt at comments. Thanks for drafting this, but
I'm worried that it tries to restrict future maintainers in exchange
for permissions that I'm not sure are needed anyway.

> 1) The Foundation grants Debian, and all redistributors of the official
> Debian packages of the Foundation's products, the right to label those
> packages with a name containing the trademark. [...]

Does any law forbid that anyway, as long as it's accurate? I feel
that you are trying to assert more control than trademarks give you,
but I wait for our US-based commentators' opinions.

> 2) The Foundation agrees to document the procedure for changing the name 
> to its satisfaction, for the benefit of Debian and anyone else, and to 
> work to make that procedure as simple as possible.

Regardless of anything else, this should be applauded. I'm not sure
what happens if the Foundation breaks its agreement on this, though,
so why is it in the permission statement? Same for point 6.

> 3) The Foundation will review the current Debian package at freeze time, 
> and at other times at their discretion, and bring any issues they have 
> to the attention of the maintainer. The maintainer is not responsible 
> for notifying the Foundation of any changes he may make to the package, 
> or obligated to make any change that the Foundation may suggest. 
> However, in the unlikely event of irreconcilable differences occurring 
> between the maintainer and the Foundation, the name of the package will
> have to be changed in all as-yet-unreleased versions of Debian.

This last sentence makes me think that you're expecting Debian to agree
to some sort of contract, rather than granting some permission to Debian.

> 7) The Foundation requests that Debian document, in a place where it 
> might be seen by package modifiers, the potential need to acquire such a 
> trademark licence.

To be honest, I'm not sure how trademarks are usually handled.
I suspect if it's in the upstream docs (and they're free, and not
install/build docs), it gets included, otherwise not.


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