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Re: Firefox/Thunderbird trademarks: a proposal

Scripsit Bill Allombert <allomber@math.u-bordeaux.fr>

> If it happens that the Debian packaging make very hard to rename
> that package, we cannot blaim the Mozilla fundation for that and we
> should rather try to fix the packaging scripts.

It is true that we cannot blaim Mozilla for the Debian packaging
mechanism, but it is still there as a fact of life. Remember, we are
not here to pass moral judgement on the upstream author anyway; we are
here to represent the interest of the hypothetical user who needs the
freedoms we promise in the DFSG. That user does not care whether the
impediments to exercising those freedoms is caused by upstream rules
or by Debian's additions. We sould strive not to stick a 'main' label
on a final package that does not deliver that, independently of what
caused it to fail delivering.

Fixing the debian/ stuff is not necessarily desirable either. The
assumption that package names are static is rather deeply entrenched
in dpkg-dev and debhelper. Working around it would make life more
difficult for people who do *not* need to change the name (perhaps
because what they are doing does not fall under the auspices of
trademark law at all), if only because they would need to understand
how the workaround works.

> In the extreme case we could ship a firefox package that depend on a
> iceweasel package that contains the actual program while firefox is just
> a dummy package that cause iceweasel to call itself firefox.

It would be natural to do this as part of the icewealsel scenario, and
I don't think it will cause trademark problems if only the 'firefox'
package goes into non-free.

Henning Makholm                             "Det er du nok fandens ene om at
                                         mene. For det ligger i Australien!"

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