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Re: Firefox/Thunderbird trademarks: a proposal

Scripsit Alexander Sack <asac@jwsdot.com>

> So the only way out of this is to not contaminate main and to not
> stop distributing a firefox package by:

> 1. packaging weasel packages for main
> 2. putting a brand (extension) package named firefox in non-free.

On furhter thought, a different and gentler option would be to modify
the Debian source package such that the binary package it generates is
*called* iceweasel, but let that package declare "Provides: firefox".

It appears to me that it ought to be possible for the source packages'
debian/rules file to extract a probable Provides: field contents from
the Mozilla brand master file and add it to debian/substvars at build
time. Then a user who need to remove the branding does not even have
to edit debian/control.

This would be much easier than to change the name of all the
maintainer scripts and associated items, and ferret out all of the
crossreferences between them. I'd be inclined to think that it was
sufficiently free to go into main.

That way, all of the infrastructure for iceweaseling the package could
be there _without_ being done in a non-standard way. And our users
would still be able to do 'apt-get install firefox' without having
non-free in their sources.list. It might confuse them a bit to see
'iceweasel' in the installed-package lists of dselect/aptitude, but if
the background were briefly explained in the long package description
I think this could be mitigated.

[A possible counter-argument would be that any mandatory change to the
.deb's control file, except for the package description, is a
functional change and therefore it is inherently non-free to require
it. I'm not sure about the relation between this argument and DFSG#4]

(BTW, is the mozilla-firefox maintainer reading these threads, or will
we have to solicit his opinions after coming to a conclusion between

Henning Makholm          "Den nyttige hjemmedatamat er og forbliver en myte.
                    Generelt kan der ikke peges på databehandlingsopgaver af
                  en sådan størrelsesorden og af en karaktér, som berettiger
              forestillingerne om den nye hjemme- og husholdningsteknologi."

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