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Re: firefox -> iceweasel package is probably not legal

Arnoud Engelfriet writes:

> Michael Poole wrote:
>> Trademark law's purpose is not to encourage or reward the commercial
>> use of new marks, but to stem certain kinds of pernicious consumer
>> confusion.  As it is not simply a question of owning and controlling
>> rights (for a limited period), it is incorrect to continually treat
>> trademark law like those others in hope that you will convince us
>> otherwise.
> It doesn't matter how or why you programmed it that way, you just
> can't make Iceweasel install itself when a user types "apt-get
> install firefox". And that's exactly what this package does.

In no meaningful sense does Iceweasel install itself when a user types
"apt-get install firefox".  I would say that apt-get installs
Iceweasel when the user types that, but I can understand a line of
argument that the firefox transitional package installs Iceweasel.

Would you lawyers (in practice or in training) please set aside that
lamentable habit, so frequently seen in US court filings, of trying to
provoke inadvertent admissions by baldly making factually wrong

> The use of 'firefox' in the apt-get is a reference to a
> specific product. That's where trademarks come in. People
> think this package will install the Firefox(TM) browser
> but instead they get another browser. That's confusion.

Strange.  I would think that if most people want to install the
Firefox(TM) browser, they would go to www.getfirefox.com or a similar
web site rather than use a Debian tool to install a Debian package.

I would further think that, upon running "apt-get install firefox" and
seeing only one new icon or menu item -- labelled "Iceweasel" -- the
user might either investigate or deduce what happened.

Apparently law instead requires us to assume users are in fact morons
in a hurry.  What a sad state of affairs.

Michael Poole

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