DFSG point #8 and Mozilla Firefox

Eric Dorland (the maintainer of mozilla-firefox) is wondering if he can use the name Firefox for his package and still respect the DFSG.

His reasoning is that we can call it Mozilla Firefox only because we’re Debian and DFSG point #8 forbids the license to be Debian specific. So he wonders if the trademark license complies with the DFSG.

His reasoning has many flaws :

  1. The DFSG has been written with software license in mind and not trademark license (argument defended by Wouter Verhelst).
  2. His interpretation of the point #8 of the DFSG is too strict compared to the original purpose of that point (see my mail and this one from Matthew Garrett).
  3. His logical conclusion is not coherent with our goal to serve our users (cf. opinion from Anthony Towns). It would be a disservice to our users to include Firefox with a different name.

Firefox included in Debian with its original name is still free software – DFSG compliant – (Eric recognizes that himself) and that has always been enough for us to accept to include a software. Nothing more is required.

Isn’t that enough to make it clear that we can and should include Firefox with its original name ? It’s not against our principles and we’re not breaking any of our rules.

The Mozilla Foundation has good reasons to try to protect his name just like we did when we asked the “TrustedDebian” project to rename itself in order to avoid confusion with us. Their trademark license is perfectly acceptable and we should accept it because we applied a similar one to our own trademark!

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Trackbacks

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