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Re: [gNewSense-users] What is the firefox problem?

From: fchoong
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] What is the firefox problem?
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2006 11:35:52 +0900 (JST)
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Trademarks are still a grey area for Software Freedom. Back when Java was
not free, all the Free Runtimes had to come up with all sorts of names to
refer to Java, but not use the Java name itself as Sun had tight
restrictions on the Java Trademark. Maybe the FSF can give an opinion on
the FireFox issue?

It would be great if a sort of "communitymark" existed whose usage matches
the Free Software Ideals(Like the Four Freedoms). "GNU" is a good example,
as it is widely used by developers who want to identify with the Free
Software Movement. If the FSF can provide a framework for this, it would
be great. But I think FSF has the GPLv3 to take care of at this moment.

David Fu
firecat server-side javascript webserver

> "BTW, ianal = ?"
> I Am Not A Lawyer. A common disclaimer used to indicate that a person's
> comments should not be taken as legal advice.
> As for the Firefox issue, the problem from what I recall is that the
> Mozilla Foundation has a problem with "unofficial" versions of Firefox
> using the name Firefox. (The same is true of Thunderbird and probably
> their other products.) This comes into play when Debian (and other
> organizations) patch Firefox to make it work better with their specific
> system setup, and when Debian (or again others) roll out updates to
> Firefox before (or that are different from the ones) Mozilla puts out.
> For Debian, this is a problem because having to wait for a specific
> vendor to approve of an update (for example, a security update) before a
> patch can be distributed falls afoul of their view of Free Software. So,
> all Debian IceWeasel is at the moment (last I heard) is just Firefox
> with Mozilla trademarked material ripped out. GNU IceWeasel, on the
> other hand, is a modified Firefox that, like Debian's, doesn't contain
> Mozilla trademarked material, but also does not point to nonfree
> components like Firefox does and has a few privacy enhancements. See the
> respective websites for more details. They can be found via google.
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