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Mozilla Cracks Down On Merchandise Sellers

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the likelihood-of-confusion dept.

Mozilla 565

An anonymous reader writes "MozillaZine reports that the Mozilla Foundation is cracking down on those selling unofficial Mozilla-branded merchandise. This takes the form of an open letter addressed to retailers of goods that bear the Mozilla name or logos. The letter suggests that the Foundation are willing to work with those selling Mozilla wares, as long as they get a cut and the retailer isn't operating in the US, Canada or Mexico, where they would be competing with the Foundation's own Mozilla Store. Threats of legal action for non-compliance are issued, albeit with friendly overtones. This open letter is part of the Mozilla Foundation's campaign to better enforce its trademarks, an effort that began when the Foundation was launched in July. In a related move, the Foundation announced that the new Firefox artwork is not open-source and can only be used in official builds or those sanctioned by the Foundation - this has led to debates about whether Firefox is free enough to be included in the Debian Linux distribution."

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565 comments

Mozilla Firefox's plan (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8585043)

Just keep changing the name every month. No one will want to produce bootleg merchandise.

Hollywood Not Out of Ideas? (2, Interesting)

dolo666 (195584) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585151)

Bootleggers will make money on nostalgia merch if Zilla keeps changing names, anyway. Protecting old/unused trademarks still is required, imho.

Re:Hollywood Not Out of Ideas? (2, Insightful)

Gherald (682277) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585272)

Though it's not like Zilla ever owned the trademarks to 'Phoenix' and 'Firebird' in the first place.

Um... (5, Interesting)

NeoGeo64 (672698) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585048)

Isn't Mozilla a generic name used in all headers for web browsers? I'm pretty sure IE6 uses the word "Mozilla" in it's information headers...

What are they trying to do? Copyright a generic name?

Re:Um... (2, Funny)

COBOL/MVS (196516) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585063)

It worked for Microsoft.

Re:Um... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8585098)

Microsoft has "Microsoft Windows" and "Microsoft Word." They don't have just "Windows" or just "Word."

Re:Um... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8585106)

So its okay for Corel or Sun to sell an office suite and call it Corel Word and an operating system called Corel Windows?

Re:Um... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8585121)

X Windows? Corel Word Perfect? Ami Word Pro? At least in the US, Lindows has succesfully defended their use of the name against Microsoft.

Re:Um... (1)

Gherald (682277) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585288)

> Microsoft has "Microsoft Windows" and "Microsoft Word." They don't have just "Windows" or just "Word."

So according to you it should be ok for me to trademark something "Lindows", right, since they don't own "Windows" ?

not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8585077)

I don't think so. Really just Netscape uses it because it's derived from Mozilla... Konqueror (and maybe Safari) *can* identify as Mozilla but you can have Konqueror identify as whatever the hell you want it to.

I think you may be right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8585079)

The trademark for Mozilla may have already slipped since it's become commonly used. That's not to say they still don't have "Mozilla Firefox," "Mozilla Browser," etc.

Re:Um... (5, Informative)

ADRA (37398) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585081)

The word is trademark, not copyright:
http://www.mozilla.org/foundation/lice nsing.html

Redhat does the same thing with their distribution, but its spread out thoughout the entire distro.

yes and no (4, Informative)

qortra (591818) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585109)

Yes, IE does reference Mozilla in its "User-Agent" header, but no, it is not generic; it is still refering to the Mozilla foundation (or a Netscape standard of somekind, anyway). Even if it was generic, there is still the matter of the logo; that is certainly not generic.

3rd or fourth post lol (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8585051)

OMG BARE pwnt /. lol!! haha omg here is a link for when the site gets /.ed it seems to be getting sluggish http://loveandhope.faithweb.com [faithweb.com]

Why? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8585057)

I know I'm missing something, but shouldn't they be encouraging this form of free-adversiting?

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

prof187 (235849) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585188)

I think that what they are concerned with is that if somebody sells something that, say, falls apart as soon as they get it, they associate the name Mozilla with poor quality. And beyond that, they might not make the connection that the store isn't an official Mozilla-type-product seller, so they could mistake it as being something sold directly by Mozilla Foundation.

Re:Why? (5, Interesting)

mingot (665080) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585204)

No, not if it competes with a business interest that they already have. Try going to a rock concert with some freshly printed T-Shirts and then explaining to the nice people that they should be happy you're bootlegging their shit because hey, free advertising!

Re:Why? (1)

platypussrex (594064) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585205)

By that argument, Gucci should encourage all the Chinese fakes in the name of free advertisements. It's not the advertisement they are worried about. It's the loss of revenue that is concomitant with that "advertisement".

Do we need a TGPL (2, Interesting)

ron_ivi (607351) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585268)

Sounds like we need a Gnu Trademark General Public License.

Perhaps something that lets other people use the a trademark in most cases, so long as the guy using it doesn't use it in ways that invalidate the trademark..

Re:Why? (1)

krumms (613921) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585290)

Erm ... no.

For one, people looking for Mozilla merchandise will most likely already be using Mozilla. Yeah?

If this were Fark (4, Insightful)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585060)

This article would get an Ironic tag.

This, like the GFDL, is one of those aspects of some aspects of the OSS movement that doesn't seem to really follow the tenets of the whole OSS movement.

Re:If this were Fark (3, Insightful)

MigrantHail (643728) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585131)

I fail to see how them protecting their rights is a violation of the OSS tenets.

Mozilla is trying to prevent the selling of illegal merchandise that takes away from their rightfully, and legitimate business.

OSS isn't about stealing. It's not about denying people their legal rights.

Yes, and here's why (1)

qortra (591818) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585138)

I totally agree. Of course, it shouldn't be unexpected. This is what happens when Large Corporations [aol.com] get involved with OSS projects. Lets face it, they're out to make money. When they see a possible revenue source is in jeopardy, they will bare their claws no matter what the idealogical costs are.

Re:Yes, and here's why (2, Informative)

0racle (667029) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585221)

That would be interesting if AOL still owned Mozilla. Unfortunatly for you, they don't [slashdot.org].

Re:Yes, and here's why (1)

mingot (665080) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585238)

That and Superbowl commercial spots.

You communi^S^S^S^S^S^S^Sopen source advocates are not going to be able to have it both ways, I'm afraid.

Why should the artwork be open "source"? (4, Insightful)

brucmack (572780) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585179)

Personally I can't really see how the artwork should fall under open source. They're binary files, right?

This is purely a branding issue, it has nothing to do with the underlying program. They want to be able to make some money off of merchandise that they will hopefully invest in bettering their technology. How is this a bad thing?

I found it funny that the original poster felt it necessary to add "albeit with friendly overtones". I guess this was an attempt to ward off the knee-jerk reactions? Really, I wouldn't see the problem if they were rude about it, they have a right to protect their name and logo.

Re:If this were Fark (3, Interesting)

C10H14N2 (640033) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585185)

Ironic also because they have ONE FSCKING PRODUCT at the Mozilla store. A t-shirt. Period. Come on guys, they're not "competing" with your single crap t-shirt. Why didn't they spend their energy developing, say, a coaster and a ballcap instead of writing pithy letters. Why not just set up licensing terms? If you got nothin' and other people are already making something, just ask for the cut. This idea of "competition" with a store that sells basically NOTHING is just lame.

As the saying goes. (3, Funny)

JVert (578547) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585067)

Free as in advertising?

At the sound of the tone free software will have officially "sold out".

Damn this dragon! its only producing one egg a day! lets cut it open and harvest a lifetimes worth of eggs!!!

Simple solution for Debian (5, Funny)

dzym (544085) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585069)

rip out the firefox artwork, make firesomething [cosmicat.com] a part of the default package, name the package mozilla-firesomething, and throw in a patch that makes sure the default firesomething configuration doesn't put together the words "fire" and "fox".

Problem solved.

Re:Simple solution for Debian (1)

irokitt (663593) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585282)

Ah, yes, the Firesomething extension. I'm using Firedonkey right now...

so is it ok.. (2, Interesting)

ricochet81 (707864) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585074)

if slashdot uses the logo (next to the headline) ?

Re:so is it ok.. (1)

consolidatedbord (689996) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585112)

The difference is that slashdot doesn't make money every time that icon appears on the page. They are promoting, without stealing possible profits.

everybody wants to be nike.... (1)

grocer (718489) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585076)

what next, "Just install it"? and a nifty electronry swish? (Hey, the Fire Fox is halfway there)

Good for Them (5, Interesting)

Hideyoshi (551241) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585078)

More power to them I say. Free Software shouldn't be equated with the right to brazenly steal from those who provide it.

Re:Good for Them (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8585147)

Well, given the "the music publisher still has their copy of the bits so I haven't stolen anything" attitude, Slashdot can hardly call selling unauthorized logo'd merchandise "stealing". Mozilla still has their copy of the logo, and weren't selling merchandise anyway.

Now, if thugs had broken in Mozilla HQ and made off with a truck full of boxes of T-shirts to sell, maybe that would be "stealing".

Re:Good for Them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8585245)

Slashdot can hardly call selling unauthorized logo'd merchandise "stealing".

Who the fuck is Slashdot? Repeat after me:

Slashdot is not a borg mind.
Slashdot is not a borg mind.
Slashdot is not a borg mind.
Vote for Naider.

Oops. Sorry about the last one.

Re:Good for Them (4, Insightful)

rampant mac (561036) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585248)

"Free Software shouldn't be equated with the right to brazenly steal from those who provide it."

I agree! I mean, no open source projects have ever looked very similar to Windows or MacOS... They've all treaded their own paths, much like jTunes or WindowMaker!

Evolution looks so much like Outlook, there should be royalties involved.

Re:Good for Them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8585279)

so because some people believe those things, that indemdifies (sp?) all OSS developers.

the OSS is not a solid person that has a single opinion.

outlook and evolution have a common theme. wooopie.

WindowMaker? HAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA.

idiot (see thats me speaking, not this "OSS Community" you seem to think of as one autonomos entity)

yes, it should! (3, Insightful)

qortra (591818) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585266)

One could offer value-added services for a GNU/Linux distribution that they have invested no time in, or burn Debian CDs and sell them for a profit, use the Linux kernel to build evil devices for one's own sadistic pleasure (within the bounds of the law). That's what it is to be free! When something becomes truely free, those kinds of restrictions are nullified. So, if I release music for free (and I have), you have the right to brazenly sell them in your business for a profit and give nothing back to me.

Those are the costs of freedom. Live with it or don't. But don't pretend to support OSS when you aren't willing to suffer the cost.

Re:Good for Them (0, Flamebait)

nomadic (141991) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585267)

Free Software shouldn't be equated with the right to brazenly steal from those who provide it.

Right, that's Open Source Software's job.

Wait... (5, Funny)

GregThePaladin (696772) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585088)

Mozilla has a store? Well I wouldn'tve bought my "I downloaded the best damn browser on the next and all I got was this lousy mousepad" mousepad had I known THAT...

Re:Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8585158)

Mozilla has a store?

They must of seen their weekly sales drop in half to one order a week, and figured something was up.

That's cute (4, Interesting)

lingqi (577227) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585089)

Just on the trademark thing, I think because of obvious reasons, the Mozilla icon in Japan is a fat "mo" in hiragana. I thought I'd point it out because it seems ironic that it's not Touhou (big japanese media company that distributes most of movies, good anime, and more importantly the Godzilla series) isn't doing the rademark legal actions...

(I mean, I am all for Moz, but the irony is unignorable)

Mmmm.. raidmark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8585144)

Freudian slip?

Re:That's cute (1)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585301)

Do you have some images or something comparing these? To those few of us not familiar with either the Japanese character set or the logo of Japanese media conglomerates, it's not a very obvious or unignorable irony...

Fields of Athenry (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8585103)

By a lonely prison wall I heard a Taco callin'
Michael they have taken you away
For you stole CowboyNeal's porn
And withered him with scorn
Now he sits and questions if he might be gay.

(Chorus) Low lie the profits of VA
Where once we watched dividends pay
Our careers were on the make, we had shares and stocks to take
Now Taco sits and questions if he might have failed.

By a lonely prison wall I heard a young man calling
Nothing matters, Taco, when you're free
Against the threat of anal rape
From Linux coders I escaped
Now you must take the pain with dignity.
By a lonely harbour wall he watched the penguin falling
As that crap OS fell down next to XP
For he'll live in hope and pray
For his masters in VA
It's so hard to see that open source has failed.

Free (4, Insightful)

molafson (716807) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585105)

Either you believe in freedom or you don't, right? Wrong! These bootleggers are (presumably) profiting off the work of the Mozilla collective, without contributing anything back. That goes against the spirit and the letter of the project. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Re:Free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8585156)

Like all those big companies who embed linux in small consumer-electronic devices, in other words.

Re:Free (3, Interesting)

Open $ource Advocate (754298) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585176)

Either you believe in freedom or you don't, right? Wrong! These bootleggers are (presumably) profiting off the work of the Mozilla collective, without contributing anything back. That goes against the spirit and the letter of the project. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

This is wrong. The point of free software is to provide a common base from which all people can profit. Read the GNU Manifesto... the goal is to have software available for free. This would allow someone to setup an internet cafe, setup computers running a Linux distro, provide Mozilla to users for web browsing, and charge for access. In such an example, the internet cafe owner would be profiting from Open Source works, and there's nothing wrong with that.

What people tend not to understand is that Open Source gets written as a contribution to society. Mozilla wasn't written so that the developers could profit from releasing it -- because it's GPL'd, they are specifically opting out of the ability to profit from selling licenses.

Re:Free (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585236)

So copying the feature set and appearance of popular and profitable software is a "common base from which all people can profit."

I guess we have Bill Gates to thank for both sides of that equation.

Re:Free (1)

molafson (716807) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585269)

This is wrong. The point of free software is to provide a common base from which all people can profit. Read the GNU Manifesto... the goal is to have software available for free.

That's bullshit. People who publish their code under GPL (or similar) seek to establish a productive community of contributors and users. They are not releasing their work as a "free for all" from which anyone wishes can steal. That's the whole point of the GPL -- counterbalancing access to your work and control of it.

Re:Free (4, Insightful)

cmburns69 (169686) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585178)

These bootleggers are (presumably) profiting off the work of the Mozilla collective, without contributing anything back


They are contributing brand awareness.. ;)

Everybody profits with open source (0, Redundant)

Jack Zombie (637548) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585182)

Users of Mozilla Firefox are (presumably) profiting off the work of the Mozilla collective, without contributing anything back. That goes against the spirit and the letter of the project.

You're either with us or against us, right, comrade?

correction (1)

qortra (591818) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585206)

True freedom will also empower people with the ability to abuse that freedom (unfortunately). Just because people are profiting off the hard work of others doesn't mean that the OSS ideal of freedom is wrong.

The better course of action for Mozilla (in the spirit of freedom) would have been to send an open letter to consumers notifying them of unofficial resalers and politly asking them to suppport the Mozilla Foundation rather than imposters with their money.

Firefox artwork (5, Insightful)

orthogonal (588627) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585108)

the Foundation announced that the new Firefox artwork is not open-source and can only be used in official builds or those sanctioned by the Foundation - this has led to debates about whether Firefox is free enough to be included in the Debian Linux distribution."

Will the Debian Linux distribution refuse all Open Source Software that also says, "you can re-compile this software, and even add your own modifications, but you can't represent your own compilations or modifications as official builds"?

Because that's all that reserving the artwork does: the artwork is an imprimatur, a symbol essentially equivalent to a signature, that identifies a build as official.

I've made some of my code open source, but I've never said that people could remove my name from the copyright, or conversely, put my name on their own work. If my signature were a Chinese ideogram, or a picture of fox wrapped around a globe, I wouldn't let anyone else use that.

If the Debian Foundation decides that Firefox isn't "free enough", can I produce my own Linux distribution and call it "Debian Linux"?

Re:Firefox artwork (1)

leandrod (17766) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585199)

>
that's all that reserving the artwork does: the artwork is an imprimatur, a symbol essentially equivalent to a signature, that identifies a build as official.

Not. Nope. Nyet. No. Non.

The artwork identifies the software. Usually free software has good enough quality that people don't have to worry about official builds. Mozilla's worries put them against the culture, if not the letter, of the community.

If they don't concede or compromising, they're shooting themselve in the foot, because not only Debian but other distributions too won't carry Firefox but something named differently, or fail to patch buggy software. Either way probably the trademark damage will be much bigger.

Sorry, I don't get it. (2, Informative)

hummassa (157160) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585210)

Debian can not distribute things that are non-free. period. It's in the constitution, in the social contract, etc. GFDL = non-free. simple. mozilla-firefox logo = non-free. one of the problems is the Name Mozilla and the Name Firefox are seemingly non-free, too. If there was a trademark encumberance only, ok. But the problem with the names is that the encumberance are in the Copyright Licensing, which is inacceptable. So to distribute the Browser Mozilla, or the Browser Firefox, in the current terms, Debian would have to call them other names and not use the logos.

Re:Firefox artwork (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8585225)

Well said!

Let Mozilla keep it's trademarks. If you don't like it, drop the trademarks and recompile it. Problem solved.

Is it fair? You bet. Is it restrictive? Not in my mind. In the spirit of many people here: "if you don't like it, just draw new artwork yourself!"

Re:Firefox artwork (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8585237)

Funny you should ask - in fact, the official Debian logo (the one with the bottle [debian.org]) is restricted [debian.org] to official use, in the same way that the Mozilla one is. Hypocritical much, Deb?

This logo may only be used if:

* the product it is used for is made using a documented procedure as published on www.debian.org (for example official CD-creation)
* official approval is given by Debian for its use in this purpose

Re:Firefox artwork (4, Informative)

petabyte (238821) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585246)

"you can't represent your own compilations or modifications as official builds"

Its more than official builds. If Debian compiles their own build of Firefox, they cannot call it Firefox or use the Logo. If you read the thread you'd know that. To quote Mr. Dotzler: "Before we're willing to sanction the distribution of a modified version of Firefox under our trademark name and logo, we need to know what those changes are, specifically."

That's not an unreasonable request, however Eric Dorland (Debian's Firefox maintainer) also has valid concerns:

"I understand that you would want Firefox to have the highest level of quality when using that name. But even if you approved of my patches today, what about tomorrow? Would I have to have you approve of every release that I do? If we disagreed and could not find a compromise would you disallow us from using the name? I'm not sure I would be comfortable working in that kind of situation."

Personally, I thing it is probably a non-issue. If they can't reach some sort of agreement then Debian can still compile the modified Firefox code with another set of artwork and call it something other than Firefox. I propose it be called "Phoenix" ;)

ugh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8585110)

Threats of legal action for non-compliance are issued, albeit with friendly overtones.

Funny, you'll never see a qualifier like that in an MS or SCO article... ooops, forgot I was reading /.

Freedom (0)

Nicholas Evans (731773) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585122)

As of late, it seems 'free' is being removed from 'free software'. What do we have, mySQL, X...They're both being contested as free software/GPL-compatible. Now Mozilla is being bitch over some pretty pictures? Honestly.

Re:Freedom (1)

tonyr60 (32153) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585191)

Just how is free being removed from free software?

Mozilla is still free (as in cost) to download.

It can still be freely modified (subject to normal OSS requirements).

Do you think free should also mean "free to rip off the logo etc. for personal gain"?

I don't, so I have no problem with the open letter.

Relax (5, Interesting)

CaptainSuperBoy (17170) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585123)

They have to defend the Mozilla trademark, I'm sure the lawyers told them to cover their ass and do it already, so they did it. It doesn't seem any more complicated than that.

Yes that's right kids... (3, Interesting)

baximus (552800) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585124)

... software should be free to be downloaded by the masses. go forth and download all the Open Stuff you want. BUT don't you dare use our pictures or graphics, or we'll sue.

Seriously, all this litigation, threats of lawsuits, license clauses in software, logos and so on - it's starting to make "Open" look a heck of a lot more like "Closed" to me; imagine what it looks like to the Clueless Observer.

Irony (5, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585134)

Hey! Don't rip off our Godzilla rip-off!

Re:Irony (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8585243)

How is that redundant? The moderation here blows ass.

Trademarking THAT logo? (2, Flamebait)

Mercid (229863) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585135)

Wait! They are trademarking the logo for firefox? If they were smart they would hold some type of a compatition for a new logo as the current one is ugly as sin.

Re:Trademarking THAT logo? (1)

Wonko42 (29194) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585254)

This [hicksdesign.co.uk] is the new Firefox logo covered by the trademark. I think it looks fine.

Part of the cut...? (1)

xot (663131) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585148)

I was wondering why they want a part of the cut a long as they are geting 'Free' advertising in other countries besides US & Canada.
Then it struck me that they are saving up and trying to gather moolah for future lawsuits(who sues whom, dun ask me!) ;-)
Does that mean I have to chuck my Mozilla T shirt i drew up, complete with a TM attatched?

Unofficial merchandise = publicity (2, Insightful)

armando_wall (714879) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585163)

Wouldn't that unofficial merchandise help to spread the word about Mozilla?

I mean, the foundation could use the publicity among non-tech people wearing the logo.

Switcheroo (1)

Compenguin (175952) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585166)

It used to be that the mozilla artwork could be used pretty freely when netscape was still a product, but alas, not anymore. I think mozilla.org, should release soem BSD or trilicense artwork for unofficial stuff.

Christmas (0)

nadolph (661727) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585187)

Foreign Kid: "Daddy, I want a Mozilla Doll for christmas."
Father: *sigh* "You know, when I was your age..."

Important Request (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8585189)

Can someone please post the patch that disables the annoying ringing sound in mp3z/Pop/Usher/Yeah.mp3? Thanks in advance.

No free brand/goodwill (5, Interesting)

fembots (753724) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585190)

I guess it is fair to put a stop to such brand dilution. No matter how free a product is, it is still important to maintain its identity based on some standards/rules. Without such control, the brand/goodwill will eventually become less valuable.

Some might argue if you're doing something for free, why do you want to protect your branding. Well, branding is what consumers look for in making a decision (most of the time), and if a company can maintain a strong branding, it is able to continue pushing its mission/objective using the same brand, and consumers will continue to use products based on that mission/objective.

If Sun didn't control the use of naming of Java, we might have too many different version of *Java*, and eventually consumers couldn't find one to stick to and the standard might be lost.

Imagine if people start printing Slashdot logo all over all kind of vibrators...

Re:No free brand/goodwill (3, Insightful)

Compenguin (175952) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585226)

But mozilla.org is not a for profit company, if the brand loses some value so what, i don't see apache making distros remove branding, in fact it has gained more publicity that way. Very few Linux users get mozilla from mozilla.org, most used distribution versions, making the distros use other names will only hurt their name recognition in the end.

Alternate Default Theme (2, Interesting)

x00101010x (631764) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585193)

Correct me if i'm wrong, i'm too lazy to do research...
Isn't all the artwork in the chrome themes? Even the default?
So why not replace the default theme with a "free" theme?
Or would that substitution somehow break the license?
Yeah, it'd mean it couldn't be directly included, but once the theme .jar (or whatever they are) is created, a simple script could update the latest FireFox build to be included in a "free" distro.
Hell, if it's really that simple, I'll learn how to make themes and make a "free" (beer+libre) theme and a script to replace the default with it prior to distribution.

Of course, there is the issue of the icon on win32, but that's neither here nor there.

Why not allow cuts from competitors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8585197)

Why not allow cuts from competitors in the US, Mexico, and Canada? That makes absolutely no sense, as chances are they aren't going to be selling exactly the same stuff as the Mozilla Store is selling and are going to be different, and what people might like better to spread the word about Mozilla. I don't blame them for asking for cuts however...

So much for my evil plan... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8585202)

to sell statues of the mozilla logo covered in hot grits!

Amazing Mozilla App: Mozie (1)

CaptCanuk (245649) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585207)

IF you are into standards and having a uniform webpage in both Mozilla and IE, then you absolutely can't miss Mozie 0.7 [www.zeit.ca]. It's amazing comparer which supports synchronous websurfing into panels and includes synchronized scrolling... all from the power of an HTA. PS, it's free (hence the plug).

It's in the mozillazine.org news [mozillazine.org] page.

Debian: Didn't mozilla.org think this through? (5, Insightful)

steveha (103154) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585209)

When I first read about the trademark on the Firefox logo, and the plan that if you see that logo you know it's a quality build, I just assumed that mozilla.org had thought it through completely.

Looks like I was wrong.

Debian asked about how the logo works, and from the mozilla.org answers, it appears there is no fallback plan yet! They don't have an alternate logo available. Worse, you can't even call a modified version "Firefox" anymore? That's a problem!

Given the mozilla.org plans for trademarks, I really don't think Debian can build with the official logo and the official name. That's a shame.

If mozilla.org lets Debian use the name and logo, Debian will build Firefox for about a dozen different architectures (Power PC, 68000, Alpha, etc.) and mozilla.org won't have to do it. mozilla.org would be crazy to keep this from happening.

I suggest a compromise plan: allow the artwork and the name for any version of Firefox, but add an official "seal" logo to the about: dialog, and add "official build" to the name in several places.

steveha

Unless I'm missing something... (3, Insightful)

meganthom (259885) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585244)

The Mozilla store features one lousy t-shirt. One!!! Who's going to help me with my Mozilla coffee (www.rjtarpleys.com) addiction? They give proceeds to the Mozilla Foundation, but they aren't included in the Mozilla store, and they operate out of the US.

Problem with Mozilla Store... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8585249)

I bought a "Mozilla CD Subscription" when it first came out... but I only ever received the first CD (v1.5)? Anyone else has similar problem? My email about the problem didn't get a reply from the store, any suggestion on what I can do?

Information needs to be free (-1, Redundant)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585270)

So now it comes out, Open Source and Free Software isn't really all that free, and, by the way they want a cut. I know this will get me a big old flamebait, but I just think it's funny that the "Information needs to be free" crowd now wants a cut of the money. Perhaps we all can't continue to live in our parent's basements and might actually need to go out and get a job? Yes, Mozilla is the best bowser out there, I use it AND WOULD PAY FOR IT. How about you?

Only Certain Comrades Make $ With Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8585287)

Linux...Free as in DUMB

The missing ??? (3, Funny)

michaelepley (239861) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585289)

The first patentable business method on slashdot:

1. Write kick-a$!$# software
2. Give away core product(s)
3. Develop strong trademark
4. Profit!!

Seriosly, this is a good move for Mozilla; trademarks themselves are valuable, properly nurtured. The Mozilla foundation and the Mozilla's users would certainly like to be able to build value without ever having to sell its core product.

It's almost the dot-com model (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585306)

Looks like the purported dot-com model, except with the last line changed:

  1. Give away free electronic product
  2. Build a brand
  3. Sell merchandise
  4. NON-PROFIT!

Perhaps a charity, which reinvests earnings back into operations, can pull off this sort of business model more easily than a for-profit corporation.

Maybe this is not the best moment to ask... (1)

ciczan (706125) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585295)

... but does someone have a vectorized (SVG) Mozilla logo ?

Mozilla is Dying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8585309)

It is official; Netcraft confirms: Mozilla is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered Mozilla community when IDC confirmed that Mozilla market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all web browsers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that Mozilla has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. Mozilla is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [samag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin [amazingkreskin.com] to predict Mozilla's future. The hand writing is on the wall: Mozilla faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Mozilla because Mozilla is dying. Things are looking very bad for Mozilla. As many of us are already aware, Mozilla continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

Netscape 7 is the most endangered of them all, having lost 100% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant firing of all 50 Netscape developers [mozillazine.org] by AOL only serves to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: Mozilla is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

Mozilla.org leader Mitchell Baker states that there are 7000 users of Mozilla. How many users of Firebird are there? Let's see. The number of Mozilla versus Firebird posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 Firebird users. Camino posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of Firebird posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of Camino. A recent article put Netscape 7 at about 80 percent of the Mozilla market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 Netscape 7 users. This is consistent with the number of Netscape 7 usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Mozilla, abysmal sales and so on, Netscape went out of business and will probably be taken over by AOL who sell another troubled browser. Now AOL is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that Mozilla has steadily declined in market share. Mozilla is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If Mozilla is to survive at all it will be among browser dilettante dabblers. Mozilla continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, Mozilla is dead.

Fact: Mozilla is dying

Huh? (1)

psyconaut (228947) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585316)

I applaud the Mozilla project on many levels...but is there really that much revenue from "merchandizing" that they need to do this?

I say, leave the "pirates" in place for adveritizing purposes and concentrate on getting grants and corporate sponsorship!

-psy

Protecting the brand eliminates consumer confusion (5, Insightful)

cenonce (597067) | more than 10 years ago | (#8585317)

The only thing Mozilla has is its brand. If it doesn't protect the brand, it can't control the quality of the product. It doesn't want others claiming to represent Mozilla through the use of its brand, nor does it want consumers to go to others when there are problems with Mozilla. I believe trademarks are the most important aspect of an open source project. A lot of open source projects have great programmers, great quality, but if they don't have a strong brand, they will never get the following needed to keep the project going, let alone make it big (like Mozilla or Ximian). You have to known... and to be known in any business, you need a strong brand and some decent marketing.

Trademark law may be lumped in with intellectual property, but it less about monopolizing an idea (patents) or controlling access to creative works (copyright) and more about eliminating consumer confusion.

If somebody wants to take Mozilla code and make their own browser or mail client, they can do that... but they can't call it Mozilla.

I wonder how many slashdot readers would have a problem with Mozilla enforcing its trademark rights if it was Microsoft who was selling Mozilla merchandise or a Microsoft Mozilla web browser?

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