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Firefox To Be Renamed In Debian

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the browser-formerly-known-as dept.

625

Viraptor writes, "Debian is ready to change the name of Firefox in its distributions, beginning with Etch. They say it can be done within a week. The reasons stem from Mozilla's recent insistence on trademark fidelity and its preferences regarding Firefox patches. Debian doesn't want to accept the original trademarked fox & globe logo; they don't see it as really 'free' to use. On the other hand, Mozilla doesn't want Firefox distributed under that name if it lacks the logo. Mozilla also wants Debian patches to be submitted to them before distribution, and claims that's what others (Red Hat and Novell) are already doing. But some believe development and releases will slow down if distribution-specific patches have to be checked and accepted first. We will surely see more clashes between copyright claims and 'really free' distros such as Debian. Ubuntu is also asking similar questions." No word yet what the new name will be or what the logo will look like.

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Well, then: (5, Informative)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259011)

Word [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Well, then: (4, Funny)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259115)

Or they could use a different logo/name combo that is quite similar to the original - how about FireFoxy [vegard2.no] .

NSFW (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16259177)

NSFW - Thanks for the warning asshole.

Re:NSFW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16259371)

Could be worse, he could have linked lolifox [lolifox.com]

Re:Well, then: (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259253)

Funny and disturbing at the same time.

The artist needs to get out more!

Re:Well, then: (4, Funny)

maximusind (893564) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259375)

That is probably the gayest thing I've ever seen. And I've seen two dudes fucking, too.

Oh for heaven's sake..... (5, Insightful)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259021)

Will Debian stop using the Linux trademark as well?

Re:Oh for heaven's sake..... (4, Insightful)

KFW (3689) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259069)

Agreed. I find it ironic that Debian also has restrictions on their copyrighted logos. See: http://www.debian.org/logos/ [debian.org]

/K

Re:Oh for heaven's sake..... (2, Insightful)

ByTor-2112 (313205) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259355)

Hah.

Although Debian can be obtained for free and will always remain that way, events such as the problem with the ownership of the term Linux have shown that Debian needs to protect its property from any use which could hurt its reputation.


Just s/Debian/Mozilla and you have the exact reason the Mozilla people are protecting their image. For shame, Debian.

Re:Oh for heaven's sake..... (1)

maximusind (893564) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259403)

Mod parent up. I couldn't have said it better myself!

Re:Oh for heaven's sake..... (5, Informative)

Justin205 (662116) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259071)

The difference is that the Linux trademark is much more free to be used than the Firefox trademark. Read Mozilla's trademark policy [mozilla.org] and you might see some of why Debian has a problem.

And of course, the Linux kernel does not, and never has, required patches to be submitted before they're used. Distros like Gentoo maintain a set of their own patches for the Linux kernel, with no problems. Debian also has their own kernel patches, last I checked.

Re:Oh for heaven's sake..... (0, Troll)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259167)

And, although I like Linux a great deal, that has not exactly worked out for the best with each distro having its own kernel. Do you think web designers would be happy to support several slightly different versions of Firefox?

Re:Oh for heaven's sake..... (4, Insightful)

joto (134244) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259425)

And, although I like Linux a great deal, that has not exactly worked out for the best with each distro having its own kernel.

The alternative would be that the distros used different versions of the mainline kernel, compiled with different options. I fail to see how adding a few additional patches, and third-party drivers would make things much worse. Besides, most of the incompatibilities between different distros has not been caused by changing kernels. They are caused by different compile-time options, different choice of packages, difference in package systems, filesystem layout differences, different versions of shared libraries, and the ever-changing C++ ABI.

Do you think web designers would be happy to support several slightly different versions of Firefox?

I don't fucking much care what makes web "designers" happy. Instead they should focus on keeping us readers happy, which means that any web-page should be designed for any browser. That means IE, mozilla, opera, or simply whatever standard-conforming browser you have.

If your page is fragile enough to break if someone uses a version of firefox with a patch to change the name and logo, then it will surely also break between firefox 1.5.0.5 and 1.5.0.6. By your logic, browsers shouldn't be improved either.

Re:Oh for heaven's sake..... (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259465)

Dude, the patches on Firefox in Debian are completely insignificant to any web developer. It's not like they're swapping Gecko with gtkhtml or something.

Re:Oh for heaven's sake..... (2, Interesting)

On Lawn (1073) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259171)

Distros like Gentoo maintain a set of their own patches for the Linux kernel

The gentoo kernel which has the patches is different than the linux kernel.

* sys-kernel/gentoo-sources
            Latest version available: 2.6.17-r7
            Latest version installed: [ Not Installed ]
            Size of files: 40,538 kB
            Homepage: http://dev.gentoo.org/~dsd/genpatches [gentoo.org]
            Description: Full sources including the gentoo patchset for the 2.6 kernel tree
            License: GPL-2


What debian is doing is simply making a fork to accomodate their own packaging conveniences. All Mozilla seems to be saying is that if they want to fork it, they should go through all the motions of the fork.

Re:Oh for heaven's sake..... (1)

On Lawn (1073) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259189)

I should add that Debian is taking an additional step in removing Firefox from their distribution in favor of their own fork.

Way to flex those muscles, Debian.

Re:Oh for heaven's sake..... (3, Informative)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259211)

First: Firefox has always been patched in Debian (and many distros). The only thing new is that it won't have the same name.

According to the DFSG, they'd have to keep it in nonfree if they wanted to keep the name.

Re:Oh for heaven's sake..... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16259093)

Will Debian stop using the Linux trademark as well?

If Linus tells them that he doesn't want them to use his trademark in relation to their modified version of the kernel then yes, they will stop using the trademark. What would you suggest instead, fight it out in court?

Re:Oh for heaven's sake..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16259159)

Never have I seen such fighting over 1,024 small squares of color. I would love to stay and chat, but I have to go down to the patent office and file a claim over this squiggly line I drew.

Re:Oh for heaven's sake..... (1, Interesting)

JimDaGeek (983925) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259395)

Yup. The Debian people are becoming idiots. Just switch to Ubuntu and say goodbye to Debian. Debian moves too slow to be useful anymore. I hope all the sane Debian people move over to Ubuntu.

Re:Oh for heaven's sake..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16259423)

No word yet what the new name will be ... AnalFox
or what the logo will look like. goatse.cx

Nice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16259027)

I'm looking forward to see the new Debian Coolwolf on my sexy desktop. :-)

A new name (4, Funny)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259483)

Why not fireballmer (Couldn't resist)

In a sign of frustration, the new name will be (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16259037)

Irefox.

In a sign of open warfare, the new name will be (4, Funny)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259323)

Internet Foxplorer

My god (0, Offtopic)

JRWR (1001828) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259045)

Why does Mozilla have to do this, Debian too, i always thougth FF was under GPL or close to it, i hope Mozilla isnt going Microsoft here, and breaks out the lawyers, why does mozllia care when it come to free software like debian, and also with debian, they have alway had a stick up there ass, there is a thing called Non-free and debain can just goto hell, i know its a great distro but my god, i think we need to worry about microsoft and not free distros, mozilla did have good intentions when firefox was still Beta, lets just hope mozilla doesn't start selling firefox

Re:My god (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259123)

Mozilla was under GPL/MPL (dual licensed). I believe that SeaMonkey is also. FireFox has a different license. The license terms are "near GPL", but aren't the same at all.

This, however, is a dispute about trademarks. Even GPL software can have trademarks.

Re:My god (1)

JRWR (1001828) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259143)

Even then why does it matter?

Re:My god (3, Insightful)

savala (874118) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259195)

Mozilla was under GPL/MPL (dual licensed). I believe that SeaMonkey is also. FireFox has a different license. The license terms are "near GPL", but aren't the same at all.

This is close, but not quite true. All Mozilla, SeaMonkey and Firefox code is tri-licensed (MPL/GPL/LGPL), no exceptions. (Actually it used to be that a small percentage of code wasn't under the GPL yet, and Mozilla spent a couple of years tracking down the owners and acquiring permission to really make it all GPL-ed.)

And then there's the Firefox binary, which is licensed with the Mozilla EULA [mozilla.org] .

But yeah, as you said, the issue at hand here is purely about trademarks, which (sadly?) need to be strongly protected for legal reasons.

Re:My god (0)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259147)

Ya, the Debian people should ignore their own ideals because some pimply faced teenagers think it's cool to hate Microsoft.

Make up your own names (4, Informative)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259047)

Firesomething [mozilla.org] is an extension that keeps changing the name you see. It's for people who aren't willing to wait for the regular changes like m/b->Phoenix->Firebird->Mozilla Firebird->Firefox->whatever Debian calls it.

Re:Make up your own names (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259367)

Thank you. You saved me the trouble of linking it myself.

BTW, my current window is named Mozilla Fireoriole. I prefer the A.C.M.E. prefix myself, but can't be bothered to actually completely remove Mozilla. It just doesn't seem right.

FireBollox (2, Interesting)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259051)

This is no big deal. My Mandriva install has a blue earth for a FF logo. Changing the branding in Debian will be easy and the only losers will be the Mozilla corporate moguls. Even the FF project won't lose anything.

Re:FireBollox (5, Insightful)

rhavenn (97211) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259139)

No, Firefox is finally getting some name recognition and when people install Ubuntu or whatever they will be looking for "FireFox" and not whatever name Debian comes up with. It's a "brand". Linux splinters everytime someone has a little tiff and people wonder why there is no marketshare. The brand gets so splintered that any newb trying to figure out what to run is totally lost and yes, the Linux community needs newbs.

Debian really needs to get the stick out of their ass. It's a great server distro, but if they want any sort of desktop marketshare then they have to change. Ubuntu better tell Debian to shove it and include the logo and Firefox as Moz wants them too otherwise you're just going to confuse people. Not everyone wants to read Wiki's and forums to figure out that the browser they have is indeed Firefox.

In addition, so Debian starts patching and they start breaking extensions. Hmmm...people get pissed and stop using the browser and then stop using Debian cause the browser sucks.

Re:FireBollox (4, Insightful)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259343)

You have it backwards. Mozilla is the one being unresonable here. Other open source projects have trademarks but they don't insist that Debian must use a different name because they have custom patches.

Re:FireBollox (2, Insightful)

Constantine Evans (969815) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259413)

How can Debian just start using the logo? Even if the logo were DFSG compliant, Debian would still be required to submit every patch that they make, including critical security fixes, to the Mozilla Foundation for an approval process before being allowed to distribute them. Due to Debian's stability requirements, fixes are backported for old versions of Firefox which are no longer maintained by Mozilla. But the Mozilla Foundation has stated that they don't care about this, and even suggested that Debian start putting new versions into older releases instead of backporting fixes.

Re:FireBollox (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259445)

So use Ubuntu then.

Debian's dedicated to the Free Software ideology, not to capitalism.

Re:FireBollox (1)

Viraptor (898832) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259183)

FF will be a loser in this. If new users won't find the popular FF on their brand new system, they'll start looking for some other / official web browser package, before someone will tell them, that Iceweasel / whatever IS in fact FF.
FF's popularity will suffer greatly if more forks will happen. I really don't understand why Mozilla Corp. doesn't worry about that.

Moguls? (0)

pingveno (708857) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259379)

Corporate moguls? Why do 'corporations' always become devils? The Mozilla Corporation is more of a technical entity, with all "profits" going into development of Firefox. It can do things that Mozilla Foundation, as a non-profit, can't do. That doesn't suddenly mean Firefox has come over 'corporate' control. Save your insults for executives with a $100 million salary.

nice blue globe (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259429)

My browser has a nice little blue globe too [kde.org] . There are too many alternative to keep track of.

Re:FireBollox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16259461)

If you'd RTFA, ass-hat, you would realize it's not just about the FF logo; the issue is with Debian removing the FF logo, replacing it with the blue earth and _still calling it Firefox_. Both trademarks (i.e. logo and name) cover the same product; you can't use one without using the other.

who care.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16259059)

epiphany is default browser in gnome, debian and ubuntu anyway.

Re:who care.. (2, Insightful)

ee96090 (56165) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259467)

Epiphany is _not_ the default browser in ubuntu; firefox is. Unfortunately.

new logo (4, Funny)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259063)

Maybe it'll be a blue world or circle, with 'Internet' in the name somewhere, and perhaps, as its used to explore the wonders of the internet, add the word 'Explorer' to it perhaps.

I can't see that catching on though, they'll call it WaterVole or something equally stupid :)

Trademark and free use issues aside (0, Flamebait)

pkcs11 (529230) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259067)

Debian (as an entity) tends to act like the Whitney Houston of distros.

the browser formerly known as ... (1, Interesting)

The Clockwork Troll (655321) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259073)

Didn't Prince try this in the 90's?

FireGNU (1, Funny)

aaronwormus (716976) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259077)

nuff said

Re:FireGNU (1)

Fyre2012 (762907) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259137)

GNUFox?

FireForked (1)

Propaganda13 (312548) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259251)

nuff said...too

Isn't Opera wonderful (-1, Flamebait)

baomike (143457) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259095)

EOM

Re:Isn't Opera wonderful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16259237)

SeaMonkey > Opera > Camino > Safari > Firefox > W3M > Lynx > Mosaic > NS4.7 > IE

Does that look about right?

Easy to see (1)

NaCh0 (6124) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259103)

As someone outside of both projects looking in, both have seemed way too concerned over legal minutia like this. I suppose "the system" forces the problem but I still get a dirty feeling when using firefox. I wish the code got the same scrutiny as these legal issues do.

Re:Easy to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16259301)

I still get a dirty feeling when using firefox. I wish the code got the same scrutiny as these legal issues do.

What's that supposed to mean?

Re:Easy to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16259407)

maybe gp uses HURD.

Re:Easy to see (1)

sp0rk173 (609022) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259471)

but I still get a dirty feeling when using firefox

Are you sure that's firefox, or what you're using firefox to look at? ....PERVERT!

Nerds arguing (4, Insightful)

Valacosa (863657) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259107)

I'm sure that most of you would agree, there's nothing worse than being forced to watch two nerds argue. They can yell at each other about the most trivial of details, and neither one will budge. It's kind of like elk.

Watching open source development is like watching 50,000 nerds argue.

Re:Nerds arguing (1)

ICA (237194) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259453)

That may be the best Slashdot post ever. If it were possible, I would burn 5 mod points on that one alone, marking it as insightful.

To pre-empt the "ZOMG MOZILLA TEH NAZI" crowd... (5, Informative)

BHearsum (325814) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259113)

Here is a link to the thread on debian's bugzilla:
http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=3 54622 [debian.org]

The trademark problems discussed make the issue pretty clear.

Finally! (1)

DeathAndTaxes (752424) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259127)

Oh thank god. I was sooo worried I would actually be able to tell a new linux user what program they used to browse the internet! Now I can just tell them to RTFM and the debian "social contract"!

Stakes (3, Insightful)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259129)

Someone once said that academic politics is so fierce precisely because the stakes are so low. Maybe that applies in this case as well...

Submitting patches (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16259131)

Mozilla also wants Debian patches to be submitted to them before distribution, and claims that's what others (Red Hat and Novell) are already doing.

This is only the case if the Firefox trademark will be used. Now that Debian is changing the name, they don't need to have their patches vetted.

There's been complaints for years and years at Mozilla over the dubious quality of some of the Debian patches, not to mention the very large amount of them (Debian users have a hard time getting support in the Mozilla IRC channels because there's a thousand and one new weird issues that are unique to Debian), and that's directly helped shape the policy that the trademarks can only be used with unaltered products, or with the alterations directly vetted. This is not unreasonable. The actual code is still completely free and available for everyone to do with as they please - it's purely the Firefox branding (and its meaning as a high-quality product) that's being protected here.

Read the Mozilla Trademark Policy [mozilla.org] .

To Debian: Pick Your Battles (3, Interesting)

BeeBeard (999187) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259381)

Thank you for helping to clear that up. I followed a link in another post where the essence of the argument over the issue was supposedly located, and it ended up being page after unreadable page of typical Debian infighting.

Debian's problem has always been that its handlers place users and the usability of their distribution far below very petty internal arguments intended to frame the distro as some sort of legal pioneer (Debian Linux vs. Debian GNU/Linux "controversy" anyone?). It's a huge turnoff to the non-zealots among us, and certainly makes for bad PR.

Re:Submitting patches (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16259503)

Except it's hurting our freedom. I thought Firefox was Free software but I was wrong.

FauxFox?? (0, Offtopic)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259145)

Speaking as a Ubuntu user and a Firefox user... everyone needs to grow the fuck up. It's their project and just like Linus wants to check all things that go into the kernel, they have the same right. I don't see Debian bitching about Linus and his need to trademark Linux. So why the hypocrisy?

Re:FauxFox?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16259207)

It's their project and just like Linus wants to check all things that go into the kernel

Linus has never asked that everyone distributing modified versions of Linux first submit the patches to him for approval. Nor has he ever refused permission to use the Linux trademark in relation to modified kernels. If he does say that Debian mustn't use the Linux trademark in relation to an "unapproved" modified kernel then they'll stop using that trademark too. How does "growing up" come into that? They either have permission to use the trademark or they don't. In this case, they don't.

Re:FauxFox?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16259267)

Linus does still allow patched linux kernels to be distributed under the trademark without oversight.

If the GNUs allowed a raffle to be held for a name (0)

NRAdude (166969) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259153)

Would the hat be full of suggestions to replace it to the program_title
"fairuse" (because websites are fairuse) and "tresspass" (because a locally-cached website is potential copyright infringment)?

I only hope the command-line was more forthcoming to default preferences of a particular account. Just typing "internet" or "internet browser" at a smart console (to replace a shell or a window-manager idle screen), should yield a preference for program use. Perhaps that preference could be to the control of symlinks having higher standing in ${PATH} and located in ${HOME}/Desktop/.Defaults or .Profiles? Nope, that would be quite a security risk if a malicious advertisement from a corporation made its way to place its crud into such an easy target. Unless...a suid for a separate group controlled that profile. That would not be favourable to hold someone "alien" files in a directory that a particular account can't overwrite or delete directly, but that's the chore of the Group maintenance that many unexperienced users just-might learn to utilize.

God-bless the group!

Slowing down... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16259155)

But some believe development and releases will slow down if distribution-specific patches have to be checked and accepted first.

Oh no, we don't want that. I mean, we just cannot have that. I mean, if Debian releases get any slower than they are now, they'd be going backwards in time.

Root of the conflict: trademarks, not copyright (5, Insightful)

CTho9305 (264265) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259161)

The reasons stem from Mozilla's recent insistence on trademark fidelity and its preferences regarding Firefox patches. Debian doesn't want to accept the original trademarked fox & globe logo; they don't see it as really 'free' to use. On the other hand, Mozilla doesn't want Firefox distributed under that name if it lacks the logo.

The problem with allowing the name and logo to be separated is that it damages the brand identity - people might wonder whether this "Firefox" with one logo is really the same as a "Firefox" with a different logo, or people might think the unofficial logo is the official one (which would clearly harm the brand - consider Firefox t-shirts and the logo).

Mozilla also wants Debian patches to be submitted to them before distribution, and claims that's what others (Red Hat and Novell) are already doing. But some believe development and releases will slow down if distribution-specific patches have to be checked and accepted first.

Both sides have a point. Often, problems that users encounter with "Firefox" in distributions turn out to be a result of the questionable downstream modifications [burntelectrons.org] the distro maintainers added. Do you really think Mozilla would be worried and spending their time on these kinds of issues if there wasn't a good chance that people would associate Mozilla Firefox with low quality due to distro modifications? If there was no risk of damaging the brand, it would certainly be better for everyone to use the same logo and name.

From the distro's point of view, of course it's annoying to have to get approval on all patch sets. However, there is generally a long time between releases anyway (especially Debian's releases ;)), and so long as the distro's patch set doesn't change between security releases, no additional review is required (as I understand it) for the security updates, so this really shouldn't be a problem there.

We will surely see more clashes between copyright claims and 'really free' distros such as Debian. Ubuntu is also asking similar questions.

One irony of the situation is that Debian itself has the same problem with their branding: if you modify the distribution, you can't call it Debian any more. It's an unfortunate issue that if you want to have a useful (i.e. recognizable and trusted) brand, you can't allow people to ship their own derivatives of your product while using your branding.

Allowing users of your product complete freedom is a nice ideal, but it's not possible to do under the current laws unless you place no value on branding.

Re:Root of the conflict: trademarks, not copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16259289)

Somebody mod this up further. That IRC quote speaks volumes.

Re:Root of the conflict: trademarks, not copyright (1)

reynaert (264437) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259475)

One irony of the situation is that Debian itself has the same problem with their branding: if you modify the distribution, you can't call it Debian any more.

It should be noted that many Debian developers consider their trademark policy to be flawed, although nobody really knows how to fix it. Former DPL Branden Robinson discusses some of the issues in this article [deadbeast.net] .

Thanks for all the fish! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16259163)

Thank you for spreading firefox, we can manage it from here on. Now let's not hope Qt will pull something because then KDE will also suffer.

Debian's bug on the issue; Mozilla's behavior (1)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259181)

You can read the discussion in the bug report [debian.org] .

I'm not a Debian user & do use many Mozilla products, but I think MozCo could have handled this better.

The logo is under a non-permissive copyright, which Debian objects to & which Mozilla has always defended from others using in "non-official" builds (including in Gentoo and the "optimized" builds for Windows and Mac by fans in the forums). These builds used a generic logo (the blue globe of the official logo, but without the orange firefox) or made their own logo.

Debian was granted permission to use the trademarked name and not the logo, but this was later rescinded.

While MozCo is perfectly within their rights to do this, they could have been a better player--no one (not even Debian) objects to the trademarked name or logo. But The COPYRIGHT on the logo runs contrary to the DFSG. Furthermore, MozCo can police their trademarks as they wish--I'm aware of no law which would require them to require the use of the image whenever the name is also used. So why did they change their minds as to what is permissable?

Furthermore, Debian has been backporting security fixes to older releases. MozCo encouraged them to use only the newer version (as Red Hat and Novell apparently do now) & said that this backporting would not be workable with the new trademark policy.

Re:Debian's bug on the issue; Mozilla's behavior (2, Insightful)

CTho9305 (264265) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259263)

No, as I understand it, the problem is really trademark-related. Debian has HUGE patches that are of questionable quality, and the Mozilla Corporation is worried people will assume the flaky browser shipped by Debian represents the quality of Firefox. If you've never looked at a distro's patch sets, you really should - it's frightening - MUCH more than just a few lines of code or build config changes to put libraries in specific places. That the logo is under a different copyright licenses is more of a side effect of the trademark issues: to make it clear that the trademark can't just be used willy-nilly, they put the logos containing the trademark under a different copyright license.

It IS about the copyright on the logo (3, Insightful)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259321)

Mozilla has voiced multiple issues with Debian's package. But, in their words:
If you are going to use the Firefox name, you must also use the rest of the branding.
The "quality" of Debian's patches was brought up later, but it seems to be moot--since there is no way to get around that first big issue of the copyright on the logo.

They should just make SeaMonkey the default (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16259185)

No problems with trademarks, and a more modern browser too.

A pity (1)

midgley (629008) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259213)

But we will all survive it.

Remind me... (1)

geoff lane (93738) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259217)

...what was it that allowed Microsoft to win out over the various waring Unix operating systems a few years ago?

Oh, yes, I remember, they couldn't work together to provide a unified user experience, each wanted to be distinct and make stuff different just for the sake of being different.

There seems to be a general forgetting of who the real enemy is.

Re:Remind me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16259299)

Isn't "non-free software" the enemy of Debian, rather than Microsoft per-se? Debian has a very strong philosophy about including only free software - and if that means dropping non-free components of otherwise free software, then so be it. They're not willing to compromise their ideals, even for seemingly trivial stuff like being able to modify Firefox.

It is true that this does sometimes cause inconvenience and confusion. For example I was annoyed when X.org was rolled out as a Debian update, because it broke my working copy of XFree86. Luckily I was able to fix it - a newbie might not have been so lucky. However, XFree86 was being replaced for a good reason, and I should expect occasional problems as I run the 'unstable' variant of the distribution. I think this type of occasional disruption is the price of freedom, and in spite of it I am happy to stick with Debian.

Re:Remind me... (1)

HairyCanary (688865) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259437)

There seems to be a general forgetting of who the real enemy is.


Perhaps because "winning" in certain ways is not really winning. Unseating Microsoft is not a particularly good goal. Making better software is.

Ubuntu Edgy (1)

hkoster1 (1004142) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259223)

Seems like Ubuntu are renaming FF "Bon Echo" in the current Beta of the upcoming 6.10 Edgy Eft release...

Re:Ubuntu Edgy (1)

treke (62626) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259273)

Bon Echo is the Mozilla project's code name for FireFox2 betas. ( http://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox2 [mozilla.org] ) I don't know what whether or not Mozilla and Ubuntu will be working out some kind of deal or just changing the name, but the Bon Echo branding was just a side effect of them planning to use Firefox 2 for Edgy Eft.

Glad Debian is picking the right battle here. (3, Insightful)

mad.frog (525085) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259225)

After all, if there's an enemy to the FOSS movement, it's *definitely* the Mozilla Foundation...

Re:Glad Debian is picking the right battle here. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16259487)

*sigh*

Why is it that whenever some group is obliged to do something for purely legal reasons, there's always some idiot who has to pretend it's been done to "stick it" to some imagined enemy?

Question:

Is Debian doing this for...

1. Legal reasons
2. Because they "hate" Mozilla.

Bzzzzzt! Wrong! The answer was, in fact, 1, as you'd have known had you read even the article summary. Now go back to school or something, idiot.

Does anyone really care? (-1, Troll)

ByTor-2112 (313205) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259241)

Man these debian people just keep sinking lower and lower. This kind of thing just makes them look like rabid zealots to most of the potential users out there. When will they realize that people want their computer to "just work" first of all, then MAYBE later worry about some other guy's idea of what "free" is... Guess that's part of the reason their releases take so long.

Re:Does anyone really care? (1)

david614 (10051) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259345)

Well, "Debian people", as you put it are not out to sell a product. They are perfectly happy to have you use another variant of linux if you don't find theirs suitable for your needs. Debian has values that may be a little more "strict" than other distributions, but this is their right. Freedom, recall, does not guarantee sameness. Nor should it. Stand your ground Debian. But try to clean up the FF patches, please. D

You couldn't have it any more wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16259435)

Does anyone care, you ask? Yes. The Mozilla people. They are the ones who object. They are the ones that explicitly forbid Debian to call their modified Firefox by the Firefox name with its logo.

And this is clearly laid out in their licenses and trademark terms. So, all of a sudden, obeying the law makes you a zealot extremist? Ignoring the law is the reasonable thing to do? Debian is doing this because it has to.

shame (0, Troll)

agentdunken (912306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259259)

Mozilla is becoming evil. Pretty soon they will turn into IE.. What is Mozilla doing??

Questions on Thunderbird & Other Mozilla Produ (3, Interesting)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259281)

Why is this only happening with Firefox? Why not Thunderbird or the other Mozilla products which are in Debian's package repository? Why not the "Mozilla" name, itself?

Re:Questions on Thunderbird & Other Mozilla Pr (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16259427)

It probably will happen with Thunderbird somewhere down the road. As you can read in the bug report that was linked to from another comment, there's been a hiatus of activity at the Mozilla Foundation of working on this, but now they're going down the list again. Thunderbird is pretty much the forgotten child of the Mozilla Corporation though (there's all of two developers working on it, I think), so that simply doesn't have any priority yet...

copyright =/= trademark (1)

codyk (857932) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259317)

We will surely see more clashes between copyright claims and 'really free' distros such as Debian.

Except that this seems to be a clash over potential trademark claims. I realize that not all slashdot editors are lawyers, but haven't yall learned by now to distinguish between different forms of IP?

Re:copyright =/= trademark (1)

BeeBeard (999187) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259497)

Don't bother trying to explain the difference, because people will just confuse the two anyway. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go patent my new company logo.

Can we get an internet or web in there somewhere? (0, Flamebait)

shaitand (626655) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259327)

I can't see where renaming Firefox can be bad since it is the stupidest name for a web browser you can imagine. How about a name that in some way is at least vaguely associated with what the program does? My god what a concept. A name that would give reasonably intelligent people who have never heard of the program the ability to guess that they should click on that to browse the web!

OpenBSD has already done this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16259335)

In the OpenBSD install I am using to type this, the title bar says "Firefox Community Edition" and the icon does not contain the familiar fox, only a globe.

It's a dumb decision on the part of Mozilla, if you ask me. But it hasn't been earth-shattering. I still have a fully functioning web browser and it is still called firefox, albeit "community edition", which seems to be a phrase mandated by mozilla.org.

Re:OpenBSD has already done this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16259509)

They should call it StormWeasel!

Yesterday's news (0, Redundant)

mackyrae (999347) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259341)

I saw people talking about this on the Ubuntu Forums yesterday.

Epiphany with khtml? (1)

chroot_james (833654) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259373)

Is this possible?
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