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[Possibly OT] Trademarks



  At the risk of stirring up a hornets' nest, I'd like to pose the
question to Red Hatters: what approach are you taking to trademarks?
  Apparently, there is (was?) some discussion going on at debian-legal
regarding Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird.  At first glance, I
see that there are quite a few patches included in the firefox rpm in
FC3 and even more in rawhide and I'm wondering if Red Hat has filtered
this through its legal eagles, since it is still called Firefox.
  More generally, what will the Fedora Project's (and possible, by
extension, RHEL's) handling of trademark issues be going forward if more
allegedly FOSS projects begin to assert trademarks.
  For the Mozilla case, based on some of the excerpts I've read, they're
expectation is unreasonable: they want people to know they are using
Firefox and Thunderbird (by name), but they want to control what types
of changes are made to the software.  To me, that's end-run around the
FOSS licenses which they have chosen.
  Yes, I know some people will point out Red Hat's own trademark policy
regarding Fedora Core, but the difference I see is that Red Hat isn't
likely to make one whit of noise about derivate works of Fedora Core
that have been renamed.  IMHO, The Mozilla Foundation seems to want
people to use the name, but at the cost of being the gatekeeper where it
comes to the types of changes that can be made.
  Something tells me that FOSS projects that begin to take this path are
going to increasing face staunch resistance.  They're going to have to
take Linus' liberal approach to the Linux trademark, or face there names
being scratched out where needed to comply with their own trademark
guidelines.
  Let me close by saying that I do understand the desire (and need) to
protect trademarks, but it's inescapable that it conflicts with the
spirit of FOSS.
  Thoughts?
-- 
-Paul Iadonisi
 Senior System Administrator
 Red Hat Certified Engineer / Local Linux Lobbyist
 Ever see a penguin fly?  --  Try Linux.
 GPL all the way: Sell services, don't lease secrets


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