Posted by: Anonymous Coward
on October 12, 2006 01:21 AM
This makes some good points, but I don't think anyone posting here, or the article's author for that matter, have read some of the mail list where Debian and Mozilla went around about this.
Debian's Firefox maintainer (?Dorland?) has effectively forked the code but still wants to call it Firefox. Mozilla's Conner specifically states that the changes Mozilla's developers have seen are confusing and appear to have diverged to point that Debian's version of the code could not be merged with future versions of the official tree. He also points out that the Debian maintainer has refused to work these issues through the normal Mozilla bug/change process.
This is a FORK, people! That's perfectly legal because the Firefox code is GPL. But as she said in the article, putting the Firefox brand on something implies that it is their product, which this is not. They have every right in the world to protect that and they took the proper legal steps to do so (using trademark). That's all they've demanded from Debian. They can't distribute a (undeclared) fork and still call it Firefox.