Thursday, October 05, 2006

Firefox Copyright Dilemma

"I used to be cool"

There's been quite a bit of noise in the Linux community lately over this 'bug' in Debian. That's right, the Mozilla Firefox name goes under the same crappy copyright license as the artwork, so Debian isn't "allowed" to use the name. (This is why Ubuntu and Debian ship Firefox with that uninspiring blue globe icon instead of the Firefox icon.)

So what's Ubuntu going to do about it?
Well, the users clearly want the official logo in addition to keeping the name, and I don't blame them. Firefox made the transition from Windows to Linux quite a bit easier for myself, and I'm sure others have found the same thing. The matter is still up in the air, as the only official word on this has been been from Canonical's Matt Zimmerman saying he's "discussing the relevant issues with representatives from Mozilla."
In the meantime, I was shocked to discover that those crazy GNU people are now maintaining "Gnuzilla" and "IceWeasel", the latter of which I originally thought was a joke.

I think I can honestly say that I wish IceWeasel was joke, because this whole Mozilla trademark thing is ridiculous. Aren't we all playing on the same team?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

that's helarious

Anonymous said...

The Icon has nothing to do with it. The blue globe icon was around long before this dispute. It is the Icon used for BonEcho and is the icon for the upcoming Gran Paradiso. Many other distros use the same icon. Debian has the iceweasel icon and Ubuntu is still using firefox. You might want to get your facts straight before you post. It has absolutely nothing to do with Icons.

GameGod said...

Ok, I believe you misunderstand what the situation was back when this occurred:

The Mozilla Firefox name is only to be used WITH the copyrighted logo - And since distros like Debian stay away from non-Free stuff, they had never included the non-Free Firefox logo when they packaged the software. (These were the terms set out by Mozilla at the time this article was published.)

Mozilla's beef is that they didn't want the name to be used without the icon, hence the melodrama that ensued. The links (ie. references) in my article explain all of this in detail.

And about your last relevant comment:
"Debian has the iceweasel icon and Ubuntu is still using firefox."
- Ubuntu never used to use the Firefox icon, so I don't know what you mean by "still using" the Firefox icon. Until 6.10, Ubuntu did not ship with the Firefox icon.

... and if I can throw in one more comment: This whole situation really ticked me off because it highlights something about Free OSes - There's a fine line between ideological experiments and building a usable operating system. This is where the Ubuntu team has struck a balance, and for that, I give them my utmost respect.

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