Phoenix and Minotaur to be renamed Firebird and Thunderbird

Monday April 14th, 2003

Asa Dotzler writes: "After months of discussion and further months of legal investigation, we're finally comfortable moving forward with new names. The new name for the Phoenix browser is 'Firebird'. The documentation and product strings will be updated soon. In addition to securing Firebird, we've also got the OK from those contributing legal resources to use the name 'Thunderbird' for a mail client. Hopefully this will be the end of naming legal issues for a while."

#197 Mozilla Firebird? Thats not gonna fly

by jturner

Friday May 2nd, 2003 10:58 AM

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Asa, if your argument for changing the name in the first place is because Netscape/AOL/TimeWarner owns the trademark and is telling you to change it, then your fooling yourself if you think they are gonna let you refer to it as "Mozilla Firebird". They are going to "clarify" their position and tell you that Mozilla can't appear anywhere in the name and legally speaking, they would be right. You have chosen to build your work upon and trust, to a certain degree, a massive company that many people believe is just as "evil" and ethically bankrupt as Microsoft. The simple fact of the matter is that ever since some big distros puclicly decided that there is no reason to ship Netscape when Mozilla is so much better, the corporate types decided that Mozilla as a brand was getting to big for its britches and had to be cut down a notch or two. Do they care if you end up with even more problems than before with the Firebird name? No. Brand confusion around the open source product will just cause more people to "trust" in the Netscape brand. Frankly, i am not going to "trust" the Mozilla Firebird brand and won't use any browser branded in such a way.

You are fighting for the hearts and minds of a developer community that believes in doing "the right thing". As evidenced by all the posts above, you are destroying that bond. The sooner you change the name to something original, the better. You are going to have to do it sooner or later so you might as well do it now. If you don't, you will regret it later.

On a more positive note, i took a few minutes and came up with some possible alternatives: Arroyo Plexus Cobera Mozul Zule Yacht Mackinaw Maximus