MozillaZine Reports on Firebird Name Debate

Sunday April 20th, 2003

Clay writes: " now has an article about the Firebird name debate. Is it true that MozillaZine was hacked?"

To the best of our knowledge, MozillaZine was not hacked on Friday. From what we understand, a large load on the MySQL database put a lot of strain on the server. This caused the error messages that some users saw while using site features such as the Talkback article comments pages and the forums. At some points during the day, MozillaZine went down completely. For this reason, the Talkback pages and the forums were temporarily disabled but should now be fully working again.

#26 Re: Re: Re: Stupid Article

by pcisar

Monday April 21st, 2003 8:50 AM

You are replying to this message

"Also, note that there are many existing Open Source projects using the Firebird name. "

Well, could you provide links to them please ? Do they really use just a word "Firebird" as a mark ? Or it's another "Firebird BBS" which is a different mark than "Firebird" ? Are they older than Firebird the Database ? I don't want to play your argument down, I'm really interested to get real facts about this cause. There is a lot of half-baked "facts" and pure speculations around that one has trouble to distinguish truth from bogus statements.

BTW, linked article is full of false statements presented as truth, and judging by talkbaks at noewin, most people take them as real, while they are nonsense.

Let see them in detail:

# Firebird is a common name, owned by a number (over 60) open source projects, none of which have attempted to secure the name as an official trademark.

Not true. Show me those 60 open source project please. I'm sure that almost all are related to Firebird the Database, so they can deliberately use this name. More to that,

a) Firebird as a simple wording trademark is registered in US and UK serveral times (check TM registry for yourself), but not for software. b) One doesn't need to register a mark to legally own it and successfuly defend it in court. Date of first use in commerce is what really matter here. c) Even if there would be older project that has right to use Firebird name for software package, it's doesn't matter in this case.

# By chance, Firebird is also a common english word, the name of a car, etc.

A famous Pontiac Firebird IS registered in US, but as PONTIAC FIREBIRD, which is obviously different mark than just FIREBIRD. More to that, it's registered in different TM class, so it doesn't matter anyway. Other mentioned software packages lately mentioned here and there a) doesn't use Firebird as trademark or b) aren't older or c) doesn't collide (are deliberately narrowed to subset of sw category) with Firebird the Database.

# Firebird database is simply a database. Firebird browser is a browser built for surfing the net, serving the same purpose as Netscape, or IE, or Mozilla. A database is NOT the same thing as a browser.

No, Firebird Project use the Firebird trademark in commerce for a product that is much more thanjust a database. There are drivers, config managers, or even database *browsers* as part of this product. There are also hundreds of packages that are related to db Firebird and that use Firebird moniker in name to demostrate their affiliation to database.

# The Phoenix Team did NOT know that Firebird database supporters would object to one more open source project sharing its name, in the light that there were already open source software projects existing which also had the name Firebird.

Even if this would be true, it doesn't matter in this case, from legal point of view.

# Claims that this naming will cause confusion have been blown out of proportion. One project is a database. The other is a browser. There is nothing stopping people from referring to one as Firebird database, and Firebird browser.

No one around Firebird db call it Firebird RDBMS, just Firebird. Even at MozillaZine page one can see Firebird(tm) and not "Mozilla Firebird" (tm), which is blatant violation of Mozilla statements that it's not "Firbeird" but "Mozilla Firebird". Also the argument that it's just a codename is nonsense, as it IS and WILL be used in public at large, so the impact is the same as if it was a real name.

It's not up to Mozilla users to decide how much damage this will do or not to Firebird database users. And FB database users were enough vocal about damage they feel will get from this. I'd call the Moz reaction as utter ignorance of others opinion and hidding behind logal belessing from AOL. I'd like suggest to drivers to check with their legal advisers again in the light of new facts and resistance. I'm sure that advicie they would get today would be completely different.

The Neowin article is nothing than pure speculation that author skimmed from various talkbacks here and there, and presented as mere facts. Next time, he should do his homework first. Otherwise it's just a try to hijack of tidal wave of events.

Have a nice Easter.