Firebird Database Project Issues New Statement on Naming Debate
Thursday May 1st, 2003
On Tuesday, the Firebird database project's main front page was updated with another statement from the Firebird Admins about the naming controversy. The announcement suggests that the database project's leaders may be satisified if mozilla.org and related sites follow the policy of the Mozilla branding guidelines to the letter and only ever refer to the former Phoenix browser as 'Mozilla Firebird'. According to the update, the Firebird Admins, the FirebirdSQL Foundation committee and the IBPhoenix principals (the IBPhoenix site appears to be down right now) sent a formal letter to mozilla.org on Friday and are awaiting a response.
The statement also links to an assessment of the Firebird database community's legal position, published by the FirebirdSQL Foundation. We were not able to verify the accuracy of this legal advice, which was researched by Pavel Cisar, one of the database project's administrators, and two unnamed legal consultants. Interestingly, the document reveals for the first time that the FirebirdSQL Foundation is considering suing mozilla.org. In the past, the group has claimed that they are not interested in taking legal action and could not afford to anyway. The Foundation has also published another summary of how they believe mozilla.org's use of the Firebird name harms the database project.
#22 Re:Come. Sue me.
Thursday May 1st, 2003 9:22 PM
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What the world
I can't understand the reason for Mozilla.org's obstinance. Being part of a community -- as in the free software community -- means being considerate of your neighbors and *sensitive* to their welfare. We're working for a common goal: the free exchange of knowledge and technology for the betterment of humanity. In this spirit of charity, each member of the community should do everything on his part to live in harmony with everybody else. That includes overlooking grievances and immaturity of others (e.g., the other side *not* doing everything on their part to live in harmony).
Now, the Firebird database people feel they have been hurt by Mozilla.org. Mozilla.org has been aware of the potential for conflict over the name since the beginning of their re-naming discussion. However, the Mozilla.org people didn't care. They claim that they assumed that co-opting Firebird's name wouldn't hurt the Firebird project, but they were not concerned enough to *genuinely* investigate the conflict. One simple e-mail to the FirebirdSQL admin would have been sufficient to know that their assumption was terribly wrong. They just DID NOT CARE that their actions might hurt others. They didn't care about the harm done to other software developers and users, even in their own community. And a lot of people in this forum don't care either. It's sad and disappointing that this is happening. Even more disturbing is that the more mean someone is, the more oblivious he is to his own meanness, as evidenced right here by your post and the replying post agreeing with you.
Disclaimer: I have been a big fan of Mozilla since the early milestones and still am. I have no personal interest in the Firebird database.
Suggestion: I think Mozilla Firebird should be named Freebird, as in Free Software. It would be appropriate, original (for software), and appealing, IMHO.