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 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 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 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's use of the Firebird name harms the database project.

#25 Depends...

by aganguli

Thursday May 1st, 2003 11:00 PM

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on what is considered the domain of the trademark. Among the many possibilities are: all software, all open-source software, only browsers.

AOL legal seems to think that only browsers count. I have no idea how this stuff is really decided (IANAL), but that seems a little weak if that's the extent of the arguement. Does that mean the Firebird SQL folks could legitimately call their database The Mozilla Database? Surely that can't be right.

Or, maybe Mozilla's new browser should be called the Oracle Browser? I think Oracle would be a great name for a browser if we can take it. Much better than Firebird.