MozillaZine

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.


#6 Old documents (pre-Branding)

by JuanGonzalez

Thursday May 1st, 2003 3:14 PM

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According to those lawyers, it seems that we can say "Mozilla Firebird", but never just "Firebird"... Oops, sorry I just said it. :-)

A little difficult to remember. It's better/simpler the new Mozilla Branding <http://www.mozilla.org/roadmap/branding.html>

BTW, those documents are a bit old now, and previous to the Mozilla Branding document. They say:

"When this issue first blew up, we took legal advice. On Friday (April 25), we (Firebird Admins), the FirebirdSQL Foundation committee and the IBPhoenix principals wrote a formal letter to the Mozilla admins [...] However, over the weekend and today, we note a branding policy statement [...]" <http://www.firebirdsql.org/>

It does not seem likely that they are still thinking of going to court or anything like that, when we are going to have Mozilla Browser 1.5 alfa in June.

Something indeed reasonable is that they also prefer now to talk directly with the Mozilla team instead of publicly. A procedural detail that we can suggest to them is that the correct and official way in Mozilla for other projects (apart from very technical matters) is the spokesperson rather than the software developers (see mozilla.org for details). People say she is very efficient with public relations, legal matters, etc. Or, naturally, you know, she may delegate a suitable representative for exchange of communication about any final details of this issue. It's good to see that the things can go at last in the normal way.

Well, life goes on... The MozillaZine Forums are working again. This is the news now. :-)