Christopher Blizzard of mozilla.org Speaks on the Firebird Naming Conflict
Wednesday May 14th, 2003
Last week, CNET News.com published another report on the Firebird naming conflict. Claiming that the application of the Mozilla branding guidelines is tantamount to a back down on the part of mozilla.org, the article credits Jonathan Walther with resolving the disagreement. Walther was asked to mediate by Ann Harrison, one of the administrators of the Firebird database project. The article also reiterates the database project's claims of legal righteousness, which have since been challenged by Mitchell Baker. The open-source advocacy magazine Open has also printed an article about the dispute, featuring interviews with Harrison and Walther. The piece appears to fully support the position of the Firebird database project and lavishes praise on Walther. Neither article contains any statements from mozilla.org.
More recently, the Australian LinuxWorld also awarded victory to the Firebird database project. While the article is decidedly in favour of the database group, it does at least quote sixteen words from mozilla.org's Christopher Blizzard (compared to 478 from representatives of the Firebird database community). The report makes several bizzare statements (including a claim that MozillaZine is run by Asa Dotzler), mentions an open letter allegedly sent by Walther to Harrison and MozillaZine (we've never seen it) and finishes off with an advert for the next week's Firebird database conference. It looks like you'll have to go to sites like MozillaNews if you want to read any remotely pro-Mozilla coverage. Thanks to everyone who sent us links to articles.
We at MozillaZine weren't satisfied with the rather one-sided reporting from the mainstream tech news sites, so we got in touch with mozilla.org to find out their real position. As a result, we're pleased to present an exclusive interview with Christopher Blizzard, the Red Hat employee and mozilla.org staff member who authored the Mozilla branding guidelines.
Update! LWN.net have a report on the interview. The first reader comment on their article is from Jonathan Walther. It makes it very clear where he stands on the issue.
#67 A reply... :-)
Friday May 16th, 2003 8:09 AM
You are replying to this message
First, I'm responding because there are a lot of people reading and replying with a wrong view on things. Like thinking the product is called "FirebirdSQL".
Let me answer your questions one by one:
>Why do you need to keep going through what has happened?
See above. People here think "we" have done this for publicity. Believe me - nothing could be more from the truth.
>the situation appears to have settled down quite substantially
Yes it does. And that's a good thing - hopefully "Mozilla Firebird" will do the trick - as an internal codename. However, for some reason, this particular MozillaZine article is rattling things up again.
>Since that is all clear, what benefits do you think repeating old and tired arguments brings
A lot of people seem to think that the "firebird db engine people" have been wrong from the beginning and that "Mozilla Firebird" is fine. I'm just pointing out that this hasn't been the case from the beginning. There are a lot of people who seem to think we're the next evil empire and ask people to create mail-bombs. This isn't true. We both know that there's a lot more going one behind the scenes, stuff that your readers don't know.
>Can you give me a compelling reason for keeping arguing?
En public? No.
>Do you believe that only Mozilla has been harmed by this storm, or do you believe that both sides have taken some damage because of their handling of the matter?
I feel that both sides have been harmed. Yes, Firebird has gotten a lot of free publicity - but as said before, there are a lot of people who think Firebird is "whining" - which simply isn't true. This is not a trivial issue ("it's just names" - ugh! Names are important).
>Do you think being dismissive of the other Firebird projects, just because you've never heard of them, helps your position?
Please explain? What other Firebird projects? I've heard about "other Firebird projects" over and over again. Does this matter for trademark law? Again, what raised hairs in the back of peoples necks most was the (tm) thing - and the response to comments about that.
(I hope this piece of text looks somewhat more formatted)