Mozilla Foundation Open Letter Orders Unofficial Mozilla Merchandise Sellers to Stop, Legal Action Hinted
Tuesday March 16th, 2004
mozilla.org staff member Gervase Markham has posted an open letter to the Mozilla newsgroups addressed to those who sell goods bearing the Mozilla name or logos: "The following is an open letter to anyone selling Mozilla-branded merchandise. It's being posted rather than emailed in the spirit of openness, and to ensure everyone who needs to read it can see a copy."
The letter urges those selling products with the Mozilla insignia to stop and contact the Mozilla Foundation for further discussion on how to proceed. Noting that the retailing of Mozilla-branded wares without permission is an infringment of the Foundation's trademark rights, the letter hints that legal action may taken against those who refuse to heed the advice. Read the full article to see the complete letter.
Wednesday March 17th, 2004 10:09 PM
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I don't think RedHat is an appropriate company to use as an example of how open source GPL software can work.
I think we are applying commercial philosophy to open source GPL style software.
I'm not claiming Mozilla is doing anything incorrect or immoral in it's actions but here are some questions to ponder just to get us thinking.
If people contribute to Mozilla, why can't they use the Mozilla name? They've helped build the brand.
Why can't the Mozilla artwork be GPL'd? The whole point of GPL is that modifications of the code have to be returned if it's distributed.
How can the Mozilla Foundation make a claim that an build is "official"? Under the GPL the community owns the code.
Isn't it official if it comes from mozilla.org? Are there really resources for Mozilla Foundation to QA linux distro builds?
I can understand the point made of "defending the trademark" if someone built a car and called it Mozilla Firefox, but if someone sells a t-shirt with the logo on it and Mozilla Foundation doesn't mind it then how would Mozilla Foundation lose the trademark?
I think if someone sells Mozilla merchandise they should give back to the Foundation. But why do they need the Foundations permission?
Also, is keeping the images from the source against the GPL or against it's spirit? The artwork is binary source that makes up a part of the source code.