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.
> Why can't the Mozilla artwork be GPL'd?
Because then anyone can use it for any purpose, including labelling spyware versions of Firefox, and utterly unrelated software.
> How can the Mozilla Foundation make a claim that an build is "official"?
mozilla.org is the de facto maintainer for Mozilla, and it owns the Mozilla trademark. How more official can you get?
> 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?
The Mozilla Foundation has to be seen to be policing the use of its trademark, otherwise it may lose it. This may not be good, but it's the law.
> I think if someone sells Mozilla merchandise they should give back to the Foundation. But why do they need the Foundations permission?
Because they are using our trademarks :-)
> Also, is keeping the images from the source against the GPL or against it's spirit?
Note that Mozilla is currently only under the MPL. Debian, for example, has a similar policy for its official name and images.