Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Fox Wars: Debian vs. Mozilla

Filed under
Software

Would you believe that two open-source powers are battling over the Firefox Fox logo? Well, believe it.

Mozilla Corp. is insisting that when a Linux distributor includes its own variation of the popular web-browser, Firefox, with its operating system, it must pass any customized code by Mozilla before using its Firefox name or Fox logo.

This is pretty straightforward. Mozilla owns the trademark on the name and logo, so they need to protect it. The company also needs to make sure that when someone clicks on "Firefox," they're running Mozilla-approved Firefox. After all, if something goes wrong with Firefox, Mozilla's programmers want to know that something went wrong with their code rather than someone else's patch.

Debian doesn't see it this way.

Full Story.

Further from the mainstream

This seems to be another example of developers and others deciding that it's easier to beat Debian than join it. :waves:

It's hard work enough leaving the mainstream to use Linux and other open source software without leaving the open source mainstream.

Far out.

For seekers only

Imagine other open-source apps doing this

From the Mozilla Trademark Policy:

Quote:
Serious Modifications

Those taking full advantage of the open-source nature of Mozilla's products and making significant functional changes may not redistribute the fruits of their labor under any Mozilla trademark. For example, it would be inappropriate for them to say "based on Mozilla Firefox". Instead, in the interest of complete accuracy, they should describe their executables as "based on Mozilla technology", or "incorporating Mozilla source code." They should also change the name of the executable so as to reduce the chance that a user of the modified software will be misled into believing it to be a native Mozilla product.

There are two problems Debian has with Firefox. First, its logo isn't free software as defined by the Debian Free Software Guidelines. So, it's shipped with a modified logo. Mozilla doesn't approve. They say, ship it with the original logo, or don't call it Firefox. Apparently, that's a "serious modification."

Second, Mozilla demands that Debian submit any and all patches made to the source provided by Mozilla for prior approval. Apparently, Debian's patches amount to more "serious modifications" (at least in the eyes of the Mozilla people).

Now, imagine that every open-source app made the same demands. Want to call it The GIMP? Use our new copyrighted logo and pass your patches through us. How about OpenOffice.org? AbiWord? Pan? You can see how there'd be a real mess if everyone took the same attitude that Mozilla's taking.

I'm not saying Mozilla doesn't have the right to defend its trademarks. However, it does seem to be taking a line that is definitely not in the spirit of the open source community here.

--
><)))°> Debian/Kanotix: http://kanotix.com

re: Imagine...

Yes, how dare the Mozilla Foundation after providing untold man-hours and real hard-dollars developing (and supporting) one of the more successful open-source projects declare that they want to keep QC in-house.

To top it off, they have the audacity to demand that their effort is marketed by having uniform branding.

Gosh, you'd think they were trying to present a professional and polished application to the world instead of the normal half-assed, eternally half-finished, ill-supported, ego-centric driven, garage band-esque app that the other 95% of the open source projects do.

Indeed, when your for-profit

Indeed, when your for-profit corporation's making millions of dollars in revenue based on the hard work of all those non-paid coders, it sure is important to protect that revenue-producing asset. What's a for-profit subsidiary (Mozilla, Corp.) of a non-profit organization (Mozilla Foundation) going to do with all that money, anyway? Why not hire some lawyers?

Seriously, I can understand Mozilla's position. I can understand Debian's position. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be much compromising going on. I'd prefer to see both parties work together to reach an amicable solution.

Ultimately, Firefox is open-source, so Debian can take the code and release it under another name. Despite what the Mozilla guy said, it's not like they change it a whole lot.

(By the way, if you're tired of being stuck with those crappy "95% of the open source projects," there is this other operating system called "Windows" you might be interested in.)
--
><)))°> Debian/Kanotix: http://kanotix.com

Why keep the patches?

I can see both arguments. The flaw in Debian's stand is that if Debian has genuine improvements to make, they should go upstream to Mozilla anyway.

Arguing about whether a logo is free software seems like a silly way to waste everyone's time.

For seekers only

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

GNOME and Fedora

  • RFC: Integrating rsvg-rs into librsvg
    I have started an RFC to integrate rsvg-rs into librsvg. rsvg-rs is the Rust binding to librsvg. Like the gtk-rs bindings, it gets generated from a pre-built GIR file.
  • 1+ year of Fedora and GNOME hardware enablement
    A year and a couple of months ago, Christian Schaller asked me to pivot a little bit from working full time on Fleet Commander to manage a new team we were building to work on client hardware enablement for Fedora and GNOME with an emphasis on upstream. The idea was to fill the gap in the organization where nobody really owned the problem of bringing up new client hardware features vertically across the stack (from shell down to the kernel), or rather, ensure Fedora and GNOME both work great on modern laptops. Part of that deal was to take over the bootloader and start working closer to customers and hardware manufacturing parnters.
  • Fedora Atomic Workstation: Works on the beach
    My trip is getting really close, so I decided to upgrade my system to rawhide. Wait, what ? That is usually what everybody would tell you not to do. Rawhide has this reputation for frequent breakage, and who knows if my apps will work any given day. Not something you want to deal with while traveling.
  • 4 cool new projects to try in COPR for February

Why You Shouldn’t Use Firefox Forks (and Proprietary Opera)

  • Why You Shouldn’t Use Firefox Forks Like Waterfox, Pale Moon, or Basilisk
    Mozilla Firefox is an open source project, so anyone can take its code, modify it, and release a new browser. That’s what Waterfox, Pale Moon, and Basilisk are—alternative browsers based on the Firefox code. But we recommend against using any of them.
  • Opera Says Its Next Opera Release Will Have the Fastest Ad Blocker on the Block
    Opera Software promoted today its upcoming Opera 52 web browser to the beta channel claiming that it has the faster ad blocker on the market compared to previous Opera release and Google Chrome. One of the key highlights of the Opera 52 release will be the improved performance of the built-in ad blocker as Opera claims to have enhanced the string matching algorithm of the ad blocker to make it open web pages that contain ads much faster than before, and, apparently than other web browsers, such as Chrome.

Graphics: Glxinfo, ANV, SPIR-V

  • Glxinfo Gets Updated With OpenGL 4.6 Support, More vRAM Reporting
    The glxinfo utility is handy for Linux users in checking on their OpenGL driver in use by their system and related information. But it's not often that glxinfo itself gets updated, except that changed today with the release of mesa-demos-8.4.0 as the package providing this information utility. Mesa-demos is the collection of glxinfo, eglinfo, glxgears, and utilities related to Mesa. With the Mesa-demos 8.4.0 it is predominantly glxinfo updates.
  • Intel ANV Getting VK_KHR_16bit_storage Support Wrapped Up
    Igalia's Jose Maria Casanova Crespo sent out a set of patches today for fixes that allow for the enabling of the VK_KHR_16bit_storage extension within Intel's ANV Vulkan driver. The patches are here for those interested in 16-bit storage support in Vulkan. This flips on the features for storageBuffer16BitAccess, uniformAndStorageBuffer16BitAccess, storagePushConstant16 and the VK_KHR_16bit_storage extension. This support is present for Intel "Gen 8" Broadwell graphics and newer. Hopefully the work will be landing in Mesa Git soon.
  • SPIR-V Support For Gallium3D's Clover Is Closer To Reality
    It's been a busy past week for open-source GPU compute with Intel opening up their new NEO OpenCL stack, Karol Herbst at Red Hat posting the latest on Nouveau NIR support for SPIR-V compute, and now longtime Nouveau contributor Pierre Moreau has presented his latest for SPIR-V Clover support. Pierre has been spending about the past year adding SPIR-V support to Gallium3D's "Clover" OpenCL state tracker. SPIR-V, of course, is the intermediate representation used now by OpenCL and Vulkan.

Security: Updates, Tinder, FUD and KPTI Meltdown Mitigation

  • Security updates for Friday
  • Tinder vulnerability let hackers [sic] take over accounts with just a phone number

    The attack worked by exploiting two separate vulnerabilities: one in Tinder and another in Facebook’s Account Kit system, which Tinder uses to manage logins. The Account Kit vulnerability exposed users’ access tokens (also called an “aks” token), making them accessible through a simple API request with an associated phone number.

  • PSA: Improperly Secured Linux Servers Targeted with Chaos Backdoor [Ed: Drama queen once again (second time in a week almost) compares compromised GNU/Linux boxes to "back doors"]
    Hackers are using SSH brute-force attacks to take over Linux systems secured with weak passwords and are deploying a backdoor named Chaos. Attacks with this malware have been spotted since June, last year. They have been recently documented and broken down in a GoSecure report.
  • Another Potential Performance Optimization For KPTI Meltdown Mitigation
    Now that the dust is beginning to settle around the Meltdown and Spectre mitigation techniques on the major operating systems, in the weeks and months ahead we are likely to see more performance optimizations come to help offset the performance penalties incurred by mitigations like kernel page table isolation (KPTI) and Retpolines. This week a new patch series was published that may help with KPTI performance.