Mind blowing news

The Firefox logo, the very reason why Iceweasel exists, is now free as in speech. Its use is still limited by trademarks, but it is free.

The news is not entirely official, but apparently the change has occurred a year ago, and the license text for the branding hasn’t been changed accordingly.


Update: Now official.

2010-02-23 23:38:03+0900


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12 Responses to “Mind blowing news”

  1. Joe Buck Says:

    No, the logo alone isn’t why Iceweasel exits. AFAIK, Mozilla Corp. still wants to control whether you can name a piece of software Firefox, and AFAIK their rules still aren’t acceptable to Debian.

  2. Mark Says:

    @Joe well, the Debian community could certainly begin to have that conversation now. They couldn’t (before this change) because the issue of the copyright license on the bits themselves short-circuited any discussion of trademark policy (despite the heroic efforts of certain Mozilla employees to try to convince the world otherwise).

  3. Jordan Says:

    As a note for the history of this change, the EULA was dropped in a Firefox 3.0.something release and replaced with about:rights to put the whole binary under the MPL. Obviously if you want to put the whole thins under the MPL the logos have to be too, so they did. The license text change came up in http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/gerv/archives/2010/01/packages_and_trademarks_an_observation.html (a comments back-and-forth, though I very much agree with the post, especially now that we see the H.264 difference between Chrome/Chromium, a line Mozilla rightly won’t cross). Apparently Mozilla somehow just didn’t realize they didn’t update the text.

  4. Jordan Says:

    Err, I was trying to say that the comments on that post were where the licensing came up, but the post and the whole comment thread is well worth a read.

  5. James Says:

    Yeah, I was amazed when I found out they’d forgotten to tell everyone when they changed the license given the bad publicity it had previously caused.

    Mike: how did you find out? I was waiting until the various license documents were fully updated before publicising it widely (I’m the James in the thread Jordan linked).

  6. glandium Says:

    James: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=541984#c8 As for the thread on Gerv’s blog, I saw the original blog post when it only had a few comments and I didn’t see it went further, which is unfortunate.

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  9. Equitas Says:

    Reading the revised licence it still seems as glandium says to be restricted by trademark issues.

    My non-legal reading of this says that Debian still cannot call a repackaged and altered product Firefox or use the Mozilla logos in a repackaged and altered product. Can someone explain how this change can actually lead to Iceweasel becoming Firefox again?

  10. dazzakoh Says:

    @Equitas – what it means is that Debian and Mozilla can start talking about this other “control” point. There was no way to even engage when the trademark issue was there right in front of us. I will have to say, it’s only a step in the direction of bringing Firefox back – we are still a long way away…

  11. Imagus Says:

    Well, I for one hope that Iceweasel, Icedove and all the other ice* packages will continue to exist. I know they’re the same as FF and TB, but somehow IW and ID have developed a character of their own. The name and the logo have become part of their identity, so to speak. I will definitely not switch back to that ugly fox and aggressive looking thunderbird, I’d rather start using another browser and e-mail package. Please keep Iceweasel and Icedove alive! Killing them off would be immoral. ;-)

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