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[GNU-linux-libre] Trademark licenses, example in Firefox

From: Rubén Rodríguez
Subject: [GNU-linux-libre] Trademark licenses, example in Firefox
Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2011 17:49:19 +0200

I've just published a Trisquel development release containing Firefox
5.0, and instead of rebranding it I made all the changes in files
separated from the Firefox package, in an attempt to avoid making
changes to it and falling into trademarks limitations. But I was wrong.

Not only my trick wouldn't work, as the trademark license[1] also
prohibits the inclusion of external modifiers that would be loaded by
the plugin system(!), but as I was pointed out, an unmodified Firefox
package which follows the trademark license can't be charged for.

So, what we have here is a program under a proper free software license
(ignoring the fact that it recommends non-free stuff) that has actual
distribution restrictions. I think trademark licenses that say "if you
modify it, you have to rename it" are ok, but this one says "if you
don't rename it, you can't distribute it for a fee".

* Does it render the program non-free?
* How does it affect the software license it ships under?
* Do you know of any other trademark license that restricts
distribution or usability?


Firefox(TM) is a f****** trademark of the Mozilla(R) foundation.

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