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

From: Sam Geeraerts
Subject: Re: [GNU-linux-libre] Trademark licenses, example in Firefox
Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2011 20:54:07 +0200
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20101029)

Rubén Rodríguez wrote:
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?

I think so. If you put Firefox with branding on a Trisquel CD then you (or anyone else) can't sell that CD, as I understand it.

I think I once heard Stallman say in an audio interview that the Firefox sources were free, but the binary wasn't. That was back when Talkback was still included, but IIRC that's not even what he was referring to. I don't remember if he meant just the non-free artwork or if he mentioned other issues (like this trademark license clause) too.

* How does it affect the software license it ships under?

You mean the copyright license? AFAIK it doesn't, because they are separate things.

* Do you know of any other trademark license that restricts
distribution or usability?

I only know of licenses that require renaming modified versions.

Sam Geeraerts
gNewSense developer

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