Interesting conversation, but I think it will work out OK
Posted Jan 10, 2005 21:58 UTC (Mon) by madscientist
Parent article: Debian and Mozilla - a study in trademarks
I've read all the messages on this on debian-legal, and it seems to me that this is a bit of a tempest in a teapot. No one is arguing that the Mozilla license is not DFSG-free: as someone pointed out DFSG #4 clearly allows mandatory renaming clauses and indeed, Debian has contained other packages with very similar licenses for years. Similarly, DFSG #8 really means that packages whose licenses are changed to be free for Debian only, but where that change doesn't trickle down to Debian users as well, are not considered free. It doesn't mean that Debian can't have *additional* rights, which don't trickle down, as long as the end user, while having less rights, still has a DFSG-free package.
I see absolutely no reason why, from a _legal_ standpoint, Debian can't distribute the Community Edition of Mozilla. The CE is DFSG-free, and the end-user gets a package which is also DFSG-free. The comments about whether Mozilla Foundation is being unreasonable, short-sighted, etc. in their trademark policy is really irrelevant: Debian has no policy requirement that upstream authors be reasonable and have the best interests of Debian or even the F/OSS community in mind... all Debian cares about is that (a) the license meets the DFSG, and (b) there is a Debian Developer willing to package it.
From my reading of the debian-legal threads it seems clear that the sticky points are process-related, rather than legal. Can Debian live with the _process_ restrictions that MF is imposing in order to distribute the Community Edition? The MF seems like it is really willing to work hard and make some critical compromises with the Debian folks, based on Debian's well-deserved reputation for quality and integrity, in order to ensure that Debian can use the CE. It also seems obvious to me that achieving this agreement is in the best interests of both Debian and the MF; I feel confident this will be worked out satisfactorily.
to post comments)