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Debian vs Mozilla

Debian logo

Recently Debian Linux project have come under fire from Mozilla (the parent organisation of Firefox and Thunderbird) about using the ‘Firefox’ name in Debian.

Basically, the Debian Free Software Guidelines state that Debian can’t use the Firefox logo (as it’s not under the same licence as the Firefox code and the licence isn’t considered Free). So for some time, Debian (and derivatives, such as Ubuntu) have been using Firefox with a custom icon and calling it ‘Firefox’, not ‘Mozilla Firefox’.

Apparently, this isn’t acceptable any more and Mozilla want to either see and approve all the changes Debian make to Firefox, or see that Debian and derivatives stop using the Firefox name.

I think this is ridiculous. How can this be helping free and open source software if we have squabbles amongst the different communities?! If Firefox is removed from Debian/Ubuntu/MEPIS/all the others, then it’s not exactly going to be easy to convince potential Windows switchers that Linux is better if they can’t use Firefox on it (that they might use on Windows already)!

Please, drop it, Mozilla and let them keep using the name. If that can’t happen, then Debian and Ubuntu should just rename it ‘Web Browser’ or something like that. In my opinion, having Firefox in Linux (remembering Ubuntu is the most popular distro) is very important.

Of course, if it does get removed, there’s nothing stopping people from downloading vanilla Firefox from the Mozilla site, but that would be a pain. Firefox, in my opinion, needs to be built in to the OS. Firefox is usually the experience the average user will have had with ‘open source’, so keeping that consistency is vital.

Please don’t do this, Mozilla (not that it would affect me personally, being a Fedora user)…

Couple of other links on this topic:

Chris Van Patten has got a simplified ‘conversation’ version of the story and Jacob Peddicord was involved in the discussion and has a more detailed look.

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One Comment

  1. Chris wrote:

    I think the screenwriter in me shows through with that post!

    Wednesday, September 27, 2006 at 00:12 | Permalink |

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. GEEMODO on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 at 19:45

    Firefox playing fox with Debian…

    Debian vs Mozilla by Peter (Sounds like an old Japanese movie!) discusses and puts his thoughts on his blog, here is the start of it and if you visit the site you can read the rest of it and some links to other discussions on the same subject. …

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