Is Ubuntu going to adapt Ice Weasel?

Matthew Paul Thomas mpt at
Wed Oct 11 02:15:04 BST 2006

Hash: SHA1

On Oct 11, 2006, at 12:11 PM, Scott Abbey wrote:
> ...
> By requiring distributors to submit all patches to them for approval, 
> Mozilla is making their software inherently non-free. Sure, you don't 
> have to pay for it, but you can't make whatever changes you like, and 
> then redistribute it with the same name.
> ...

The Bitstream Vera fonts have the same requirement, for much the same 
reason. They are widely used, and they have a reputation for 
reliability to protect. If any distributor released something with the 
same name that caused problems, it would (however unfairly) damage the 
brand. And though the Ubuntu developers may be highly talented and 
diligent, the developers of some derivative may not be.

This isn't an issue for most upstreams at the moment, for a variety of 
reasons including having hardly any users, producing software that 
people don't recognize by name, or having no real competition. But as 
the number of competitive upstreams increases, trademark restrictions 
like this will likely be imposed more often.

- --
Matthew Paul Thomas
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