[Marketing-Public]Re: feedback request: mozilla redistribution and trademarks

Bart Decrem marketing-public at mozilla.org
Mon, 29 Sep 2003 12:06:16 -0700


[changed the mailing list configuration so that, from now on, replies 
are sent to the entire list by default, instead of just the sender]

Agreed.   And minor bug fixes that distributors like Red Hat make would 
be considered "configuration-related modifications" by us, I guess.
Bart



James Russell wrote:

> Instead of "minor modifications" I'd call these "configuration-related 
> modifications" vs. "substantive code modifications" and then state 
> that the Foundation is the sole authority to determine one from another.
>
> bart@decrem.com wrote:
>
>> Hi folks,
>>
>> I'm working on trademark policies and of course one of the biggest 
>> issues is how to manage our trademarks (the lizard icon and the 
>> Mozilla name) with redistribution of our software.  The MPL of course 
>> lets people redistribute our products all they we do have trademarks 
>> and an obligation to protect them, lest we lose them because of our 
>> failure to enforce them.
>>
>> I would like input from people on this list on the appropriate policy 
>> for Mozilla.  Over the next few weeks, I'd like to make a proposal to 
>> the staff, and then Mitchell will have to give final approval to 
>> whatever comes out of that.  So this is the beginning of the process.
>>
>> Again, all of the provisions below are about the use of the Mozilla 
>> name for promoting or describing software, not redistribution of the 
>> software itself.
>>
>> Basically, I'm thinking we need to balance out protecting our marks 
>> with the culture and sense of community of open source.  Therefore, 
>> I'm thinking of proposing something like this:
>> 1- If you are redistributing unmodified versions or versions with 
>> "minor modifications" of recent stable releases of Mozilla, you can 
>> use the Mozilla name without requiring our approval. This includes 
>> CD, online and any other form of distribution.  You can advertise 
>> that you're shipping or selling Mozilla.  So, for instance, the 
>> Mozillaoncd.com folks would be entitled to market the product they 
>> sell as Mozilla 1.4;
>> 2- Minor modifications: This includes things like: changing the start 
>> page and bookmarks, changing themes, adding extensions (for Moz 
>> Firebird and Thunderbird), adding plugins, pre-installing the 
>> software on CDs or computers, and translating or localizing the 
>> software, and making minor bug fixes (but bug fixes must be provided 
>> upstream).  I know this is pretty fluid, but it's probably hard to 
>> define minor modifications with greater precision;
>> 3- Advance written permission is required if the software is modified 
>> in other ways;
>> 4- Permission can be withdrawn, if, after receiving notice, a 
>> distributor fails to make best efforts to address our concerns about 
>> shipping a recent product and ensuring that the product is of high 
>> quality.  So if you're shipping old versions of software and we put 
>> you on notice, you have to fix that or lose trademark permission.  If 
>> you've made some minor changes or localization work that degrades the 
>> quality of the product, and we put you on notice, you have to fix 
>> that or lose trademark permission.  Permission can also be withdrawn 
>> if use of the mark would be detrimental to the Mozilla mark in any 
>> other way (so if the KKK wants to distribute the KKK Mozilla browser, 
>> we would object to their use of our trademark on the cover of the CD 
>> and in their marketing materials);
>> 5- Modifying our name is not permitted without advance written 
>> permission.  So if you want to call a product Moz 1.4 or MozillaPL, 
>> you need advance written permission.  We would probably try and 
>> accommodate community efforts, such as the localization efforts, and 
>> allow them to use slightly modified version of the Mozilla name.  In 
>> the case of Moz 1.4, if that product is the same as Mozilla 1.4, we'd 
>> probably not allow them to name it Moz 1.4 since that will confuse 
>> people.  They can call the product some other name though, if they 
>> want, or they can call it Mozilla 1.4;
>> 6- Use of the word Mozilla or related names (such as Moz) for company 
>> names, project names and web site domain names  would always require 
>> permission.  We would probably not allow commercial ventures to use 
>> the name Mozilla (so the domain name mozillaoncd.com would have to be 
>> changed).  We would allow community efforts, such as projects on 
>> Mozdev and localization projects to include the name Mozilla or Moz 
>> in the project name or web site address as long as such use doesn't 
>> create some specific problem for us.  So mozdev.org, mozillanews.org, 
>> mozillazine.org etc are OK;
>> 7- We would of course try and stop clear infringements such as the 
>> name of the Stopzilla utility for IE, which clearly creates consumer 
>> confusion;
>> 8- The t-rex icon is ours.  You must get our permission before using 
>> it.  Community efforts will receive such permission, commercial 
>> efforts may not be able to use this artwork.
>>
>> Of course, the proposal is not a conceptual proposal, so the wording 
>> would change.
>> Note that this proposal is a lot more liberal than for instance Red 
>> Hat, which doesn't allow CD vendors to market their product as Red 
>> Hat Linux, even if the software is unmodified.  I think that makes 
>> sense since we are a non-profit effort and are eager to achieve broad 
>> adoption.
>>
>> Thoughts?
>>
>> Bart
>>
>>
>>
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