Article: "Fixing linux" - opinions?

Rui Miguel Silva Seabra rms at
Sat Dec 13 00:12:35 UTC 2008

On Fri, Dec 12, 2008 at 05:54:06PM +0000, Noah Slater wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 12, 2008 at 05:45:41PM +0000, David Gerard wrote:
> > 2008/12/12 Noah Slater <nslater at>:
> >
> > > An amusing example, given that Firefox is technically non-free.
> >
> > Yes, and GNU/Linux isn't free unless it's running on an FPGA you
> > programmed yourself by hand.
> Erm, what? Firstly, GNU/Linux isn't a single bit of software, it's the name of a
> computing platform, so I'm not sure how your analogy holds. Firefox is non-free
> because you cannot modify the artwork and must seek permission if you intend to
> distribute it under the name Firefox.

You're not free to exploit the trademark, but that doesn't make Firefox
non-free software, just non-free-trademark.

Replace the trademarks and you get the same
browser with a different name and a different look, or if you want to
exploit the trademark (to say you have the fancyiest browser around, or
whatever reason) they ask you some (pretty unreasonable, AFAICT)

Mozilla Foundation stupidly makes it harder for distributions to ship their
flagship browser as originally branded.

The kernel called Linux is not Free Software as distributed by
Linus, though, since it contains non-Free Software code.

Remember that trademark is ortogonal to copyright.


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