Article: "Fixing linux" - opinions?

simo simo.sorce at
Sat Dec 13 15:32:32 UTC 2008

On Sat, 2008-12-13 at 08:38 +0000, Noah Slater wrote:
> On Sat, Dec 13, 2008 at 12:39:55AM +0000, Rui Miguel Silva Seabra wrote:
> > Yes, you can modify the artwork.
> No, you cannot modify the artwork and redistribute.

This is plainly false, as long as you don't use the trademarks you can.

> > What does that have to do with:
> >  1. running the program for any purpose
> >  2. being able to study and modify it
> >  3. being able to distribute copies
> >  4. being able to distribute modified copies?
> You can't distribute modified copies.

False, all you need is to remove the trademarks, might not be fun, but
it doesn't stop you to change the functionality of the program in a ny
way you want.

> > All of those are allowed, so it is Free Software.
> Wrong. Why is Firefox not in Debian main? Because it is non-free.

Debian has its own concept of Free or non-Free,  they are free to have
their own, but it is not universally accepted so please avoid judging
free or non-free out of the scope of the Debian project with their
metric and sell that as the Revealed Truth.

> > You just can't *call* it Firefox, but being able to call the program whatever
> > you want is not one of the software freedoms.
> You have misunderstood the issue at hand.

That's just your opinion, not all people agree with the Debian view, nor
on Firefox, nor on the GFDL to name a few.

Now consider that you cannot change any Free Software program name into
Coca-Cola and redistribute it. Does it mean they are all non-Free
because there is at least one modification you can't make ?

Or would you consider the Firefox code free if they distributed their
source code normally under the name Foobar, and then used the Firefox
brand only for their binary distribution ? Would it make any
difference ? If so what would that be? And if not why not ?


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