Article: "Fixing linux" - opinions?

Noah Slater nslater at
Sat Dec 13 16:16:11 UTC 2008

On Sat, Dec 13, 2008 at 10:32:32AM -0500, simo wrote:
> 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.

False. You cannot modify the Firefox logo.

> > > 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.

False. You cannot modify the Firefox logo.

> > > 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're implying that your definition is more true.

> > > 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.

No, I am stating a fact.

The original message had misunderstood that you cannot modify the Firefox logo.

> 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 ?

Of course not.

The ImageMagick cannot be modified, thus is non-free. Same thing.

> 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 ?

Firefox is the name of the software when branded as Firefox.

When branded as Firefox, with the logo and the name, the software is non-free.

Noah Slater,

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