Subject Re: [Firebird-general] more mozilla & firebird confusion
Author Helen Borrie
At 12:07 AM 24/10/2003 +0000, Bernard Devlin wrote:

>It looks to me that because of the naming confusion, people are
>taking it upon themselves to rename the true Firebird.

As a trained journalist myself, I can assure you that these online journos
are breaking the law. Not infringing trademark law, but breaking
laws--that apply to journalists in all media across international
boundaries--to check their facts and not to represent hearsay and inference
as though they were facts nor to _invent_ facts. The problem with
web-based journos is that most of them are amateurs. However, their
ignorance is not a reason not to write to them and point out their mistakes.

In the interests of extreme fair play, our community accepted a promise to
rectify. We met it with a willingness to abide in good faith and let
bygones be bygones. But oh! look where good faith has landed us, four
months after the "Mozilla Firebird" identity was supposed to have been

I'm not arguing that as a reason for _us_ to break faith. Two wrongs don't
make a right. Ay, there's the rub. Since the (apparent) conciliation, the
problem has not been rectified. On the contrary, the Mozilla publicity
machine has been in top gear, with salaried officers and staffers right out
there, pushing and promoting a product it calls Firebird. For them, it's
not "Mozilla browser" any more, it's Firebird, because the official Mozilla
machine makes it so. It's not what we were led to expect.

How ironic that the organisation purportedly has not had time to undo the
acknowledged harms. It has, however, found the time to work up a fancy
branding identity, complete with very smart artwork, documentation, public
how-to's and broad distribution beyond the borders of its supposed
"internal" coding teams. Its salaried management members have found the
time to do interviews with several publications and to let themselves be
quoted referring to the product by this supposed "internal code name".

>I have not written to them to complain, as I'm not sure what the
>official project policy is on this. Do people just want sightings
>referred here,

Yes - it provides a public record of infringements and breaches of
trust. It keeps the issue at the surface. It is our right and our duty to
make it known that they are infringing our rights whenever we discover an
infringement -- that's how trademark law works -- even knowing the
established Mozilla tradition of encouraging its followers to construe our
rightful defence as malevolent.

Do complain. Be polite and civil about it, though, and don't make jokes -
otherwise the Mozilla publicity machine will quote you out of context and
use the on-line media to turn it around and accuse you of being a publicity
seeker or a mail bomber.

>and someone in an official capacity can complain and
>pass on the items to Mozilla?

We can do that and we have tried. It is a one-sided conversation, however.

>Please let me know. I'm not going
>looking for these items - I am just coming across them in my normal

Every little helps. You have as much right as any other Firebird
stakeholder to express your concern. I hope you won't give up.