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Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Open Letter About Mozilla Merchandise

Let's spread the words from a post in the Google Groups:

From: Gervase Markham <gerv@mozilla.org>
Newsgroups: netscape.public.mozilla.seamonkey,netscape.public.mozilla.license
Subject: Open Letter about Mozilla merchandise
Followup-To: netscape.public.mozilla.seamonkey
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 18:56:50 +0000

The following is an open letter to anyone selling Mozilla-branded merchandise. It's being posted rather than emailed in the spirit of openness, and to ensure everyone who needs to read it can see a copy.

As I don't have a blog, I'm putting it here - feel free to blog it so the word gets spread.


Dear Mozilla supporter,

We note that you are selling Mozilla-branded merchandise in your web shop/fashion house/bazaar stall (delete as appropriate.) While we are pleased that you want to support Mozilla in this way, the Mozilla Foundation enforces its trademarks and requires permission to sell merchandise that includes our artwork or name.

The Mozilla project uses Mozilla, Firefox, the fox-on-the-globe and other names and logos to brand its products and goods. We like to think that it's a mark of quality. (That's not to say that what you're selling is necessarily poor quality; we make no claims either way.) We'd like to be certain that what's being sold with our logos on is the good stuff. And (let's be honest here) it's only fair that we get a cut, to contribute towards keeping the Foundation going.

So we'd ask you, please, to stop selling Mozilla-branded merchandise and get in touch with licensing@mozilla.org to discuss how to proceed. We'll talk business plans, quality guarantees, percentages and so on. We're really open to coming to a fair arrangement.

The Mozilla store (http://store.mozilla.org) is our chosen vendor for the US, Canada and Mexico. OK, there's not much stuff there now, but we hope to have more soon. So we're unlikely to allow general Mozilla merchandise aimed at the general public to be offered by anyone else in those territories.

However, people in other countries, get in touch as outlined above and we'll see if we can work something out. You want to support us, and we want to be supported - so it shouldn't be too hard :-)


P.S. Our lawyers asked us to specify that the Mozilla Foundation reserves the right to take legal action to stop nfringements of our trademarks.

To know why mozilla.org did that, see a comment in mozillaZine about this issue.

See also Slashdot for some serious discussions about whether Firefox is free enough to be included in the Debian Linux distribution. By the way, I think this guy is really right.