"Trademarks and free software can make a volatile mix. It is
understandable that a project would want to ensure that code
shipping under its name is "the real McCoy", but modifying the
source and distributing the result is a hallmark of free software.
Trademark policy can place limits on what changes—for bugs,
features, or even policy compliance—downstream projects can
make and still use the trademarked names. The tension between the
two has led some, like Debian, to re-brand Mozilla projects, so
that they can ship the changes they want; some Fedora developers
would like to see that distribution follow suit.
"A Thunderbird crashing bug, reported by Felix Schwarz to the
fedora-devel mailing list, is the proximate cause for the current
controversy. Numerous Fedora users were running into the bug, and
it had been patched upstream for several weeks, but there had been
no release of Thunderbird for Fedora to fix the problem. Schwarz
reported that the patch fixed the crash for him and others, and
asked that it be pushed out: "However it is still not fixed in
Thunderbird F-12 CVS. Can you please push the fix to CVS and push
builds to testing/stable?"
"Martin Stransky, one of the Fedora Mozilla maintainers, noted
that "we're patching mozilla packages only for really critical
issues because of mozilla trademarks", which caused concern that
the trademarks were causing Fedora to ship a buggy Thunderbird.
While the patch was available in the upstream repository, it hadn't
been merged into the branch for the next release. Stransky said
that he had requested that the next Thunderbird release include the
fix in Mozilla's bugzilla entry, but that wasn't sufficient for