I received an email from Daniel Goldman earlier today regarding Mozilla’s filing for a trademark on the feed icon, requesting that Opera Software sign an agreement before using it in their Web browser. Daniel asked me if I thought this was a good thing or a bad thing for the feed icon. Let me start out by saying that the blogosphere has to get over the whole “copyrights and trademarks are evil” jihad.
Daniel asked: “Do you think that a trademark on a universal feed icon beneficial or detrimental?” I answered: Beneficial if Mozilla allows anybody to use the icon to indicate a feed – and detrimental if they don’t. They’re likely serving as the icon’s protectors, which is what I’m inclined to believe.
Daniel asked: “Do you have your own opinion on what a universal feed icon should be?” I answered: Yeah, theirs. It’s the only one that put the orange XML vs. orange RSS button debate to bed. If Microsoft signed the agreement for usage in Internet Explorer 7.0, then so should Opera – and so should anybody. I don’t think Mozilla is doing this to hurt the community, but to protect it. Would anybody rather have a crazy greedmonger holding onto the trademark? Doubtful.
Opera, please sign the agreement.