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Mozilla Demanding Firefox Display EULA In Ubuntu

kdawson posted about 6 years ago | from the branding-vs.-freedom dept.

Mozilla 785

TRS-80 writes "Users of the upcoming Ubuntu release, Intrepid Ibex, are being confronted with an EULA the first time they launch Firefox. Mark Shuttleworth says 'Mozilla Corp asked that this be added in order for us to continue to call the browser Firefox... I would not consider an EULA as a best practice. It's unfortunate that Mozilla feels this is absolutely necessary' and notes there's an unbranded 'abrowser' package available. Many of the comments say Ubuntu should ditch Firefox as this makes it clear it's not Free Software, hence unsuitable for Ubuntu main, and just ship Iceweasel or Epiphany, the GNOME browser." A few comments take Canonical to task for agreeing to Mozilla's demand to display an EULA without consulting the community.

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first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25001351)

eat my ass you homos

What's the big deal? (5, Funny)

TheLink (130905) | about 6 years ago | (#25001357)

It's just making Ubuntu more familiar to ex-Windows users.

Blindly clicking through meaningless and offensive EULAs is standard practice in the Windows world.

Re:What's the big deal? (2, Interesting)

easyTree (1042254) | about 6 years ago | (#25001797)

Blindly clicking through meaningless and offensive EULAs is standard practice in the Windows world.

Mod parent up.. +1 insightful

Making Ubuntu Accessible? (5, Insightful)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | about 6 years ago | (#25001871)

I thought the idea of Ubuntu was to get linux adoption up - and by getting rid of Firefox, it'll just be more difficult to get people to migrate... Besides, displaying a EULA is common practice - maybe just have a big, blanket EULA when installing ubuntu - which covers all software included..

not free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25001361)

How does the presence of an EULA preclude the fact it's Free Software?

Re:not free? (3, Informative)

lysergic.acid (845423) | about 6 years ago | (#25001535)

if you're talking about free as in beer, then no it doesn't preclude it from being free software. but when people discuss free software in the open source sense they mean free as in speech.

EULAs, ostensibly, force users to sign away copy owner & fair use rights. such contracts go directly against the spirit of open source and free software.

Re:not free? (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about 6 years ago | (#25001595)

It all depends upon what's in the EULA. Most EULA's have as a core piece what their software is not suitable for, which is pretty much everything.

Free Software Needs no EULA. (3, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | about 6 years ago | (#25001787)

Free Software, specifically copyleft software, only places restrictions on distribution. "End users" should never be troubled with an "I agree" button. Non free extentions and auto updates can be handled with permission dialogs when they happen and should never confront a free software user out of the box. Trade mark issues should be resolved at the distribution level, if at all.

Re:not free? (2, Informative)

devman (1163205) | about 6 years ago | (#25001849)

Except you are extending FOSS to something it isn't. Firefox compiled binaries with or without EULA have no affect on the licensing of the code itself. Since Firefox's code is in fact FREE (as in freedom) and FREE (as in beer) saying it isn't FOSS is disingenuous at best. Firefox's is as free as any other open-source project (Unless you want to get in to the BSD vs. GPL freedom debate), but Mozilla has every right to put an EULA on compiled binaries, which again has no affect on the distribution license for the source code and is mentioned right at the top of the EULA.

Re:not free? (4, Interesting)

pionzypher (886253) | about 6 years ago | (#25001683)

You're thinking beer, perhaps? Forcing end users to agree to a EULA before using a particular piece of software explicitly claims limitations on that software. I don't believe Opera (which isn't free either) required an agreement to a EULA. Though they of course retain all their copyrights and trademarks, they are non intrusive about it.

I haven't read Mozillas take on it, and why they require it to use their trademark. But it's annoying. One reason I prefer FOSS is the lack of EULAs, serial number entry and general 'stay out of the users way' attitude.

I have to admit that I scoffed when debian spun iceweasel, thinking them overly concerned with *any* encumbrance. I'm glad they did now. I don't care what name my browser takes, if it's compatible with the addons I use and works without trying to annoy me... even if it's just the first time it's used.

Fair enough (5, Insightful)

Joe Jay Bee (1151309) | about 6 years ago | (#25001367)

Firefox is a trademark, Mozilla need to defend that trademark, and it's in Ubuntu's interests to provide a browser that people have heard about, rather than "Iceweasel", which they haven't. That, and I doubt Mozilla's EULA would be that onerous; the only people who are going to be truly upset at this are the people who hear "EULA" and kneejerk a negative response.

Re:Fair enough (5, Insightful)

Mad Merlin (837387) | about 6 years ago | (#25001411)

Firefox is a trademark, Mozilla need to defend that trademark...

Linux is a trademark too. Does that mean I need to accept an EULA every time I install a new kernel? No.

Tyrone the Linux Nigger speaks... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25001453)

OOO...BOOOOOOON...TOOOOOOO! Oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo AH AH AH AH AH.

Unga bunga grunt click click.

Re:Fair enough (1)

amdpox (1308283) | about 6 years ago | (#25001485)

A good point, there are many GPLed chunks of code with trademarks that are distributed with the name and without the EULA. Mozilla, PAH. Then again, I could use IceWeasel, and everyone would think I use an obscure BROWSER as well! Just need to override the stylesheet to white on black.

Re:Fair enough (2, Insightful)

tboulay (458216) | about 6 years ago | (#25001577)

I don't see why Ubuntu doesn't just swap a few icons, change positioning of some of the menu items and compile their own flavor of firefox without an EULA.

Re:Fair enough (5, Insightful)

Joe Jay Bee (1151309) | about 6 years ago | (#25001639)

Because then they couldn't call it Firefox. That's the reason for the EULA; Mozilla is quite understandably protective of its Firefox trademark, and doesn't want it applied to builds that have been patched or changed by distros. Ubuntu punches above the weight of most other distros, however, and could probably come to an agreement more easily; they'd want their users to be able to find a browser they're familiar with.

BTW, what you described pretty much already exists in the form of IceWeasel, which was created when Debian found that the terms for use of the Firefox trademark were too harsh for them.

Re:Fair enough (3, Informative)

ubernostrum (219442) | about 6 years ago | (#25001903)

Ubuntu punches above the weight of most other distros, however, and could probably come to an agreement more easily; they'd want their users to be able to find a browser they're familiar with.

Once upon a time, the same was true of Debian, and their official contact from Mozilla granted them an exception. Then, over a year later, out of the blue and in the middle of a release, a new Mozilla contact appeared, said "oh, we've decided that agreement is retroactively not valid, change what you're doing or face the lawyers", and that was that.

If they'll do it to one distro, they'll do it to two. Isn't it time Ubuntu got a browser that's certified Free software?

Re:Fair enough (2, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#25001647)

Because in order to make Windows users think OMG!!!!!!1!1! I don't know how to use IceWeasel (or whatever the new browser is called) they recognize it as Firefox. Sorta like how people get confused when they get a new computer even if it has all their documents, same OS and same settings.

Re:Fair enough (1)

Skye16 (685048) | about 6 years ago | (#25001829)

Dude, they're already trying Ubuntu. They already had to get over the fact that Ubuntu is a different word than Windows.

I'm sure they can fucking deal with IceWeasel.

Re:Fair enough (1)

Tolleman (606762) | about 6 years ago | (#25001713)

Thats what Iceweasel is. And thats how its done in Debian.

Re:Fair enough (2, Insightful)

Joe Jay Bee (1151309) | about 6 years ago | (#25001491)

That's absurd. The Linux kernel can't have a EULA of the sort being discussed - it's impractical. The point is, so long as the terms are not onerous, and I doubt they would be, there's nothing wrong with Mozilla having a EULA stating their trademark rights and such things.

Re:Fair enough (1)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | about 6 years ago | (#25001661)

The Linux kernel can't have a EULA of the sort being discussed - it's impractical.

It can, it just need to be presented to the user on install time. Just like Mozilla/Ubuntu should do.

Mozilla violating GPL? (2, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 6 years ago | (#25001755)

Agreed. Python is a trademark. And it isn't even GPLed. And it even comes installed on Ubuntu by default. How come I don't need to accept a Python EULA?

Hell, Ubuntu itself is a friggin' trademark. I don't need to accept a EULA when I install Ubuntu.

OTOH, the trademark holders of Python and Ubuntu don't require its users to accept EULAs.

Anyway, I wonder if this means that Firefox is violating the GPL? After all, Firefox itself is offered under the GPL (and other licenses) and uses GPL code, right? Doesn't the GPL state that you can't force additional restrictions?

Re:Fair enough (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25001457)

The problem is not the text on the popup. Click-through EULAs are void in many countries anyways. The problem is that they are grave usability bugs and should not be tolerated for any reason.

Re:Fair enough (4, Interesting)

X0563511 (793323) | about 6 years ago | (#25001765)

Then we should all start filing it as a bug until it gets fixed or they put iceweasel in.

Re:Fair enough (1)

itzdandy (183397) | about 6 years ago | (#25001487)

BS. They must defend the trademark to keep it but they are certainly able to give an unrestricted license for the trademark when it is distributed via offial channels.

Additionally, a EULA implies (expressly implies!) that the use of the program requires some compliance with mozilla.

What a dumb move in light of all the recent activity around webkit based browsers.

Re:Fair enough (1, Interesting)

Joe Jay Bee (1151309) | about 6 years ago | (#25001521)

What a dumb move in light of all the recent activity around webkit based browsers.

Like Google Chrome, that doesn't yet run on Linux? Who does this matter to, exactly, aside from the vanishingly small number of people who take offence to the concept of accepting a license agreement? Certainly not the general masses to whom Ubuntu is targeted. Those general masses are more concerned with having a decent, well known web browser.

Re:Fair enough (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#25001705)

Lets see... When do Free Software/Open Source companies fail? Is it A) When they agree with the community or B) When they try to make it all corporate and businesslike? The answer of course is B. The tri-license Mozilla is distributed under along with the copyrights on the artwork and trademarks on the name are typical of many F/OSS projects that don't require the use of an EULA.

EULAs alienate the F/OSS community and make the software seem very corporate. It matters a ton to Mozilla and any user of Ubuntu.

Re:Fair enough (4, Informative)

FooBarWidget (556006) | about 6 years ago | (#25001771)

"The answer of course is B."

Is that so? I've seen plenty of people who criticize that open source software will never succeed on the desktop until it's more business-like.

Re:Fair enough (2, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#25001855)

Is that so? I've seen plenty of people who criticize that open source software will never succeed on the desktop until it's more business-like.

Ok, what are the most popular (commercial) Linux vendors? There is Red Hat which via Fedora is very in touch with the community, There is Canonical which makes Ubuntu which is very in touch with the community (overlooking the current Mozilla EULA problem), and Novell which had huge criticisms about patent issues that it was forced to become more in touch with the community. Then on the business side for the distros which seem very out of touch with the community we have: Xandros which very few people use save for the ones who haven't upgraded to a different OS on the EEE, and other niche distros which few use.

Re:Fair enough (2, Insightful)

FooBarWidget (556006) | about 6 years ago | (#25001507)

Maybe it's reasonable, but lots of people will be angered by this, whether it's justified or not. Firefox already has a bad reputation right now, and by this I mean that a lot of people complain it, e.g. about the AwesomeBar, invalid SSL certs handling, and how it has gone downhill since 1.0. I don't agree with them, but nevertheless, the number of people who comment negatively about Firefox is *very* high. This became even more obvious since the release of Chrome. Many people are already predicting the death of the Firefox or ranting how about Firefox should ditch Gecko and switch to Webkit.
For a lot of people, this EULA thing might make them snap and ditch Firefox completely. If that happens Mozilla will lose a bit of market share, maybe even a significant bit.

I'm wondering why Mozilla thinks displaying an EULA in Ubuntu is absolutely necessary for protecting its trademark. Are there no alternatives? What are the legal reasons for this decision?

Re:Fair enough (2, Interesting)

AceofSpades19 (1107875) | about 6 years ago | (#25001537)

when you get a big enough user base, there will be alot of people that complain no matter what you do, they could make it only use 8 mb of ram and someone would complain about that for some reason.

Re:Fair enough (2, Interesting)

FooBarWidget (556006) | about 6 years ago | (#25001731)

I'm not really convinced. There must be *something* that they can do. For example, take the iPhone. Someone's iPhone melted the owner's pocket and burned his skin. Some magazines showed that the iPhone would occasionally drop the connection during a phone conversation. The iPhone platform is not open and is strictly regulated by Apple. Despite all this, the iPhone hype still exist and everybody still wants one. This shows that it is possible to market a product so that people still want it despite all the problems. On the other hand, I've seen people who are absolutely determined to see Firefox's demise in the coming few months, and this for a product that's essentially free.

Re:Fair enough (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#25001795)

The iPhone platform is not open and is strictly regulated by Apple.

Yes it is open. There is a thing called jailbreaking that has made third-party apps before Apple opened up the "App store". And honestly, because of jailbreaking the iPhone is much more open then a typical phone that doesn't run user created apps. And 6 months down the line that phone is still going to be closed while the iPhone will be even more open.

Re:Fair enough (2, Insightful)

FooBarWidget (556006) | about 6 years ago | (#25001867)

"jailbreaking"

So it isn't open by default and you have to *make* it open? I don't call that open at all. Besides, there's this issue with Apple actively trying to brick jailbroken iPhones via updates. Saying that the iPhone is open if you jailbreak it is like saying that Windows is free because you can pirate it. I don't doubt that an iPhone is more useful than a normal phone because jailbreaking is possible, but to me it can never be called "open" as long as it isn't open by default.

Re:Fair enough (5, Insightful)

Joe Jay Bee (1151309) | about 6 years ago | (#25001585)

For a lot of people, this EULA thing might make them snap and ditch Firefox completely. If that happens Mozilla will lose a bit of market share, maybe even a significant bit.

To be honest, I doubt there are that many outside of the Slashdot peanut gallery that will hear about this, and even fewer of those will care. Anyone pissed enough with Firefox over the Awesome Bar etc will probably have switched, and if there's going to be a significant dip in market share then it'll be because of visible things like that; things that actually matter and are obvious problems to end users. A EULA ranks lower; ask the man in the street what he thinks about his web browser popping up a license agreement over its trademarks and his reaction will most likely be "So?".

Re:Fair enough (2, Insightful)

Renraku (518261) | about 6 years ago | (#25001741)

I don't think that Linux would be able to protect its own trademark in a court of law, since its used EVERYWHERE. Its become too common.

Firefox, however, takes steps to protect its trademark. This prevents companies like Dell from loading up Firefox full of adware bars and 'phone home' software on their computers, and just calling it Firefox, instead of Firefox + malware.

Re:Fair enough (1)

blueskies (525815) | about 6 years ago | (#25001571)

How are they defending their trademark?

the only people who are going to be truly upset at this are the people who hear "EULA" and kneejerk a negative response.

You mean like corporate lawyers?

Re:Fair enough (1)

sir fer (1232128) | about 6 years ago | (#25001573)

Nothing wrong with Iceweasel, but heaven forbid users have to learn what a web browser is in general rather than remembering a list of brand names. I'm using iceweasel now. It's shit like this which made me ditch Ubuntu and switch to straight Debian. With Etch being plain awesome, I'm looking forward to Lenny a lot.

Re:Fair enough (1)

Joe Jay Bee (1151309) | about 6 years ago | (#25001727)

Nothing wrong with Iceweasel, but heaven forbid users have to learn what a web browser is in general rather than remembering a list of brand names.

Brand recognition counts for a LOT. The average user (who, I hasten to remind you, is whom Ubuntu is ostensibly for) wants something they've heard of. Not "IceWeasel".

Re:Fair enough (1)

yuriyg (926419) | about 6 years ago | (#25001845)

To the "average" user, the Internet is a blue "e" on their desktop. Firefox and IceWeasel are more or less the same to him/her.

Re:Fair enough (1)

Joe Jay Bee (1151309) | about 6 years ago | (#25001907)

Firefox is the one that's had loads of press coverage, from articles on the BBC to full page ads in the New York Times. Iceweasel isn't.

Re:Fair enough (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 6 years ago | (#25001837)

Same here. I keep going back to Debian, but keep returning back to Ubuntu. Debian stable's repos are just too damn old, but testing and unstable are too... unstable. I'm not sure how Ubuntu seems to hit a balance between the two, but I would love to have a happy medium between Ubuntu's 'newness' and Debian's disposition.

Re:Fair enough (1)

itsdapead (734413) | about 6 years ago | (#25001843)

Firefox is a trademark, Mozilla need to defend that trademark

Since when did defending a trademark require that you get your customers to agree to an EULA? Do cans of a well-known brand of fizzy drink contain the words "by pulling this tab you agree to..."? Nope - the little "tm" after the name seems to suffice.

Now, if you're going to re-distribute the product, that the little "(c)" on the splash screen reminds you that nothing gives you the right to do that unless you can find the license that says otherwise - no need to make every user agree to a license.

and it's in Ubuntu's interests to provide a browser that people have heard about, rather than "Iceweasel"

Personally, I think that in a user-friendly Unix the web browser should be called "Web Browser", the word-processor "Word Processor", the spreadsheet "Spreadsheet" and the photo editor... well, anything other than "gimp" really :-)

Power users could re-map those to their favorite applications using some obviously-named utility like "kSPAD".

Re:Fair enough (1)

DKP (1029142) | about 6 years ago | (#25001895)

but they do not need to use an EULA they could place the message in the splash screen at start up and in the info panel.

So what? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about 6 years ago | (#25001381)

If it bothers you, use Ice Weasel or compile it yourself without the EULA.

Re:So what? (1, Insightful)

steelmaverick (936668) | about 6 years ago | (#25001493)

Thing is, does the average user know how to compile their own software, and secondly, why should they have to?

Re:So what? (5, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | about 6 years ago | (#25001721)

The average users doesn't use linux. The average user doesn't care if they click a EULA before running firefox.

Re:So what? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 6 years ago | (#25001861)

Are you trolling or what?

Ubuntu is a distro aimed at the 'average user'. Most of their design decisions revolve around the question "What would be best for the average user?"

EULAs seem at odds with... (0)

blind biker (1066130) | about 6 years ago | (#25001387)

...genuinely open source software. I don't care so much about the strictly legalistic side of the issue (though the enforceability of EULAs is certainly an interesting topic) as much as the very spirit of free and open source software.

Re:EULAs seem at odds with... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25001513)

The EULA covers others things/features too, such as allowing Mozilla to check whether the site is a known malware site or not.

Without an EULA/something allowing Mozilla to do that, I would assume the privacy advocates/lawyers would be up in arms about.

Maybe Ubuntu could follow the Fedora lead (again) - Fedora 9, upon the first launch of Firefox 3 displayed a page informing of the features that required permission and a simple request that if the user disagreed, go into settings and turn them off...

Re:EULAs seem at odds with... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25001643)

EULAs seem at odds with genuinely open source software.

And yet when I install "genuinely open source software," I'm often presented with the GPL and asked if I agree to the terms of it before I'm allowed to use the program for the first time.

Re:EULAs seem at odds with... (3, Insightful)

temcat (873475) | about 6 years ago | (#25001817)

...and wrongly so, because GPL doesn't cover use, just distribution.

Re:EULAs seem at odds with... (1)

devman (1163205) | about 6 years ago | (#25001725)

Your point doesn't make any sense. Firefox is still FOSS the source is released under a FOSS License. EULA is about END-USERS not downstream developers. It is still genuinely open-source as any other open source is. Licensing of the code itself and licensing of the binaries are two separate realms.

More fragmentation is definitely not what we need (1)

k1980pc (942645) | about 6 years ago | (#25001389)

I thought MPL was more of a developer's license than an EULA. I don't remember having accepted any EULA for firefox on mac or windows. Or maybe there should be one license to rule them all.

Re:More fragmentation is definitely not what we ne (2, Informative)

Mad Merlin (837387) | about 6 years ago | (#25001483)

The EULA is a new thing with Firefox 3 it seems.

Re:More fragmentation is definitely not what we ne (1)

Qalthos (1220310) | about 6 years ago | (#25001495)

I don't remember having accepted any EULA for firefox on mac or windows

You don't eh? Maybe you should check again
www.getfirefox.com [getfirefox.com]

why does it matter? (4, Insightful)

steelmaverick (936668) | about 6 years ago | (#25001397)

I honestly think that this won't make any difference. Personally, I think this is just Mozilla being picky, what would it matter whether or not the EULA is shown during installation, no one is going to read it anyway. Besides, anyone that actually cared about FF3's EULA would read it themselves.

Re:why does it matter? (1, Insightful)

mrmeval (662166) | about 6 years ago | (#25001439)

Mozilla can shit in their product as is their right. I don't have to eat it.

Re:why does it matter? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25001501)

The one second it takes to not read the EULA times 8 million users is equivalent to jailing someone for 3 months.

Too corporate (4, Interesting)

A beautiful mind (821714) | about 6 years ago | (#25001421)

I wonder what further bad will come out of Mozilla being too corporate. It starts to look like an elegant way of getting a paycheck and less like about making a good browser.

It is inconcievable that Mozilla would face any legal problems due to a lack of EULA.

Re:Too corporate (1)

steelmaverick (936668) | about 6 years ago | (#25001481)

I agree, Mozilla being too corporate would hurt their reputation and spirit of FOSS. They should just let it slide, not like displaying an EULA is actually going to make any difference.

back to the old days... (1)

800DeadCCs (996359) | about 6 years ago | (#25001429)

Well, I guess it's back to waiting until I've got a half dozen beers or so in me before starting an install.

kung-fu: drunken install master!

(although, you do end up with some odd games when you do that.)

Well, at least the options are there! (2, Interesting)

compumike (454538) | about 6 years ago | (#25001437)

In any negotiation, it's important to think about one's alternatives. At least in the open source case, there's a good alternative -- recompiling without the restrictive / undesirable parts. Sure, branding power will suffer, but this community in particular will understand.

Ever heard of BATNA [wikipedia.org] ?

--
Hey code monkey, learn electronics! Powerful microcontroller kits for the digital generation. [nerdkits.com]

Broken link in summary (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25001469)

The iceweasel link should be http://packages.debian.org/sid/iceweasel [debian.org]

Re:Broken link in summary (1)

TRS-80 (15569) | about 6 years ago | (#25001597)

I submitted it as http://packages.debian.org/iceweasel [debian.org] without a / at the end, which does work, I don't know why it got changed.

EULA is quite important (5, Informative)

Zurtex (1363775) | about 6 years ago | (#25001489)

The Firefox EULA outlines some quite important issues, not least of which is that it doesn't ship with a warranty. But what might be quite concerning to some, and is made clearish in the EULA, is that Firefox by default sends data to whatever 3rd party (Google) runs their anti-phishing. It's all to do with storing partial hashes rather than website addresses on the computer and in theory the 3rd party can't do anything useful with it and are legally required to not keep it. But some people still might find this quite concerning. More information on how Mozilla tries to make the data sent useless here: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=419117 [mozilla.org]

Re:EULA is quite important (4, Informative)

42forty-two42 (532340) | about 6 years ago | (#25001689)

The 'no warranty' issue could be shown during ubuntu's installation as a whole, as it applies to everything in ubuntu. As for sending data to google - it shouldn't present this as a eula; it should present it as a very clear /option/ at the first run; just like IE7 does.

Alarming comment..... bad news for F/OSS (-1, Troll)

CdBee (742846) | about 6 years ago | (#25001503)

"not Free Software, hence unsuitable for Ubuntu main"

I'd like to see Linux become more prevalent but this way of thinking makes that less and less likely. I want the best tools for the job, not just the most ideologically compatible.

There is no place in my computer for licence fundamentalism

Re:Alarming comment..... bad news for F/OSS (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 6 years ago | (#25001847)

"not Free Software, hence unsuitable for Ubuntu main"

I'd like to see Linux become more prevalent but this way of thinking makes that less and less likely. I want the best tools for the job, not just the most ideologically compatible.

Sadly, unlikely physical tools which once bought are yours to do with as you please, software comes with licenses which limit its use. That's why the license a particular piece of software comes with is a crucial part in determining its usefulness. The technically best tool in the world isn't any good if you aren't allowed to use it.

There is no place in my computer for licence fundamentalism

Due to the perverse aberration which is copyright law, you require a license to use a program. Due to the particularly hideous nature of that perversion, this license can have pretty much any terms, and it is anyone's guess which ones are actually legally binding. And due to the maliciously inhuman nature of the aberration, the punishment for breaking these twisted contracts can be a lifetime of debt slavery. As such, being careful what licenses the software in your computer uses isn't fundamentalism, but simple common sense and a matter of self-protection; it is foolish to deal lightly with the spawn of the pits who write those treaties.

That is why I think long and hard before allowing anything that is not licensed under GPL into my computer; I'm not well-versed in the dark arts of lawyercraft, and I fear my sanity would darken were I to gaze at the indescribable horror that is found on the pages of Intellectual Property Law. Thus do I fear the consequences were I to misinterprate the filthy tomes known as EULAs.

Re:Alarming comment..... bad news for F/OSS (1)

Seth Kriticos (1227934) | about 6 years ago | (#25001893)

In a way I give you right: Ubuntu never really had the attitude to be fully FOSS. They use closed source drivers and other stuff (like flash) to make the every day usage smooth withouth much hassle. I don't see the problem as long as I have the possibility to choose my OS. I'm personally using Debian, but I see that it is not suitable for most computer illiterate people. They just want it to run and some familiar (cross platfrom) software may also help them to get a better experience / transition, whatever.

They being so difficult (5, Insightful)

Lord Lode (1290856) | about 6 years ago | (#25001533)

I wonder why they're being so difficult. Firefox already isn't called like that in my OS for over a year anymore, it's "Gran Paradisio", and firefox 2 was something else that I already forgot (and don't care what it was again either). What bothers me more is that the logo is an empty globe instead of the better looking one with the fox. But so again, I wonder why they're doing that, while this isn't a problem for most other software like gimp, pidgin, inkscape, audacious, openoffice.org, KDE, filezilla, and so on. I mean, what does mozilla do so different that they have this trademark problem and the others don't?

Re:They being so difficult (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25001609)

Minefield.

Re:They being so difficult (2, Insightful)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | about 6 years ago | (#25001707)

They hired lawyers. Lawyers don't fix problems, they create them. Here's a good example...

Re:They being so difficult (1)

sdpope (1286344) | about 6 years ago | (#25001851)

Gran Paradiso was the codename for Firefox 3, iirc. Not like Iceweasel at all.

EULA Contents: (5, Informative)

nog_lorp (896553) | about 6 years ago | (#25001559)

EULA: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/legal/eula/firefox-en.html [mozilla.com]

Summary:
Preamble - notice that the source is available and this license does not apply to the source.
1. License Grant - This license gives you the right to use the executable provided by Mozilla Corp.
2. Termination - if you breach this license, S1 is voided.
3. Proprietary Rights - again, the source code is not proprietary. The branding logos are, you don't have the right to modify them.
4. Disclaimer of Warranty
5. Limitation of Liability
6. Export Controls - you must comply with teh law.
7. US Govt End Users - 2 sentences of legal references related to employees of the US Govt using Firefox.
8. Misc, nothing interesting at all. This agreement constitutes the agreement...

Sounds like Mozilla Corp doing the bare minimum to cover their asses, in a responsible fashion, without actually affecting end users at all.

Re:EULA Contents: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25001735)

Why should Mozilla care about the EULA on Ubuntu, as Ubuntu is responsible for the kind of damage caused by software they compile, package, configure and provide to users?

Next step for Mozilla Corp.. (5, Funny)

eugeni (463019) | about 6 years ago | (#25001575)

...is to provide a "genuine firefox advantage" feature, that will check if your Firefox (tm) installation is genuine, and show a nasty transparent box in the corner of the screen...

Preaching to the choir, but (2, Interesting)

nightfire-unique (253895) | about 6 years ago | (#25001587)

I myself find EULAs extremely offensive. I have no problem with a distribution license, particularly in light of the fact it's required by copyright law if one wishes to grant (re)distribution rights. But the idea of a license accompanying a piece of data which governs its use is not something I can, in good conscience, support.

I say fork. EULAs have no place in a Linux distribution. We have come so far as a community. Why back down on our principles now?

Re:Preaching to the choir, but (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | about 6 years ago | (#25001761)

On the whole EULAs are used for bad, but looking at another post about the rough layout [slashdot.org] then please show me which part governs how you use it.

As an officially branded product all it basically does is say "Yes, we as a company made it. No you don't get a warranty, despite the corporate backing. Since there's no warranty we aren't liable for anything. The logos are not open-source, so you can't edit them." Sentence one doesn't apply to most OSS projects as they're not corporate backed and so don't need to worry about the implications as much. Two and three are often covered in the license document, but as a corporate entity then Mozilla obviously feel they need to be more up-front about the exact same stuff. Four is just a clarification of what you can and can't do if you take advantage of the open source part with regards the trademarks. No usage restrictions at all.

Re:Preaching to the choir, but (1)

nightfire-unique (253895) | about 6 years ago | (#25001825)

But there is a usage restriction. If you don't click "I agree," the software exits.

There's nothing wrong with including a WARRANTY or LICENSE file along with it. Asking the user to click some button is offensive. It suggests a contractual agreement where one does not legally exist (YMMV depending on jurisdiction).

Re:Preaching to the choir, but (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | about 6 years ago | (#25001909)

No, there's nothing wrong with including those files. Try finding a corporation with lawyers that think "two files in some system folder (probably /usr/share/firefox) that people are highly unlikely to look in" is sufficient for the warranty and liability disclaimer, though. By putting it up-front as well as in the files the lawyers are happy and everyone else can just ignore it and click through because they're mainly canned text anyway and we're sick of "it might not do anything, it might be completely broken, it might cause a black hole that destroys the world, but it isn't our fault".

"I agree" is hardly a usage restriction, though. Using software that has a license file has an implicit agreement that you'll follow the license. If you modify a GPL app and never read the LICENSE file then you're still breaching an implicit contractual agreement if you then released it as public domain or another license. Putting a simple and non-restricting EULA at first run just removes the excuse of "I didn't see it" (or at least reduces it). It makes the acceptance of the license (which all open source code has, except public domain) more interactive and less passed, nothing more.

Re:Preaching to the choir, but (1)

devman (1163205) | about 6 years ago | (#25001783)

Have you even read the EULA? Another poster summarized it already here [slashdot.org] Not to mention distribution licenses also sometimes cover use as well (i.e. Creative-Commons)

There's a bug in Bugzilla for this (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25001589)

Bug 439604 - FireFox 3.0 requires agreement of non-Free EULA

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=439604 [mozilla.org]

Maybe if a few people vote for this bug, it will bring it to the attention of whoever thought it was a good idea in the first place...

Time for everyone to complain about Ubuntu (3, Interesting)

martinde (137088) | about 6 years ago | (#25001591)

When Mozilla asked Debian to stop redistributing Firefox, many people complained about Debian being too idealistic. [slashdot.org] (I.e. they really didn't look into the issue at all.) Let's hear the same chorus now about Ubuntu! (Hint: It's not Debian or Ubuntu that is the problem here folks!)

They're afraid of the community they helped create (1)

TheModelEskimo (968202) | about 6 years ago | (#25001615)

They're afraid of being torn to shreds by the open source community; the Firefox trademark is seen as something like a big life preserver for Mozilla. Without that trademark, they have a wide-open platform that can be duplicated, repackaged, improved upon (out of spite), etc. But people recognize the Firefox brand, and that's all they got. So ironically, they end up being afraid of their own community. Sad.

Re:They're afraid of the community they helped cre (1)

David Gerard (12369) | about 6 years ago | (#25001669)

The problem is they allowed "community versions" of Firefox called "Firefox", then the evil did Windows downloads with spyware that technically fell within the rules. So they tightened way up. Now they're, ah, losing it.

Mozilla becoming user hostile (1, Interesting)

syousef (465911) | about 6 years ago | (#25001633)

Is it just me or is Mozilla becoming rather user hostile of late? I can't get over the way they forced through the "awesomebar" even though a lot of users have complained and don't like it. (In fact people dislike it so much there are extensions dedicated to trying to get something like the old address bar back. See oldbar and hideunvisited). It just seems that every time I hear about Mozilla and/or Firefox lately it's a valid complaint someone has that the company refuses to address or thinks it knows how to handle better and is shouting down the user. Not that they've been an example of how to listen to the community but lately it feels like Mozilla has been taken over from the inside. I was really happy with Firefox pre 1.0, and have steadily gotten less happy. I still use it because I'd rather have my nuts crushed than go back to IE. However it's become more of a pain in the arse with each release. I guess the choice is between sore nuts and a sore arse.

They didn't *say* they weren't evil (1)

David Gerard (12369) | about 6 years ago | (#25001655)

I'm sure Jaundiced Jackass will default to Chrome [today.com] .

But ya rly. IceWeasel all the way.

Brand name it is (1)

szundi (946357) | about 6 years ago | (#25001663)

These people are insane. Who cares that i need to press agree on an eula. Why not free software? You can ship Iceweasel that is the same software. The Firefox SOFTWARE is free, not the NAME. I think it's not a big deal. Ubuntu is showing an Eula to use the Firefox brand name, not to use the Firefox software.

Re:Brand name it is (2, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#25001729)

Its typical for people to use brand names in regular conversation without even recognizing that they are brand names, it doesn't diminish the value of it. It was a stupidity of Mozilla to force a EULA on the Firefox name. For example, whenever I talk about Kleenex, Nintendo, Microsoft, Apple, IBM, etc, people know I am talking about a brand name and it doesn't diminish the value. For Mozilla to force an EULA is pure stupidity.

Off with their heads. Long live the weasel. (1)

ZeroNullVoid (886675) | about 6 years ago | (#25001687)

Off with their heads. Long live the weasel.
Back to the Debian roots we go.

hi ho, hi ho, it's off to Debian /'s we go.

Why is this such a big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25001693)

I'm sorry, but complaining because a EULA pops up ONE TIME is pretty ridiculous. Reading through some of the comments, the problem is that it interupts the flow of the user? It only happens once, 99% of the people will just click accept, and you won't see it ever again.

Just put things into perspective, it's not a big deal.

Stop whining (0, Troll)

resonantblue (950315) | about 6 years ago | (#25001751)

Jeez, who cares. It's just an EULA you have to accept once. Stop f'n whining about it.

Not that much of a surprize. (2, Interesting)

Seth Kriticos (1227934) | about 6 years ago | (#25001773)

The trademark issues with Firefox are not new. I don't think, that it is a big problem as long as I get a choice to use it or not. There are plenty of alternatives. I personally gave up on it some time ago.. Well, on the rebranded Iceweasel anyway. Pulling it up when I need to but using another browser most of the time.

I just added "iceweasel" to my USE flags... (0)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 6 years ago | (#25001793)

...Fuck you, Mozilla!
Let's see who's in charge now!

The name "Firefox" and that orange creature shall be banned from my systems!

I have changed my mind (1)

Nimey (114278) | about 6 years ago | (#25001833)

When Debian started doing the Iceweasel thing, I though "oh, that's just Debian being a bunch of stuck-up wankers again".

Now I'm starting to think that it's Mozilla who are the wankers. WTF, the only software on Ubuntu I've ever had to do a EULA on was Java and Flash, because I installed ubuntu-restricted-extras, and those are proprietary.

Oh well, maybe when Chrome matures...

I don't see the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25001857)

Just switch to Iceweasel, or better yet, Konqueror.

There are options (2, Interesting)

pablodiazgutierrez (756813) | about 6 years ago | (#25001887)

The unbranded package will have the same functionality as Firefox, and Ubuntu can cut most of the ad money Mozilla gets from Google by using it as its primary search engine. I say this is a stupid move by Mozilla, antagonizing users for no apparent gain. Besides, I still prefer Konqueror.

Could be perfect timing for Chrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25001901)

I think the timing is perfect for Chrome to hit the Linux distributions.
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