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Mozilla Is Investigating Why Dell Is Charging To Install Firefox

samzenpus posted about 6 months ago | from the power-button-surcharge dept.

Businesses 306

An anonymous reader writes "Dell is charging customers £16.25 ($27.18) to install Firefox on a newly purchased computer. We contacted Mozilla to find out more. The company told us it is investigating the issue and denied it has any such a deal in place. 'There is no agreement between Dell and Mozilla which allows Dell or anyone else to charge for installing Firefox using that brand name,' Mozilla's Vice President and General Counsel Denelle Dixon-Thayer told TNW. 'Our trademark policy makes clear that this is not permitted and we are investigating this specific report.' Dell has responded by saying that this practice is okay because the company is charging for the service and not the product."

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Is that legal in the UK? (1)

mmell (832646) | about 6 months ago | (#46414899)

I'm pretty sure it's illegal in the United States. If our law is ahead of yours, you guys are in pretty bad shape!

Re:Is that legal in the UK? (5, Insightful)

mmell (832646) | about 6 months ago | (#46414905)

Oops, just reread. Yeah, they can charge for the service of installing Firefox - they're not selling the browser, they're selling the effort to install it.

How dull do you have to be to pay someone to do this for you?

Re:Is that legal in the UK? (5, Funny)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 6 months ago | (#46415001)

Shhh! Don't kill my golden goose!

Re:Is that legal in the UK? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415077)

Some people are pretty daft and just chose to install everything dell through at them to get through the questions. after reading they probably felt dumb and decided to complain on the internet with the broswer they paid $27 dollars for to at least get something out of it considering they will probably remove it and use IE anyways...

Re:Is that legal in the UK? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415411)

Ha Ha. I love it - he accuses others of being dumb but he can't spell properly! Brilliant.

Re:Is that legal in the UK? (4, Informative)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 6 months ago | (#46415101)

How dull do you have to be to pay someone to do this for you?

Most corporations have entire departments of employees, who they pay just to install programs. And yes, the work is quite dull - but it is best to not annoy or insult your IT people like that.

Re:Is that legal in the UK? (5, Insightful)

atouk (1336461) | about 6 months ago | (#46415387)

I'm pretty sure that OEMs like Dell just use preconfigured master images to flash an install onto a hard drive. The user when he is selecting what to install is the one actually doing all the work, the rest is just a glorified script to create the configured disk. Manually installing the selected programs would take hours per machine. The generated hard drive image takes only as long as the image takes to write to the hard drive.

Re:Is that legal in the UK? (2)

Average (648) | about 6 months ago | (#46415415)

Any company that is large enough to have more than one person installing software is large enough to be pushing it out through SCCM or any of a half-dozen other solutions like it. If they aren't, they will be quickly replaced by companies who do employ such solutions. A whole SCCM setup, bare-metal up, is cheaper than even one year of one minimum-wage "next clicker".

Re:Is that legal in the UK? (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 6 months ago | (#46415557)

Sure, but bottom line is that you're still paying people to install software. You're paying the person who clicks on the SCCM setup, you're paying for the folks who keep the SCCM running, and so on.

It isn't like Dell is paying somebody to click buttons either.

Re:Is that legal in the UK? (1)

nobuddy (952985) | about 6 months ago | (#46415435)

Only the dumb ones. The rest of us operate from baseline images and master repositories/policy based intitial setup scripts.

Initiate image, add to proper OU, BAM, it has everything that group needs to do the job. Amount of work per unit (after initial setup of the system of course) about 3 seconds.

Re:Is that legal in the UK? (5, Funny)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 6 months ago | (#46415109)

Oops, just reread. Yeah, they can charge for the service of installing Firefox - they're not selling the browser, they're selling the effort to install it.

How dull do you have to be to pay someone to do this for you?

Consider your average user. Then remember half of them are duller than that.

Re:Is that legal in the UK? (-1, Troll)

XaXXon (202882) | about 6 months ago | (#46415227)

That's not what average means. You mean "median".

Re:Is that legal in the UK? (2)

thebigmacd (545973) | about 6 months ago | (#46415443)

Actually, "average" can refer to the statistical central tendency indicator of your choice...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Is that legal in the UK? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415479)

A large number of desktop support and consulting support people do exactly this, for a living.

Re:Is that legal in the UK? (4, Informative)

whoever57 (658626) | about 6 months ago | (#46415173)

How dull do you have to be to pay someone to do this for you?

Very, since in the EU, users are prompted to do an automated install of an alternative browser on first use (except those times when the choice was "accidentally" missed out of builds of retail copies of Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8).

Re:Is that legal in the UK? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 6 months ago | (#46415201)

I'm pretty sure it's illegal in the United States. If our law is ahead of yours, you guys are in pretty bad shape!

Once again issuing laws to break the balls of businesses! Oh, it's got to be that socialism again!

Whinge. Gnash. Foam.

First?? (0)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | about 6 months ago | (#46414901)

can't someone just install firefox themselves? It would take like 1 minute tops.....

Re:First?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46414925)

The average Dell user probably isn't smart enough to do it themselves. The people who would pay for this are the same ones who have 20 tool bars and click on every "You won" and smiley face ad they see while browsing.

Re:First?? (4, Informative)

dittbub (2425592) | about 6 months ago | (#46414987)

Is this really on the consumer side of dells sales? I've definitely seen it on the corporate side of their "premier" website. They also charge 6$ for a bunch of individual bios changes. If you're a big company getting a fleet of PCs and IT labour is at a premium then yeah it might be worth having Dell configure them instead.

Re:First?? (4, Informative)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 6 months ago | (#46415035)

If you're a big company getting a fleet of PC, you normally deploy images on them, so IT costs are pretty much the same to build the image, or build the image+firefox

Re:First?? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 6 months ago | (#46415097)

wow that used to be free.

But I think dell has tools that can be used to set bios stuff. But they don't work if the image does not work with the default settings.

Re:First?? (4, Funny)

sjwt (161428) | about 6 months ago | (#46415071)

Evner better, can't we now hit Dell up for a blank PC and expect to save like $400, after all if they aren't installing all those crap bloatware programs of theirs on it, at $30 a pop..

Re:First?? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415229)

You have 5 Moderator Points! Which Helpless Linux zealot/MS basher do you want to mod down today?

I do have mod points, and you seem to be making yourself a tempting target. Please don't tempt me to abuse my powers.

No modpoints for you. (-1, Troll)

gavron (1300111) | about 6 months ago | (#46415451)

No. You have no modpoints on this thread, and your comment amounts to a threat asking
for prior restraint so EVEN IF YOU DID HAVE MOD POINTS they would be removed.

Fortunately you cannot affect this thread.

E

Re:First?? (-1, Troll)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 6 months ago | (#46415577)

you obviously don't have mod points because ACs don't get mod points!

Re: First?? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415141)

As someone who works in a repair shop I'll be the first to say that people are idiots. Sure they can manage to install programs, they manage to install every crap tool bar and fix it software know to man. The problem is that many people can't seem to find programs like Firefox without clicking on a crap ad or going to a link that bundles Firefox with even more crap software. Don't even try to tell them to type a Web address in to find it either. They usually type it into a search bar and find even more crap. Nothing is more frustrating then telling someone to type a website into the address bar to do remote support only to find that they're typing the address into conduit.

Re: First?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415337)

This just shows that crapware has done a better job of making their software easy to install than other software packages. Pandering to the idiots has aproven track record of being successful.... Just look at the spam in your junk folder for local proof.

Re: First?? (3, Insightful)

Scowler (667000) | about 6 months ago | (#46415197)

There are still quite a few customers out there on satellite or dial-up modem service. Firefox install image is pretty small but still probably annoying to download at 56k baud.

Not illegal to charge for a service (3, Insightful)

js3 (319268) | about 6 months ago | (#46414911)

Someone is willing to pay me 16$ to install firefox, why would the firefox terms and conditions apply to me? I'm not selling their product.

Re:Not illegal to charge for a service (1, Insightful)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 6 months ago | (#46414983)

You are free to charge $16 for it. But you may not use the firefox trademark in your ads/product page etc. Dell should move to iceweasel and avoid using mozilla's trademarks. Then again none would pay $16 for installing iceweasel.

Re:Not illegal to charge for a service (4, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 6 months ago | (#46415189)

But you may not use the firefox trademark in your ads/product page etc.

That sounds unreasonable. What about companies offering Windows installation services, do they need to advertise it as "Installing the world's most popular PC operating system" instead?

Re:Not illegal to charge for a service (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415349)

They need to purchase licenses from MS, and thus the installations and use of trademark are automatically sanctioned by MS

Re:Not illegal to charge for a service (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 6 months ago | (#46415375)

But you may not use the firefox trademark in your ads/product page etc.

That sounds unreasonable. What about companies offering Windows installation services, do they need to advertise it as "Installing the world's most popular PC operating system" instead?

That would depend on Microsoft's licensing, not Mozilla's. I'd imagine that Microsoft has even more stringent restrictions on the use of Microsoft branding.

Re:Not illegal to charge for a service (2)

Great Big Bird (1751616) | about 6 months ago | (#46415377)

It is likely about using the trademark for profit purposes, rather than an offhand reference.

Re:Not illegal to charge for a service (4, Interesting)

Rich0 (548339) | about 6 months ago | (#46415575)

You are free to charge $16 for it. But you may not use the firefox trademark in your ads/product page etc.

Does trademark law actually allow a trademark holder to do that?

If you weren't installing genuine Mozilla Firefox I could see how it would be illegal to use their trademark.

However, if I buy a can of Coke at Walmart, assuming I have the appropriate local government licenses I can put a sign up on my front lawn saying "Coca Cola" for sale. If I mix up my own soda, then I can't use their trademark to sell it.

That's why T-Mobile can say "We're better than AT&T" or whatever on their ads. They don't need permission to use AT&T's name, they just can't use their name to refer to anything but the real AT&T.

Mozilla may very well say that you're not allowed to use their name on advertising, but that doesn't mean that it is enforceable.

The reason Debian drops the name is because they patch it, which means it is no longer the genuine article (security flaws and all).

Re:Not illegal to charge for a service (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415041)

Dell is distributing Firefox (by way of pre-installed-ness), and they tied this distributing to a paid service.
This is pretty much exactly the thing Mozilla's trademark policy forbids.

If someone asks you to install it, that is allowed, because you aren't distributing Firefox by doing so.

Say what? (3, Interesting)

harryjohnston (1118069) | about 6 months ago | (#46415249)

Pardon? Dell is installing Firefox on a customer's machine before shipping it to them. How is that any different from my installing it on a customer's machine *after* it's shipped to them? What if the customer ships their machine to me, I install Firefox, and then ship it back?

Re:Not illegal to charge for a service (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 6 months ago | (#46415583)

And how can a trademark policy prevent you from selling a product? If I buy something from you that you have a trademark on, I can sell it to somebody else legally and you have no right to keep me from doing so, and you also can't prevent me from advertising that I got it from you, using your trademark.

You can claim that you have those rights, but that doesn't make it so.

Now, what you can do is tell me that if I distribute a modified version of your product that I can't use your trademark, because it no longer is the product I'm claiming it to be.

Re:Not illegal to charge for a service (2)

Narcocide (102829) | about 6 months ago | (#46415047)

Note that they are not charging $16 but actually almost $30. ($27.18)

Re:Not illegal to charge for a service (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415081)

It could apply to you if you if by installing the program you're agreeing to a non-transferrable license, and then you turn around and transfer the license for a profit.

In the case of willful infringement, the court could rule that you owe the company triple what you made from "selling your services."

Re:Not illegal to charge for a service (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 6 months ago | (#46415139)

Pretty much this. Plus, Mozillla can set whatever policies they want about the use of their trademark - but so long as the activity and usage is legal their policy is irrelevant.

Re:Not illegal to charge for a service (4, Interesting)

quantaman (517394) | about 6 months ago | (#46415271)

Someone is willing to pay me 16$ to install firefox, why would the firefox terms and conditions apply to me? I'm not selling their product.

If you're advertising yourself as a Firefox installer then you're using Mozilla.org's trademark to do so.

Consider how Red Hat works, Red Hat doesn't sell Linux, they sell services surrounding their own version of Linux, RHEL. If someone else tries to distribute RHEL they get in trouble with Red Hat so you get things like CentOS that remove the trademarks.

Personally I think Mozilla has a case here. The price is fairly high and if I saw this I'd assume that Dell had some kind of deal with Mozilla and that Mozilla was comfortable fleecing consumers which damages Mozilla's brand. There's also the case that the high price Dell is signalling that Firefox costs money and installing it is a non-trivial task, again both things that damage Mozilla's brand.

Re:Not illegal to charge for a service (2)

bws111 (1216812) | about 6 months ago | (#46415379)

Uh, no. Like you said Red Hat is not selling Linux, they are selling service. You can not distribute Linux and call it Red hat because you are not offering their service - calling it Red Hat would be deceiving. Dell, on the other hand, is not misleading anyone. They call it Firefox because it IS Firefox. Price does not enter into it at all. You can sell a can of 'Coke' for $100, as long as it is in fact Coke.

Re:Not illegal to charge for a service (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415571)

But a Pepsi would still taste better.

/ aliquis - Always off-topic. Always trying to be funny. Always moderated accordingly.

Re:Not illegal to charge for a service (0)

Nutria (679911) | about 6 months ago | (#46415391)

There's also the case that the high price Dell is signalling that Firefox costs money and installing it is a non-trivial task, again both things that damage Mozilla's brand.

This.

My first thought is that it's either a direct MS plot, or the devious idea of an MS fan high in Dell's corporate structure.

Re:Not illegal to charge for a service (1)

quantaman (517394) | about 6 months ago | (#46415549)

There's also the case that the high price Dell is signalling that Firefox costs money and installing it is a non-trivial task, again both things that damage Mozilla's brand.

This.

My first thought is that it's either a direct MS plot, or the devious idea of an MS fan high in Dell's corporate structure.

I considered that but a plot to have someone sell a competitor's product would be an epic level of deviousness.

More likely I think someone at Dell knew a lot of non-techy people would really like Firefox preinstalled, were scared to do it themselves, and so decided to fleece them a bit providing the service.

Re:Not illegal to charge for a service (1)

infinitelink (963279) | about 6 months ago | (#46415545)

There's also the case that the high price Dell is signalling that Firefox costs money and installing it is a non-trivial task [...]

Apparently you've never had to provide computing support directly to ordinary US customers.

Because they can? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46414915)

And it takes time for some Dell employee to do it.

Makes sense to me.

Re: Because they can? (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 6 months ago | (#46414995)

if it was a phoned in order the labor would be around 1/2 second to select the checkbox to install Firefox. Everything else would most likely be automated.

Re: Because they can? (1)

bws111 (1216812) | about 6 months ago | (#46415135)

You do understand that someone had to decide to make that offering, someone had to update the order system to include that checkbox, someone had to create the image with Firefox, someone had to test that image, someone had to release that into production, someone had to create the automation to install that image, someone had to test that automation, someone had to manage all the above people, someone had to pay the increased IT costs of all the above, someone had to update the helpdesk scripts, etc,right?

Re: Because they can? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 6 months ago | (#46415167)

and they have to do the same for any system they sell as well as when old ones are not being sold any more.

Re: Because they can? (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 6 months ago | (#46415151)

if it was a phoned in order the labor would be around 1/2 second to select the checkbox to install Firefox. Everything else would most likely be automated.

Um hum.

All You Have To Do Is...

Actually, you have to download or otherwise make accessible the installer first. Then you have to deal with the occasional bits of lint that pop up unexpectedly for one reason or another - anything up to and including the surprise discovery that their factory-installed disk drive has major bad spots on it (speaking from personal experience). Then the user will probably whine that the desktop icons are in the wrong place, etc. and insist on having things set up "properly".

One thing I've learned working with computers is that there is no task no trivial nor no program so simple that it cannot eat up at least an hour of your life.

Re: Because they can? (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 6 months ago | (#46415311)

Then you should have learnt that there's nothing that cannot be automated away. Automating installs is a solved problem. Putting an install in an image to be deployed is a solved problem. Hell, putting an installed app in to an installed OS image is a solved problem.

I am not ok with this. (0, Troll)

Narcocide (102829) | about 6 months ago | (#46414919)

Here's to hoping that the Mozilla Foundation forces them to remove the "Firefox" logo and brand from it like they did to Debian.

Re:I am not ok with this. (-1, Flamebait)

Narcocide (102829) | about 6 months ago | (#46415065)

Not actually a troll, but nice try, astro-turfing jackasses.

Re:I am not ok with this. (2, Insightful)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 6 months ago | (#46415069)

You don't seem to understand the situation. Actually, that was me just trying to be nice. You clearly have no understanding of the situation. Dell isn't selling Firefox, they are selling the installation service. This is no different than if you bring your computer to Circuit City and have them re-install Windows for you. In that case Circuit City isn't charging for Windows; they are charging an installation fee.

While most of us will see this as exactly what it is, to wit capitalizing on the ignorance of their customers, it is certainly legal.

Re:I am not ok with this. (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 6 months ago | (#46415317)

Which is against Mozilla's TOS. Not allowed to charge for installing FireFox.

How hard is that to understand, and why do you keep trying to weasel out of it?

Re:I am not ok with this. (-1, Offtopic)

Narcocide (102829) | about 6 months ago | (#46415417)

Incidentally, aside from being inaccurate (read the Mozilla TOS) its also not even remotely excusable to misuse the moderating features to mark me troll or flamebait for pointing out you're wrong, no matter how much Dell may be paying you to do so.

Re:I am not ok with this. (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 6 months ago | (#46415419)

It is fucking morally wrong! No! Dell needs to make it very clear (at the top of the page, with a download link) that Mozilla is a free to download browser. Anything less is totally corrupt.

My gawd, are there no moral people/ companies left in this world?

Well (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46414921)

If they charge to add Firefox, will they give a refund for leaving off Windows?

Re:Well (3, Informative)

dittbub (2425592) | about 6 months ago | (#46415017)

Yes. I ordered a bunch of PCs from Dell for work and they had an Ubuntu option which saved us some $$$ since we have volume Windows licensing anyway.

Re:Well (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 6 months ago | (#46415115)

I think you may need to take the windows choice to be ok with that volume licensing

Re:Well (2)

Rudeboy777 (214749) | about 6 months ago | (#46415297)

There's no "I think" about it, you need to buy systems with OEM Windows to use your MS VLA.

Re:Well (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 6 months ago | (#46415397)

dittbub enjoy your BSA audit

Re:Well (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 6 months ago | (#46415547)

Just call Microsoft and ask them whatever they'd rather have them re-install Ubuntu to fix the situation.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415433)

They why dose VLA cost $$$? I call double dipping.

Re:Well (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 6 months ago | (#46415537)

I'm sure some would pay $28 to not get a bunch of crapware added into their "fresh" install. Skip the stickers too.

Selling the labour (5, Insightful)

dittbub (2425592) | about 6 months ago | (#46414943)

Dell also charges to set up bios parameters. Big woop

Hey, Clock Monkeys! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46414963)

T-minus Three Days and Counting. Citizens Everywhere Will Damage Their Biological Cycle for Society's Good; Will You Be One? Jump, Boy, Jump!

Selling Time (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46414971)

Not products. Every time I buy a box the clerks offer to set me up (AV, system updates, file transfers, etc.). I guess it depends how much your time is worth.

Re:Selling Time (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 6 months ago | (#46415057)

just go to ninite.com and select what you want installed. Everything is installed without adware or extra toolbars.

Bull$h1t (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46414977)

this is total bs..
although there are 2 ways to look @ this
1. if the purchaser is too lazy, or unskilled enough then yes I feel the charge may be justified, esp with a large order..(perhaps the purchaser should nto be in a position to purchase or have any real esponsibility with regard to this, if they do not know what they need or how to get it with our relying on Peons)(Eyes and Teeth)
2. Has Dell become so complaisant? How difficult would it be to include it on a standard image and replicate @ no cost??
I cry BS on both sides, but as proposed in line 1, if the individual is too lazy, or not educated enough to understand, or just does not have the skillsets to know what he is doing, then Yes, if A deal with dell has been agreed on for a massdeployment of an Application which is not standard, stick it to the client/customer.
unfortunately in this day and age it seems that those in the wrong positoins try to leverage ogthers to cover up their SHORT commings..

no my spelling is ok, I am just astounded, and pissed by the stupidity of some people..

I mean
really?

Also /., please change your captcha,, "hemlock" has come up to many times

Re:Bull$h1t (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415015)

Shhhhhh... 1st..

Re:Bull$h1t (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415039)

yes change the captcha

Debt (1)

Capt.Albatross (1301561) | about 6 months ago | (#46414985)

Michael's got to pay for getting his eponymous company back, and he won't be able to do that just by selling computers.

That's bold (0)

Dega704 (1454673) | about 6 months ago | (#46415021)

Once this crap hits the fan, Dell may well be singing a different tune when it becomes apparent it isn't worth the publicity. I may be wrong, and you can give me all the reasons why, but consider this: It bothered enough people to make Slashdot's front page. Flame on.

Re:That's bold (2)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 6 months ago | (#46415119)

"but consider this: It bothered enough people to make Slashdot's front page."

Do you suppose that it might just be possible that it made it to the front page because many people found it interesting rather than bothersome?

Re:That's bold (1)

Dega704 (1454673) | about 6 months ago | (#46415263)

It is indeed interesting -- because it is controversial. Is there a more interesting part outside of the controversy that I am missing?

Re:That's bold (1)

duke_cheetah2003 (862933) | about 6 months ago | (#46415395)

Once this crap hits the fan, Dell may well be singing a different tune when it becomes apparent it isn't worth the publicity. I may be wrong, and you can give me all the reasons why, but consider this: It bothered enough people to make Slashdot's front page. Flame on.

There's no such thing as bad publicity.

That Other Checkbox (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415027)

The real question is what does the "Thank You For Choosing Dell" software do?

Re:That Other Checkbox (2)

Capt.Albatross (1301561) | about 6 months ago | (#46415131)

If you have to ask, you can't afford it.

Validates Firefox Value (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415049)

First off, I dont like the idea that anyone is charging to install Firefox.
However:
A common perception about open source software is that it must have no value because it is free. This is adding perceived value, making Firefox something worth having, because it costs money. We make poor decisions as human beings, and we are swayed by our perceptions. In a strange way this is validating Firefox as a worthy browser, and there are certainly some people who will hold in a higher regard simply because there is a price tag associated with it.

OMFG! Ginger is 80! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415067)

Tatiana Josivovna Chernova Blacker
February 11, 1934  in New York City, New York, USA

I'm fairly sure this is allowed, even if jerky... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415085)

Using a trademark to identify something isn't illegal, is it? I can say "Coke in my shop cost £1" without a license from Coke (or permission to sell their product) and they have no legal avenues to stop me, surely?

Not sure I see a problem (4, Informative)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 6 months ago | (#46415143)

The price is ridiculous, but I don't see a problem with them charging to do the installation. OTOH Mozilla might have the right to limit use of their icons. But GPL is GPL, you have certain rights to redistribute. That's why IceCat (formerly Ice Weasel) exists.

Re:Not sure I see a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415301)

Firefox has a "Mozilla" license, not GPL. In fact, they deliberately confuse the distinction between "open source" and "free software, right on their license page.

In fact, their license has this little booby trap:

> 5.2. If You initiate litigation against any entity by asserting a patent infringement claim (excluding declaratory judgment actions, counter-claims, and cross-claims) alleging that a Contributor Version directly or indirectly infringes any patent, then the rights granted to You by any and all Contributors for the Covered Software under Section 2.1 of this License shall terminate.

So if I patent some other product entirely, and you violate my patent with a Firefox variant, and I sue, *even if the patent has absolutely nothing to do with Firefox as originally published*, I lose all rights to use any Mozilla licensed product, whatsoever. It's a complete patent clusterfutz. Even the "viral" GPL acknowledged that individual products have individual licenses, and you could violate one of them without violating *all* of them.

Re:Not sure I see a problem (1)

duke_cheetah2003 (862933) | about 6 months ago | (#46415425)

I think it'd be very amusing for anyone to try to enforce that.

We give away free software, but YOU cannot use it because you violated our license. How do you really intend to enforce that? Its..free.. you can download it anywhere, to any computer, and use it. Just the fact its utterly unenforceable in any situation just makes the whole license look stupid. Makes the people making the license look stupid too, makes the product licensed this way look stupid too. Guess that's why I don't use Firefox anymore. It's stupid.

Now if I can just find a replacement for Thunderbird that I like.

Re:Not sure I see a problem (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 6 months ago | (#46415515)

You have an interesting attitude considering that every license I've ever seen revokes your right to use the software if you breach the license terms. The terms vary; the penalty of not being able to use the software is across the board.

Re:Not sure I see a problem (1)

xvan (2935999) | about 6 months ago | (#46415559)

Same argument can be made about MS Windows. It's... free.. you can download it anywhere, to any computer and use it.

I don't see the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415145)

I charge everyone that wants me to install software for them, what's the big deal?

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415147)

The dude who take your overpriced Dell PC out of it's box in order to install firefox on it for your lazy ass, needs to be paid.

This is concerning why?... (2)

steppin_razor_LA (236684) | about 6 months ago | (#46415243)

They aren't selling the software they are selling their time to install it for you. Big difference....

Re:This is concerning why?... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415393)

If the clueless non technical customer could easily confuse the fact that they are paying for the service and not the software that could be a problem. For someone non-technical I could easily see them confusing this. Especially if... someone convinced Dell to obfuscate this so that it intentionally damages Mozilla's reputation and causes people to think it costs money to run Firefox. Then they may prefer the free IE browser option that is pre-installed on their new PC.

Re:This is concerning why?... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415499)

It would be a difference if they had a man whose bleeding fingertips clicked the installer manually on hundreds of computers a day. Do you think that's how they do it?

How long before... (1, Interesting)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 6 months ago | (#46415251)

... Dell refuses warranty service if the computer has software installed that Dell did not install?

.
Dell is desperate for revenue at this point, and when companies are desperate for revenue they do customer-antagonistic things.

Dell is correct. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415289)

Under UK law, as in most other nations, brand-name, trademark, copyright and junk shrink-wrap licenses do NOT prohibit tradespeople from offering services to their customers. It is sad, very very sad, that 'open source' morons have even less respect for well established business and consumer Rights than do traditional closed-source companies.

Far too many open source developers think they are above the law, and can place whatever terms and conditions they so wish into the licenses of their work. The situation gets far worse and far nastier when pseudo-open-source companies like Mozilla and Google start manipulating their users with in-built abusive functionality.

-Google preventing Android apps from full access to external memeory cards, and prohibiting user choice on location of user files, and associations with apps that process those files.
-Mozilla removing user control over JavaScript, in-browser ads and plug-ins.

The excuse of the vile shills is that expert users/hackers can always take products from Google and Mozilla, and somehow 'force' the desired functionality back into them. But this ignores the fact that such deplorable acts are designed to target the vast majority of ordinary users, who would never 'root' Android, or learn how to deactivate Javascript on Firefox.

None of this is a denial that Dell is ripping off naive users, BUT as Mozilla purposely cripples Firefox, and fills it full of very undesirable activity by default, ordinary users will need the (expensive) assistance of experts to configure Firefox in a way that serves the user, not the pockets of those that own Mozilla.

It would, of course, be far better to give the user a link to a shenanigan free installer for Firefox, but Mozilla has now ended that possibility. Mozilla is as bent and evil as they come, and has no intention of allowing any future user of Firefox to simply install a browser that serves their best interests.

Part of the reason Google and Mozilla update Chrome and Firefox at such a ludicrous rate is to reduce the likelihood of successful forks to as close to zero as possible. Once both are safe from the threat of successful forks, Google and Mozilla are free to introduce the most abusive practices into their browsers.

Re:Dell is correct. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415471)

in-built abusive functionality

...

full of very undesirable activity

...

introduce the most abusive practices

BUTTHURT REPORT FORM [nexua.org]

Consumers should look for a better deal ... (1)

MacTO (1161105) | about 6 months ago | (#46415405)

As a service, this really does make sense. It takes time and knowledge to configure a computer. A lot of people are lacking in one, or both, of those departments. The price also makes sense when it comes down to installing an individual piece of software. It takes time to do so. For businesses, time is money.

On the other hand, consumers really ought to look for better deals. You can tell someone what you need and pay them by the hour to get a system that is tailored to your needs. If you need a bunch of stuff done, it'll cost much less. It will also be done according to your requests, which is something that Dell isn't equipped to do.

Trademark does not work that way (1)

russotto (537200) | about 6 months ago | (#46415495)

You can't use trademark to prevent people from referring to your product. If you are, in fact, installing Firefox on the machine, you can say so, no matter what their policies say. This is "nominative use".

There's no installation charge for other software (5, Interesting)

Beeftopia (1846720) | about 6 months ago | (#46415539)

I just checked how much Microsoft Office Home and Business costs when put on a Dell computer - 179 USD, right there on the Dell site, for a desktop computer. It costs 219 USD at Big Box Mart and Microsoft itself [microsoft.com]

So uh... yeah. They're charging for free software. It's just taking advantage of the ignorant. Who might be your grandma. Or a firefighter. Or a grocery store cashier.

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