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Mozilla Comes Through!
Friday, September 19 2008 @ 11:56 AM EDT

Here's a screenshot of the latest language from Mozilla, and as you'll see, they absolutely have listened to the community's EULA concerns (if you click on the image, it gets larger). Instead of a EULA, the new page you get on install is a notices page with no "I agree" requirement, along with a link to an optional services agreement, and instructions there on how to avoid having to accept the services, if you don't want them. The notices inform you about the license being the MPL, that Mozilla's trademarks are theirs, not ours, and the link to the services offerings. I believe trademarks are important to protect, as you probably know from reading Groklaw.

I haven't closely analyzed the services language yet, but my concerns about the EULA have been addressed. Bottom line: Now, you can install and use Firefox without having to agree to a EULA. The services have been separated out. If they were opt in instead of opt out, I'd be happier, but this is acceptable to me. There may be further tweaks, I understand, but I think it's time to acknowledge that Mozilla is behaving very well indeed now and demonstrating a desire to get this right.

On trademarks, please let me explain why I think they matter and why the reservation of rights is fine with me. Trademarks tell you when you are getting what you think you are getting. I want to know when I am downloading software from someone I know, like Mozilla, and when I'm not. That doesn't mean I'd only download software from Mozilla, just that I want to know the source of any software I download. If only Mozilla can use the Firefox trademark, I know what I'm getting if it says Firefox. That matters even if my desire is to avoid Firefox, because I'm looking for IceWeasel or whatever else. The fundamental point is that whichever you are looking for, you want to know for sure when you've found it. That is the purpose of trademark law. And I think it's a good purpose.


Mozilla Comes Through! | 301 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections here
Authored by: Erwan on Friday, September 19 2008 @ 11:58 AM EDT
If any.


[ Reply to This | # ]

News picks discussions here.
Authored by: Erwan on Friday, September 19 2008 @ 11:59 AM EDT
Please quote the article's title.


[ Reply to This | # ]

OT, the Off Topic thread.
Authored by: Erwan on Friday, September 19 2008 @ 12:00 PM EDT
As usual.

Hat trick in under 2 minutes ?


[ Reply to This | # ]

Mozilla Comes Through!
Authored by: josmith42 on Friday, September 19 2008 @ 12:45 PM EDT

PJ, in your last article, you said:

I think this dustup could easily have been avoided, and yes, I think it would have been better if it had been.

I disagree. While it's never pleasant for the OSS community to have to voice their concerns over something such as this, it does demonstrate for others who might try to get away with something that the community really does care about these issues, and so you'd better think twice before trying something funny. That is, if you want to be considered a part of the community.

It also demonstrates that it is not just the "extremist-commie-hippie-tree-hugging fanaticals" that care about software being free. It's the whole community.

This comment was typed using the Dvorak keyboard layout. :-)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Rob Sayre’s Mozilla Blog - Mozilla is Linux
Authored by: SilverWave on Friday, September 19 2008 @ 01:00 PM EDT

Rob Sayre’s Mozilla Blog - Mozilla is Linux

In response to a question I asked:

… if it was as you say “Mozilla is Linux”, how come no one put their hand up and said “Eh guys this really sucks”?

Rob answered with this:

Oh, it wasn’t at all like that. The dialog that got turned on in Ubuntu is the exact same thing we have been shipping on Mac and Windows, and we were working to replace it. Its activation was untimely in that users got the old one. The good news about this little uproar is that the new content and presentation will be better going forward.

Interesting but hard to square with the information from Ubuntu...

Oh well no doubt we will find out in the end what all the secret negotiations were about...

Well done Mozilla for sorting this out.

RMS: The 4 Freedoms
0 run the program for any purpose
1 study the source code and change it
2 make copies and distribute them
3 publish modified versions

[ Reply to This | # ]

Will this also address Debian's concerns?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 19 2008 @ 01:05 PM EDT
It seems to me that Debian's concerns with Mozilla were similar, but maybe
someone who knows the details could give a better answer.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Mozilla Comes Through!
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 19 2008 @ 01:15 PM EDT
Sorry for my ignorance, but...

Is an Agreement that Mozilla don't makes you explicitly *agree* defensible in

Could someone ( say, who suffered a security breach and thought that Mozilla
services would protect him ) sue Mozilla because the agreement was not properly

For properly i mean: only if you click an "i have read this and i
agree" button you can use the feature

[ Reply to This | # ]

That makes perfect sense.
Authored by: billyskank on Friday, September 19 2008 @ 02:28 PM EDT
I can take Firefox and make something else of it, because it's Free Software,
and that's great. But if I do that, I can't call it Firefox because it isn't any
more. That's what the trademark does. If my modified browser crashes all the
time, Mozilla don't want people to say "Firefox sucks!" on account of
my buggy modifications. That's what it's all about.

It's not the software that's free; it's you.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Mozilla protects its market!
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 19 2008 @ 07:14 PM EDT
Oh come on kids, don't be so naive.

It's about mozilla protecting their brand-name and search box revenue. If one
of the most popular GNU desktops dropped `firefox' by simply re-branding it, who
would have lost out?

Users? No - they get the same software.

The distro? No - same reason. With only minimal patching, probably in line
with what they already do anyway. Ubuntu/debian in particular would already
deal with lots of bug reports about vendor products, so that would unlikely
change either.

Mozilla Foundation? Yes. Not only do they no longer have their brand and name
stamped all over it, they lose the search revenue, as minor as it might be.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Mozilla Comes Through!
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 19 2008 @ 07:29 PM EDT
One concern I have about trademarks is if they're used for functional purposes
rather that simply as identification. For example, a device that only allows
software that has the trademark embedded to run...but since you can't use the
trademark without permission, it effectively became just another way to lock
unapproved third-party software off a device.

I believe there was a court case involving a video game console maker in the
1980's or 1990's where this scenario came up, and my recollection is that it was
decided that the trademark *was* effectively being used as a functional item,
and as there was no way to make software run without embedding it, it was OK to
do so, but this kind of thing needs to be watched carefully.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Mozilla Comes Through! NOT!!!!
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 19 2008 @ 07:42 PM EDT
There was at least did problems going on here:

1) EULA - just the presence of it.
2) FREE Software (FOSS)
3) Trademarks
4) Encumbered Service License

1) First was smoke screen, so all can feel good afterward -- We removed the bad
EULA, with a non-click agree screen.

2) Still Free software -- if you want to change the name

3) Trademarks -- Already had those -- Seee HELP -> ABOUT

4) Encumbering Free software with non-free web services license. It still
there. They could have disabled the services by default and then tell user
about the about the benefits. They could of had an add-on. Any thing, except
making the this on be default - then lying that "free" software is
being shipped.

It is this part that was not fixed. It is this last part that we all should be
up in arms about.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Mozilla Comes Through!
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 19 2008 @ 09:54 PM EDT
I'm confused here. PJ, could you elaborate on your statement that
"Trademarks tell you when you are getting what you think you are
getting" as it applies to the Linux trademark. I've heard of some legal
actions involving it but one would have to be a politician to claim that they
know what they are getting when they get any version of Linux.
How is Firefox different than Linux itself?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Dirac video codec implementation available and is Open Source
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 20 2008 @ 12:18 PM EDT
Worlds first high performance Dirac video codec implementation available (and is Open Source!!). And the servers are Open Source too. And it plays in VLC (Open Source). Is it a whole new ball game - for high quality video on the web? And is part of the Ubuntu release. Linkey< /a> Linkeys

[ Reply to This | # ]

Does this mean Iceweasel and other odd names wiii go away.
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, September 21 2008 @ 12:32 AM EDT
I had a hard time remembering all the odd names when I tied to update a Debian
based distro.

[ Reply to This | # ]

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