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To read comments to this article, go here
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.


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