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Mozilla Nixes Firefox EULA Requirement 154

Less than a week ago, Mozilla asked (and Canonical relucantly agreed, in development versions of Intrepid Ibex) that users be required on first use to agree to a EULA before using Firefox. This drew lots of criticism, and Mozilla agreed that the requirement was flawed. Now, according to a story at Groklaw, the EULA requirement's been done away with. From the Groklaw article linked: "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."
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Mozilla Nixes Firefox EULA Requirement

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  • First EULA (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 21, 2008 @04:34PM (#25096911)

    by reading this post, you agree to mod me to +5, Informative.

  • by pchan- ( 118053 ) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @04:36PM (#25096925) Journal

    If they had a desire to get this right, they would not have sprang a EULA requirement on Canonical this late into the release process (next Ubuntu release is in a couple of weeks). This is a reaction to the negative press they've been getting. Thanks, Slashdot!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nhaines ( 622289 )

      That was actually what made me feel that the EULA requirement might have been disingenuous. I don't have any inside knowledge on the matter, of course--it was a Canonical matter. I am glad that things turned out smoothly though.

    • by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @04:46PM (#25097005)

      >If they had a desire to get this right, they would not have sprang a EULA requirement on Canonical this late

      Believe it or not, the world does not revolve around Ubuntu Linux. Firefox is used in lots of other distros, not to mention MS-Windows and MacOS. I seriously doubt the timing had anything to do with anything related to any particular distro.

      That aside, THANK YOU MOZILLA FOUNDATION! It was silly to require any type of pop-up to begin with, but being "big enough" to admit it was a mistake and take it off is a VERY good move. Put your license and other info under "Help"... people will see it if/when necessary.

      • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @05:55PM (#25097565)

        That aside, THANK YOU MOZILLA FOUNDATION! It was silly to require any type of pop-up to begin with, but being "big enough" to admit it was a mistake and take it off is a VERY good move.

        I haven't read the details yet, but I agree with this sentiment 100% - everybody makes mistakes.
        The good guys are the ones who fix them in a timely fashion.

        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          Well that unto itself is the nature of open source and the major reason behind it's continuing success. You come up with an idea, formulate and present it to the public, who will then review it, comment upon it and offer suggestion about what you can do with it, to improve it.

          Now if the idea might not have been that well appreciated, then the suggestion can be a little terse, however it all will generally be in good humour and it only remains incumbent upon an open source company to adjust it's idea to b

    • by Kagura ( 843695 ) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @04:46PM (#25097015)
      A purely honest question: Why does the EULA issue in the article matter at all?
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Legion_SB ( 1300215 )
        It doesn't. It wasn't even really an EULA the way we normally think of them. But that fact didn't get in the way of the nerd rage, unfortunately.
      • by shaitand ( 626655 ) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @06:48PM (#25097945) Journal

        EULA are counter to the spirit of open and free software. Software does not require a license to use, you have the right to use software as long as you acquired it legally.

        Licenses like the MPL or the GPL are for those who wish to modify and distribute software, because those activities are restricted by copyright law and the licenses are needed to allow you to do them.

        EULA's are contracts that force users to give up some of their rights or regulate how they use the software beyond the restrictions imposed by copyright.

        Mozilla's EULA was relatively benign as far as EULAs go but a EULA just the same. Since having a EULA means an app isn't free software Ubuntu couldn't/wouldn't include the EULA version in Ubuntu.

        • This goes back to a seemingly random post [wordpress.com] by Matt Zimmerman, CTO of Canonical. At the time I thought it was idle speculation about Launchpad, but perhaps it was really about that anti-phishing service.

          Would you run an anti-phishing service without a EULA or disclaimer?

        • by Nebu ( 566313 )

          EULA are counter to the spirit of open and free software. Software does not require a license to use, you have the right to use software as long as you acquired it legally.

          Licenses like the MPL or the GPL are for those who wish to modify and distribute software, because those activities are restricted by copyright law and the licenses are needed to allow you to do them.

          EULA's are contracts that force users to give up some of their rights or regulate how they use the software beyond the restrictions imposed by copyright.

          Mozilla's EULA was relatively benign as far as EULAs go but a EULA just the same. Since having a EULA means an app isn't free software Ubuntu couldn't/wouldn't include the EULA version in Ubuntu.

          (Emphasis added)

          Did you ever read the GPL [gnu.org]?

          IN NO EVENT UNLESS REQUIRED BY APPLICABLE LAW OR AGREED TO IN WRITING WILL ANY COPYRIGHT HOLDER, OR ANY OTHER PARTY WHO MODIFIES AND/OR CONVEYS THE PROGRAM AS PERMITTED ABOVE, BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR DAMAGES, INCLUDING ANY GENERAL, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE USE OR INABILITY TO USE THE PROGRAM (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO LOSS OF DATA OR DATA BEING RENDERED INACCURATE OR LOSSES SUSTAINED BY YOU OR THIRD PARTIES OR A FAILURE OF THE PROGRAM TO OPERATE WITH ANY OTHER PROGRAMS), EVEN IF SUCH HOLDER OR OTHER PARTY HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

          Sounds like the typical "By using this software, you give up the right to sue us" wording that appears in most EULAs.

          The GPL contains a EULA just like all other software. It's practically financial/legal suicide to release software without a EULA in today's lawsuit happy world.

          • 'Sounds like the typical "By using this software, you give up the right to sue us" wording that appears in most EULAs.

            The GPL contains a EULA just like all other software. It's practically financial/legal suicide to release software without a EULA in today's lawsuit happy world.'

            False. The limitation of liability in the GPL is a notice. It doesn't require agreement by the end user. As an end user you don't even need to read the GPL, it doesn't apply to you. You distribute under the GPL, the GPL is not somet

            • by Nebu ( 566313 )

              As an end user you don't even need to read the GPL, it doesn't apply to you.

              Just because you, as an end-suer, do not read a given body of text does not necessarily mean that body of text is no an EULA. Lots of people don't read the EULAs associated with commercial software. Again, if you actually read the GPL [gnu.org] (emphasis added:)

              IN NO EVENT UNLESS REQUIRED BY APPLICABLE LAW OR AGREED TO IN WRITING WILL ANY COPYRIGHT HOLDER, OR ANY OTHER PARTY WHO MODIFIES AND/OR CONVEYS THE PROGRAM AS PERMITTED ABOVE, BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR DAMAGES, INCLUDING ANY GENERAL, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE USE OR INABILITY TO USE THE PROGRAM (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO LOSS OF DATA OR DATA BEING RENDERED INACCURATE OR LOSSES SUSTAINED BY YOU OR THIRD PARTIES OR A FAILURE OF THE PROGRAM TO OPERATE WITH ANY OTHER PROGRAMS), EVEN IF SUCH HOLDER OR OTHER PARTY HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

              This whole section is referring to using the program, not "developing" or "modifying" the program (the other sections cover that). The above quoted section of the GPL directly addresses and pertains to the GPL. Furthermore, GNU themselves, instructs you to dis

              • 'This whole section is referring to using the program, not "developing" or "modifying" the program'

                The whole section applies with or without your agreement. Contrary to the name, a EULA is not a license, it is a contract. Contracts require agreement. Again, you are quoting a notice that is included within the text of the GPL, it is true whether or not you read it or agree to it.

                'GNU themselves, instructs you to display the GPL to the end-user'

                The notice you omitted is a copyright notice, not the GPL. But ev

      • One of the four freedoms (freedom 0, in fact) from the Free Software Foundation is:

        The freedom to run the program, for any purpose

        Software that does not allow this is not Free Software. Any EULA is counter to this. You should not need a license to use software, only to distribute it (which is all that copyright permits the author to restrict). This is one of the main reasons why Free Software systems are attractive - if a piece of software is classified as Free then you know that you don't need to employ any lawyers to count licenses or know if or wh

    • by moosesocks ( 264553 ) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @05:11PM (#25097225) Homepage

      Seriously! How dare they respond to criticism!

      It was a stupid thing to do in the first place, but you've got to give them a lot of credit for reacting to the public outcry in a timely manner.

      Both Mozilla and Canonical know that there's little point in fostering any sort of "drama" within the F/OSS community.

  • by Baricom ( 763970 ) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @04:37PM (#25096931)

    The EULA has been present since the first 1.0 release of Firefox, and people complained just as bitterly then. Why is it that it took a major player like Canonical to get Mozilla to finally respond to their community?

    • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @04:56PM (#25097117) Homepage

      Why is it that it took a major player like Canonical to get Mozilla to finally respond to their community?

      Users can complain, but distros can do something about it by ganging up and shipping it rebranded only? Of course in the short term that's a minor issue for Mozilla but if it was established that Firefox on Linux == Iceweasel (or whatever, lousy name) and Linux becomes more popular through UMPCs and the like, Mozilla could stand to lose a lot of brand power and have no power to do anything about it. It'd be just like CentOS except the original isn't available, how long would it take for the new name to settle? Not long at all, I wager. After all, it'd still be the exact same browser down to the last bit, not like switching people to another browser. Mozilla is caving here because they got little to gain and everything to lose.

      • by syousef ( 465911 )

        Users can complain, but distros can do something about it by ganging up and shipping it rebranded only?

        Perhaps we can get Canonical to complain about Awesomebar. If it weren't for hideunvisited and oldbar extensions I'd have ditched FF or stayed with 2.0 but the devs just don't care no matter how many users complain.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by 5of0 ( 935391 )

          Perhaps we can get Canonical to complain about Awesomebar...the devs just don't care no matter how many users complain.

          That's because plenty of users like it. I love the thing, personally. Users who don't like it (usually a small but vocal minority of changephobes) complain, but eventually get used to it. That's how every major change in every software I've seen works. People react because it's not what they're used to, with very few concrete reasons for their opposition. The reasons they do come up w

          • by syousef ( 465911 )

            Verbally bashing people (labelling them changephobes) who don't like a change to software that you happen to like is immature, destructive and just plain asinine. I dont mind change at all. If I did I wouldn't be using a web browser to begin with let alone updating my browser. Don't let that get in the way of your long troll.

            You like the idea of every site you've visited being seen by any user looking over your shoulder. You like big pretty print. That's fine with me. I'd just like the ability to turn it of

            • Maybe because most people find installing an extension a lot less intimidating than monkeying with about:config?

              still not have standard behaviour shared by every other web browser in existence when this had been how it was done for years is beyond me

              Sounds like changephobic language to me - especially the "how it was done for years" part.

              Personally, I love the "awesome bar" (though its name is a tad silly). I visit tons of websites, I can't always remember part of the url, and don't want my bookmarks all

              • by syousef ( 465911 )

                Maybe because most people find installing an extension a lot less intimidating than monkeying with about:config?

                You're kidding right? Installing 2 extensions you have to find, vs "monkeying" around with about:config. Lets see. One requires you're online and hunt down the extension, and requires the extension to be compatible with the particular version of firefox you use, and the other requires you know it exists and have a rough idea what the setting to modify is. You have to be trolling. No one could seri

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by RaceProUK ( 1137575 )
      IIRC, the EULA didn't pop up on first run, except on Windows, where it's expected.
  • by nhaines ( 622289 ) <nhaines@ubun t u .com> on Sunday September 21, 2008 @04:38PM (#25096943) Homepage

    While this was certainly an issue to be concerned about, it was disappointing to see the invective and bile poured out by some on the Launchpad bug page.

    I thought the informative first-run tab was a good way to go about things and I'm glad things finally got settled by sitting down and offering feedback. The best thing about the Free Software and Open Source communities is that they're communities. Coming together to work on solutions is what makes us so much stronger than proprietary software whose owners ignore their own users.

    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by stevey ( 64018 )

      There is a community, definitely.

      But there are also people who hang around and just want things to be given to them for free, who make no contributions, and will bitch and whine if they don't get their way.

      Sad, but given human nature not really a surprise.

  • by houstonbofh ( 602064 ) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @04:39PM (#25096951)
    When will companies (organizations) realize that convenience, more than any other factor including price, is a primary differentiator? If you make it difficult, people will just move on to the next solution that is easy. This works for EULAs, DRM, product activation, installation, acquiring media, playing music... "Simple" wins every time.
    • by BlueParrot ( 965239 ) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @05:26PM (#25097333)

      For DRM it is even worse since it will never be simpler than not having DRM in the first place, and it is rediculously easy to just record the analogue signal. Oh, but that reduces quality you say... Well, it is enough for one person to do it well and upload it to the net, and yes people WILL be able to record it well. If bored teenagers can build fusion based neutron sources in their basements, just for the fun of it, they will manage to record a khz frequency electric signal with quality degradation much lower than what the mp3 compression algorithms causes. The systematic errors could be brought down by simply using higher quality components than what most listeners bother with. The statistical errors (from thermal noise etc.. ) could be brought down by simply recording the same song several times and then combining the results.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Ghubi ( 1102775 )
      Convenience is just one factor among many. Convenience does not explain why anyone would switch to Firefox over from Internet Explorer.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by houstonbofh ( 602064 )

        Convenience is just one factor among many. Convenience does not explain why anyone would switch to Firefox over from Internet Explorer.

        Convenient features, like the ad-blocker plugin. Less inconvenient crashes from known exploits. It also comes back to making my life easier.

        • It's not a popular opinion to express on slashdot, but that's why I use opera. I don't do web development or anything horrendously complicated where I would want to modify the browser myself, so it's extremely convenient for me to use a browser which comes with those things like adblocking (and a mail/RSS client) built in and tuned by someone else who knows what they're doing. I use Firefox from time to time too, but even after spending a couple of hours wading through the available extensions I couldn't ge

      • Convenience is just one factor among many. Convenience does not explain why anyone would switch to Firefox over from Internet Explorer.

        Quite the opposite. Most people I know use Firefox over IE for convenience reasons, particularly the non-techie ones (techies also tend to emphacize security).

    • by qw0ntum ( 831414 )
      I think companies *do* get this, but unfortunately in a organizations the user experience coexists with various other concerns, such as the ones we usually think of like legal and marketing, as well as time, technical limitations, dependencies on other parts of the organization, etc.

      This was an issue at a company I worked at. We were trying to get the "first run" number of screens on our app down to the bare minimum; not only did we have an argument with legal, we had to rethink the design of other comp
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 )

      ``"Simple" wins every time.''

      Except that it doesn't. Consider the examples you gave: ``EULAs, DRM, product activation, installation, acquiring media'': all these are obstacles to be dealt with before one can simply use the product. Yet products that feature those hurdles are overwhelmingly popular. Microsoft Windows. DVDs. iTunes Music Store. Need I go on?

      • I'll even add a free software example: ALSA.
      • by Nebu ( 566313 )

        ``"Simple" wins every time.''

        Except that it doesn't. Consider the examples you gave: ``EULAs, DRM, product activation, installation, acquiring media'': all these are obstacles to be dealt with before one can simply use the product. Yet products that feature those hurdles are overwhelmingly popular. Microsoft Windows. DVDs. iTunes Music Store. Need I go on?

        Your examples prove the point. They are all simpler compared to the alternatives.

        Windows: Just using whatever came installed with your computer is simpler than learning what an OS is, let alone start considering installing a different OS.

        DVDs... what's complicated about that? They're like VHS, except you don't need to rewind them.

        iTunes Music Store, it's advertised, so people have actually heard about it. It's much easier to use that, than to do actual research and find out about Bittorrent, eDonkey, LimeWi

    • by Eil ( 82413 )

      When will companies (organizations) realize that convenience, more than any other factor including price, is a primary differentiator? If you make it difficult, people will just move on to the next solution that is easy. This works for EULAs, DRM, product activation, installation, acquiring media, playing music... "Simple" wins every time.

      If that were true, every PC in the world would have an Apple logo on the side.

      Not that I'm a fan of Apple by any stretch of the imagination, but you can't argue that their

  • Debian (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cmacb ( 547347 ) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @04:43PM (#25096975) Homepage Journal

    Does this mean Debian can go back to using Mozilla/Firefox too?

    Or would it still make more sense to implement an easily customized "installer" for Mozilla/Firefox that could be adapted to any distribution and let the distribution install the installer rather than the actual product?

    • Re:Debian (Score:4, Informative)

      by Light303 ( 1335283 ) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @04:47PM (#25097025)

      As far as i remember, Debian kicked Firefox because its logo is non-free. So i guess it is not affected by these EULA changes.

    • Re:Debian (Score:5, Informative)

      by nhaines ( 622289 ) <nhaines@ubun t u .com> on Sunday September 21, 2008 @04:47PM (#25097039) Homepage

      No, unfortunately the problem with Debian is that the restrictive trademarks on the "Mozilla Firefox" name and icon conflict with the Debian Free Software Guidelines.

      Mozilla wouldn't allow Debian to put the name and logo on anything that wasn't built from unmodified source from Mozilla's servers. This would have prevented Debian from customizing, integrating, and maintaining older versions of Firefox (Mozilla's response was for Debian to stop using 1.x versions of Firefox even in stable).

      Canonical came to some sort of agreement with Mozilla to allow Ubuntu to continue using the name and logo with their modifications. I never heard what exactly it took to come to such an agreement.

      • Re:Debian (Score:4, Interesting)

        by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @04:54PM (#25097099)
        Apparently Mandriva found a way around it too, because their packages of Firefox are modified in many ways from the official source, too (different icons, different file browser, Font changes, non-default color scheme, preloads of different bookmarks, etc).
      • by starwed ( 735423 )
        I believe that Debian was prevented from accepting a similar agreement because it in some way conflicted with their ideology.
        • Re:Debian (Score:5, Informative)

          by novakyu ( 636495 ) <novakyu@member.fsf.org> on Sunday September 21, 2008 @08:27PM (#25098693) Homepage

          I believe that Debian was prevented from accepting a similar agreement because it in some way conflicted with their ideology.

          Not "in some way". It conflicts with an explicitly stated guideline [debian.org], in particular,

          8. License Must Not Be Specific to Debian.

          If Debian can work out an agreement, that agreement needs to be with the entire free software community; the agreement must not be limited to something named Debian (after all, if the agreement becomes invalid when someone takes that component out of Debian, then by the general consensus, that component is not free).

      • Re:Debian (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bluephone ( 200451 ) <[grey] [at] [burntelectrons.org]> on Sunday September 21, 2008 @05:38PM (#25097415) Homepage Journal

        Actually, Debian IS allowed to make some changes to firefox and still use the TM'ed name and logo. The issue was Debian didn't want to follow Mozilla's updated policy about it, and the PROBLEM came about that it was no longer trivial for Debian to merely change the branding information due to them braking the branding switch which Mozilla engineered specifically to make changing the branding easy. Debian could no longer merely add a compile time switch and change a couple files in a special directory, this caused them a large amount of grief to undo the problem they caused for themselves, and it came late in a dev cycle.

        Mozilla's requirements were that Debian submit their changes in smaller, easier to read patches, rather than the single monolithic patch they submitted. There were also some changes Mozilla wasn't happy about. But the big problem was that it wasn't easy for Debian to change the branding due to them breaking the branding switch. Had that still been working, they'd have just turned it off and dealt with the TM issues later, although they still probably would have created their own brand because they wanted to make more changes than Mozilla would have allowed to still be called Firefox.

        In the end, it was about identity, which Debian is well aware. Debian wants to protect their identity, and so does Mozilla. Mozilla will let you make changes in a distro of Firefox and still use the logos and name, but you have to abide by their rules. If you think about that, it's pretty fair. And if you don't like those rules, you can still take the code and do what you wish with it, but you have to give it your own name. I don't see that as being a bad thing.

        Mozilla is actually quite amenable to use of their trademarks, so calling them "restrictive trademarks" is unfair. They're only restrictive when you run afoul of the guidelines they set out. One could say that the GPL is a "restrictive license" because it won't allow me to make proprietary changes to the code and keep them secret. The truth is that the GPL is quite permissive as long as you follow its rules. Rules are by definition "restrictive". It's unfair to label Mozilla's TM guidelines as restrictive when referring to instances where people are breaking the rules.

        • Re:Debian (Score:5, Informative)

          by nhaines ( 622289 ) <nhaines@ubun t u .com> on Sunday September 21, 2008 @05:58PM (#25097597) Homepage

          The trademark policy by Mozilla is restrictive in the sense that you can't take Firefox, make any modification you wish, and still call it "Firefox". This is not necessarily a bad thing, but in the end it was not compatible with the way Debian wished to do things. What was unfortunate is that permission had already been granted and Debian was acting in good faith when Mozilla entirely changed direction.

          Mozilla expressly disallowed Debian to continue to maintain Firefox 1.5, which they are required to do for Debian stable by their social contract. More explicitly, Mozilla told Debian that they refused to review any patches which Debian might submit for products that Mozilla no longer maintained. Mozilla didn't seem to be interested in being reasonable on this point. Labeling their guidelines as "restrictive" refers to the set of rules that must be followed, not the instance where rules are being broken.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by bluephone ( 200451 )
            I notice you left out "And still call it firefox" in all but the first part of your reply. Mozilla can't stop anyone from supporting Firefox 1.5, or even 0.9, or any other version, ever. They can only say "We don't want that called Firefox."
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by JackieBrown ( 987087 )

          The issue was Debian didn't want to follow Mozilla's updated policy about it

          Mozilla's requirements were that Debian submit their changes in smaller, easier to read patches, rather than the single monolithic patch they submitted. There were also some changes Mozilla wasn't happy about.

          The problem was that Mozilla could approve or deny any patch that Debian wanted to include.

          The other problem is that Mozilla did not understand why Debian wanted to backport security patches to old versions. The freeze nature of Debian stable escaped them.

      • I never heard what exactly it took to come to such an agreement.

        I don't actually know, but it wouldn't surprise me if one of the terms was to restrict as many of the changes to an "Ubuntu" named addon as possible instead of modifying the base Firefox code.

      • Canonical came to some sort of agreement with Mozilla to allow Ubuntu to continue using the name and logo with their modifications. I never heard what exactly it took to come to such an agreement.

        According to the UFSG:

        Must not be distributed under a license specific to Ubuntu. The rights attached to the software must not depend on the programme's being part of Ubuntu system. So we will not distribute software for which Ubuntu has a "special" exemption or right, and we will not put our own software into Ubuntu and then refuse you the right to pass it on.

        I don't know how that relates to trademark, or how it relates to the Liberty or Death clause of the GPL (and then firefox has two other licenses to be redistributed under), but it seems to clearly be against the spirit if only ubuntu can redistribute their modified firefox in the branded state [especially if, on mozilla's side, this is merely a quality and reputation issue--we're talking about copying the program, not changing it, so the quality is the same everywhere].

        Nutrition for co

    • Re:Debian (Score:4, Informative)

      by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @04:50PM (#25097051)

      >Does this mean Debian can go back to using Mozilla/Firefox too?

      Probably not. The issue that Debian had is with the restrictions on the Firefox name and logo. Mozilla didn't want people to change the code and then still call it "Firefox", which is a registered trademark. As far as I know, those restrictions have not gone away, they are just not requiring a first-run pop-up with EULA agreement.

      • Re:Debian (Score:4, Informative)

        by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @05:19PM (#25097283) Homepage

        Probably not. The issue that Debian had is with the restrictions on the Firefox name and logo. Mozilla didn't want people to change the code and then still call it "Firefox", which is a registered trademark. As far as I know, those restrictions have not gone away, they are just not requiring a first-run pop-up with EULA agreement.

        Yup, it's Windows vs Linux distribution meeting head on. On Windows they have the problem that people will take Firefox, include adware/malware/trojans/viruses and distribute it as Firefox since getting random .exe files from the Internet is par for the course anyway. On Linux I never saw that problem, everyone installs it from the repositories which have the real version. Since Debian will not take Debian-specific agreements, it follows that if Debian could use the trademark everyone else must be able to as well for both Linux and Windows versions. So to protect their Windows installers, they can not let Debian use their trademark. It's strange that Firefox is the only one to feel this problem strong enough to do it, then again they have a broad userbase that's not the most technically inclined compared to a lot of other developer/server OSS tools.

        • by houghi ( 78078 )

          It's strange that Firefox is the only one to feel this problem strong enough to do it

          It's strange that Debian is the only one to feel this problem strong enough to do it

          Same difference.

  • by grege1 ( 1065244 ) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @05:41PM (#25097437)
    While I am pleased they have resolved the EULA issue, that is small stuff compared to the ongoing Ubuntu issue of flash and pulseaudio that causes Firefox to crash. There are a thousand and one "fixes" to be found and only a few work, and it only takes an update to undo the fix. I have resorted to using Seamonkey for stability. So, Canonical please just make it work - EULA or not.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      ...that is small stuff compared to the ongoing Ubuntu issue of flash and pulseaudio that causes Firefox to crash.

      This is for sure the biggest issue currently facing the adoption of Linux.

      I have personally convinced 30 or so people (smart, but not especially technical) to try Ubuntu. Without fail they loved it. Even getting to grips with command line stuff (most of them have had to do similar things on windows boxes, and felt that Linux was much more elegant and sensible in this regard).

      How embarrassing th

      • Why do some people have this problem and not others? I have not had it, neither has anyone else I know.

        Is it an issue with particular versions of Ubuntu, that does not affect other versions or other distros? Is it a particular Flash version and browser combination? The GP says it occurs with FF but not with Seamonkey.

        The other thing i cannot understand is why so many people you know were affected. Too many for it to be coincidence. Is there some common factor?

      • Try FreeBSD (or PC-BSD if you want something more user-friendly). The kernel has supported sound mixing for ages (since around 2001, as I recall, although it became trivial to use with 5.x). Userspace programs just open /dev/dsp and write sound there. They don't have to deal with all agreeing to use the same userspace mixer, they just pretend that they are the only process on the machine and let the operating system handle multiplexing of the hardware (just like it does for RAM, CPU time, disk and networ
    • by MenTaLguY ( 5483 )

      Installing libflashsupport doesn't address the issues for you?

  • I have obtained a legal copy of the software. It is no longer Mozilla's business what I do with it. Copyright prevents me from distributing it, but I what I do with it is solely up to me. They own the copyright, but the specific copy in my possession is now my property and I have the moral right to use it. Requiring that I assent to a EULA for software that I already have the legal right to use is bullshit.

    If Mozilla doesn't like it, they can offer me the agreement before/b> I acquire the software! It's

  • next: OpenOffice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bcrowell ( 177657 ) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @06:28PM (#25097813) Homepage

    I hope Sun will take a hint from this, and stop trying to impose the LGPL as a click-through EULA in the Windows versions of OpenOffice. I teach a physics lab course where I'm trying to encourage students to use OpenOffice instead of Office. (One really practical reason is that they'll make a graph using Excel at school, email it to themselves, then try to open it at home using Excel and find out they can't, because they have an older version of Excel at home.) The really annoying thing is that when you install OOo, it forces each user to click through the EULA the first time on that machine. This is lame, because:

    1. The LGPL isn't a EULA, and doesn't require agreement from the end-user. You only have to agree to it if you want to redistribute it the sofwtare.
    2. It's a hassle for my students. We have 7 Windows machines in the room, and I have 75 students in my lab classes. That means students potentially have to click through the license 75*7=525 times per semester.
    3. But wait, there's more! These machines will soon be set up so that their hard disks are restored from a standard image every night at midnight. That guarantees that every student will have to click through the license every single time they start the software. That means if every student uses OOo once a week in lab, we potentially have the EULA being clicked through 1200 times per semester. Ugh!
    • by HardCase ( 14757 )

      Oh the humanity! If you think 1200 clicks per semester is bad, think of the millions of pixels that are being wasted displaying the EULA! Think of the CPU resources that are unnecessarily spent rendering the text that NOBODY IS GOING TO READ! It's a travesty! Somebody should write a sternly worded letter!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by shaitand ( 626655 )

      Here's a thought, use per machine accounts instead of per user accounts and click through the EULAs BEFORE imaging the drive.

    • Re:next: OpenOffice (Score:4, Interesting)

      by bigbigbison ( 104532 ) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @08:14PM (#25098589) Homepage
      I haven't tried it in a while so I can't remember but might the portable version of openoffice.org be a solution? http://portableapps.com/apps/office/openoffice_portable [portableapps.com]
    • There must be a registry setting somewhere that flags the EULA as read or unread. If you have the appropriate admin privileges, you could set that registry entry to change to what you want it to via a login script.

      Not that your complaint isn't valid, but it's all part of being an admin...software is usually designed to stupid things that become more obvious when you're running it in an office or lab setting, with lots of machines and users. In the Windows world, however, there's little that a login script
    • by hyfe ( 641811 )

      But wait, there's more! These machines will soon be set up so that their hard disks are restored from a standard image every night at midnight. That guarantees that every student will have to click through the license every single time they start the software. That means if every student uses OOo once a week in lab, we potentially have the EULA being clicked through 1200 times per semester. Ugh!

      Or rather, you could ask whoever's making the image to click through once.

  • Force Ubuntu to invoke the copy right on *every* launch: from the GPL 2.0 [gnu.org]

    c) If the modified program normally reads commands interactively when run, you must cause it, when started running for such interactive use in the most ordinary way, to print or display an announcement including an appropriate copyright notice and a notice that there is no warranty (or else, saying that you provide a warranty) and that users may redistribute the program under these conditions, and telling the user how to view a copy
  • by Mr.Ned ( 79679 ) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @08:18PM (#25098619)

    From the groklaw link: "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."

    Let me get this straight. There's a popup window with legalese that includes an agreement that you have to figure out how to opt out of? So it's like a EULA, but they just assume you agree, and the "I Agree" button has been renamed "Next"?

    I don't see how this is significantly different.

    • by Toonol ( 1057698 )
      You seriously don't see the difference between "I Agree" and "Next"? Clicking one means that... you agree. The other doesn't. Sometimes the difference of one or two words makes a huge difference. The problem was never the hardship of having to click a button. It was the requirement of mandatory consent in order to use the program.

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser

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