Dragonlord dreamsareimmortal at hotmail.com
Mon Sep 15 18:30:47 UTC 2008

This striked me as the right time to re-read the "Ubuntu philosophy" as written on ubuntu.com:

All of the text is interesting in relation to this conversation, for example:
For Ubuntu, the 'free' in 'free software' is used primarily in reference to freedom, and not to price....
...Quoting the Free Software Foundation's 'What is Free Software', the freedoms at the core of free software are defined as:

    * The freedom to run the programme, for any purpose.
    * The freedom to study how the programme works and adapt it to your needs.
    * The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help others.
    * The freedom to improve the programme and release your improvements to the public, so that everyone benefits.

Taking out the EULA from the first time you run firefox and sticking it
somewhere in the menus, without asking the user to read it and accept it
in order to use the program, seems to be exactly in the spirit of the
second and fourth of these points: it would be "adapting firefox to
ubuntu's needs" and "improvement of the program". This is the right we
are given by choosing free software. This is why we have chosen it. If
mozilla doesn't want this change to be released under their name and
trademark, that is fine! Just rename it and everyone's happy. I mean,
sure, firefox carries some brand recognition, but is it worth the price
of "legalizing" EULAs in free software? Apart from that, when you get a
new user to try Ubuntu (or linux in general), you want to show them
improvements, not "the same thing like windows, just free". Their usual
response will be either that they have already paid for windows, or that
they've got a copy anyway. We gotta give a significantly different
experience in a good way, show people that with ubuntu they won't have
all the things that annoy them with windows - like being forced to
accept EULAs.

Anyway, I'll close this with an idea: since Ubuntu is "community
developed", as it says on ubuntu.com, why not let the community decide
this? I can understand why there have to be private discussions with
companies, but now we have heard all opinions, Mark has already written
3-4 times here making his point and there are still more people asking
for a switch to a renamed firefox or to epiphany. This seems like a big
deal to many of us, so how about making an open poll or something? This
is a significant decision in ubuntu development, so, if there is a time
to ask for the community to get involved, that time is now.

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