[Bug 269656] Re: AN IRRELEVANT LICENSE IS PRESENTED TO YOU FREE-OF-CHARGE ON STARTUP

Chip Bennett chip at chipbennett.net
Thu Sep 18 03:08:01 UTC 2008


@aschuring:

"Considering how things are now with the services agreement, I don't
think it will be necessary to ship with them turned off."

Caveat: I am still relatively new (slightly over a year) to Ubuntu,
Linux, and FOSS - so please forgive any ignorance and do not take any of
my comments or questions to be anything more than sincere.

I am quite happy with what Mozilla has done to revise both the content
and presentation of information they believe critical to present to end
users. However, I am still trying to grasp some things.

As I understand Ubuntu's operating principles, Ubuntu is promised always
to be free software. Only packages that meet the standard of "free
software" can reside in Main and be fully, officially supported by
Ubuntu. (Am I on track so far?)

Now, we have Firefox, an erstwhile "free software" application, that has
begun bundling non-free, proprietary components with their open-sourced,
free software. Mozilla has done an admirable job now in differentiating
between end users' rights of unencumbered use of Firefox and the use of
the non-free components (services), that require an end-user agreement
in order to use.

So, now we have Firefox, by default built/bundled with non-free
components (that require an end-user license agreement - by whatever
name) that currently resides in Main for Intrepid alpha. That is, non-
free software now resides in Main.

I don't see how this situation is not problematic for Ubuntu.

It would seem to me that this situation presents only two acceptable
resolutions:

1) Mozilla allows Linux distributions to ship Firefox with the non-free
services disabled by default, with users only required to accept an EULA
for those services if they choose to enable them - and allowing them to
do so without revoking their Firefox-branding rights,

or

2) Ubuntu moves branded Firefox to Multiverse/Restricted, as non-free
software cannot reside in Main.

Any other resolution would be in violation of Canonical's operating
principles with respect to Ubuntu, and would be considered to be an
egregious betrayal of trust by much of the Ubuntu community.

Again, with the changes Mozilla has already made, if Ubuntu can be
allowed to disable the non-free services by default and still use the
Firefox branding, then I think this issue will be completely, entirely
resolved.

And, again, I'm still learning here; I welcome constructive criticism if
any of my above comments are off-base.

-- 
AN IRRELEVANT LICENSE IS PRESENTED TO YOU FREE-OF-CHARGE ON STARTUP
https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/269656
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