Mozilla Asks for License Integration into Ubuntu

Sep 15, 2008

Before Ubuntu users can run the Firefox open source browser, they will henceforth need to accept extensive licensing terms. According to Mark Shuttleworth, the terms were imposed by Mozilla Corporation.

Users of the next Linux version, Intrepid Ibex, will be greeted with a Mozilla End-User License Agreement (EULA) when they open the browser.

In a mailing list, users first declared this license behavior to be a bug and the agreement to be “largely irrelevant to Ubuntu users.” Ubuntu founder Shuttleworththen quickly jumped in to explain: “Mozilla Corporation asked that this be added in order for us to continue to call the browser Firefox.” Not that Shuttleworth is happy with the decision, which he feels does not constitute a “best practice” for users: “It's unfortunate that Mozilla feels this is absolutely necessary.”

Mozilla opened a fierce debate with this demand targeting the popular distribution, with annoyed responses from countless sources. Some users took the imposed EULA to mean that Mozilla’s Firefox is no longer free software. Several even suggested to “take a cue” from Debian and change to Iceweasel/Icedove as the default browser; others voted for the Gnome Epiphany browser.

Only a few users showed understanding for the licensing decision and considered it customary. For example, Vadim Peretokin commented: “Seeing an EULA the first time you launch a browser might be a bit odd to new users, it's not such a huge usability problem. People are used to it.”

Related content

comments powered by Disqus

Issue 19: Linux Shell Handbook 5th Ed./Special Editions

Buy this issue as a PDF

Digital Issue: Price $15.99
(incl. VAT)

News