Firefox EULA in Linux Distributions

We’ve been working for a while to fix some objections to both the presentation of a EULA and the content of the EULA in certain Linux distributions. The issue came to light because of a change in settings in the 3.0 builds, that turned on the EULA display at installation, similar to the Windows environment. This caused two big problems. One, it put a EULA in front of a set of end-users who are not accustomed to seeing such agreements. Second, the license grant itself was inconsistent with the values of many of the users in the Linux communities and our own. They viewed the EULA as improperly imposing restrictions on the use of Firefox. Red Hat and Fedora were staunch advocates for making a change, and helped us understand the problem and potential fixes.

Upon review, they were right. So over the past few months we’ve redrafted the license agreement and changed the presentation requirements. This was a significant change for us from a licensing perspective, perhaps long overdue in the eyes of others. We believe the new terms address the objections we heard from both a substantive and presentation perspective. The plan was to post about it this week, so I guess that part is coming true, but not quite the setting I’d imagined.

The new agreement (shown below) isn’t yet in the builds, but here’s what it does:
• Makes the license grant parallel to the MPL;
• It has optional terms that govern services provided by Mozilla through the browser (e.g. anti-malware and anti-phishing services). A user may opt of the services and continue using the browser;
• The license grant excludes trademark rights; and
• The license doesn’t require explicit click through.

It is essentially structured in two portions, one dealing with the code, and one dealing with the services. The first part describes the license applicable to the code itself. The second part contains terms that govern use of optional services. From a presentation perspective, we’re of the view that it’s good for users to easily be able to see the license terms associated with their software; however, this doesn’t mean it has to be a poor user experience. We have adopted an approach that tries to conform to the way the distributor presents license info. In cases where there is only a first run page presented, we’ve proposed language to inform the user that there is a license agreement, and they can click a link to view the terms. In other cases, like corporate builds where an IT administrator is already presented with EULA terms, we’ve asked distributors to include the terms with the terms that are already presented.

Over the next few days, we’ll review any comments, and re-evaluate the draft language in light of the feedback.


This Mozilla Firefox License Agreement (“Agreement”) applies to the accompanying executable code version of the Mozilla Firefox browser and related documentation (such executable version and documentation are referred to herein collectively as the “Product”). The [Insert Distributor Name] distributes the Product, which includes modifications made to source code originally made available by Mozilla (such source code, including those modifications, but excluding any trademarks or logos of Mozilla, is referred to herein as the “Corresponding Source”). The Corresponding Source, which you may use, modify and distribute, is available to you free of charge under the Mozilla Public License and certain other open source software licenses (collectively “Open Source Licenses”).

During the Mozilla Firefox installation process, and at later times, you may be given the option of installing additional components from third-party software providers. The installation and use of those third-party components may be governed by additional license agreements instead of this Agreement.

The Product is made available to you under the terms of this Agreement. By using the Product, you are consenting to be bound by this Agreement. If you do not agree to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, do not use the Product. The Product also utilizes website information services (“Services”), such as safe-browsing features, which are made available by the Mozilla Corporation (“Mozilla”) under the terms herein, and which shall only apply if you use the Services. If you do not agree to the terms applicable to the Services in Paragraph 6 – 10, you may continue to use the Product subject to the remaining provisions of this Agreement provided that you disable the Services on the Security Tab of the Preferences.

1. License Grant. Except as set forth below in Paragraph 2 (“Trademarks & Notices”), the Product is licensed to you under the terms of the Mozilla Public License, version 1.1, found at (“MPL”) which are incorporated herein by reference. This Agreement will also govern any upgrades to the Product provided by [Distributor] and originating from Mozilla that replace and/or supplement the original Product, in which case the term “Product” also refers to such upgrades, unless such upgrades are accompanied by a separate license, in which case the terms of that license will govern. Nothing in this Agreement will be construed to limit any rights granted to you under the Open Source Licenses with respect to the Corresponding Source.

2. Trademarks & Notices. Mozilla, Firefox, and the Firefox logo (collectively “Trademarks”) are registered trademarks of Mozilla in the U.S. and other countries. This Agreement does not grant you any right to use the Trademarks, apart from the use necessarily occurring in your installation and execution of the Product. If you modify the Product as permitted by the Open Source Licenses, you must remove or replace all images and files containing the Trademarks. You may not remove or alter notices in or on the Product (i.e. copyright or other notices) except as expressly provided in Exhibit A of the MPL or required by this paragraph. Except as set-forth in this Agreement, no other rights or licenses are granted.

3. Export Control. The Product and its use is subject to applicable export/import restrictions, laws and regulations of the United States.

4. Termination. If you breach any provision of Paragraphs 1 -3, including the terms of the MPL incorporated by reference, your right to use the Product will terminate immediately and without notice.

5. Privacy Policy. The Mozilla Firefox Privacy Policy is made available online at, as that policy may be updated from time to time.

6. Website Information Services. Mozilla grants you the right to use and access the Services via the Product subject to all of the terms of this Agreement. Mozilla and its contributors, licensors and partners work to provide the most accurate and up-to-date phishing, malware and other information via the Services. However, they cannot guarantee that this information is comprehensive and error-free: some risky sites may not be identified, and some safe sites may be identified in error. This Agreement also governs the use of Services made available to you as a result of your installing any executable software upgrades to the Product provided to you by Mozilla, where those Services replace or supplement the Services provided through the use of the Product. In such a case, “the Product” shall also refer to such installed upgrades. However, if such upgrades are accompanied by a separate agreement from Mozilla, the terms of that agreement will govern the use of the Services.

7. Disclaimer of Warranty. The PRODUCT AND SERVICES ARE PROVIDED “AS IS” WITH ALL FAULTS. TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, MOZILLA AND MOZILLA’S DISTRIBUTORS AND LICENSORS HEREBY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, including without limitation warranties that the Product and Services are free of defects, merchantable, fit for a particular purpose and non-infringing. You bear the entire risk as to selecting the Product and Services for your purposes and as to the quality and performance of the Product and Services. This limitation will apply notwithstanding the failure of essential purpose of any remedy. Some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion or limitation of implied warranties, so this disclaimer may not apply to you.

8. Limitation of Liability. Except as required by law, MOZILLA AND ITS DISTRIBUTORS, DIRECTORS, LICENSORS, CONTRIBUTORS AND AGENTS (COLLECTIVELY, THE “MOZILLA GROUP”) WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF OR IN ANY WAY RELATING TO THIS AGREEMENT OR THE USE OF OR INABILITY TO USE THE PRODUCT OR SERVICES, including without limitation damages for loss of goodwill, work stoppage, lost profits, loss of data, and computer failure or malfunction, even if advised of the possibility of such damages and regardless of the theory (contract, tort or otherwise) upon which such claim is based. THE MOZILLA GROUP’S COLLECTIVE LIABILITY UNDER THIS AGREEMENT WILL NOT EXCEED THE GREATER OF $500 (FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS) AND THE FEES PAID BY YOU TO MOZILLA UNDER THIS AGREEMENT (IF ANY). Some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental, consequential or special damages, so this exclusion and limitation may not apply to you.

9. U.S. Government End-Users. This Product is a “commercial item,” as that term is defined in 48 C.F.R. 2.101, consisting of “commercial computer software” and “commercial computer software documentation,” as such terms are used in 48 C.F.R. 12.212 (Sept. 1995) and 48 C.F.R. 227.7202 (June 1995). Consistent with 48 C.F.R. 12.212, 48 C.F.R. 27.405(b)(2) (June 1998) and 48 C.F.R. 227.7202, all U.S. Government End Users acquire the Product with only those rights as set forth therein (including all rights to use this Product that are granted under the MPL).

10. Miscellaneous. (a) This Agreement, including the MPL, constitutes the entire agreement between Mozilla and you concerning the subject matter hereof, and this Agreement may only be modified by a written amendment signed by an authorized executive of Mozilla. (b) This Agreement will be governed by the laws of the state of California, U.S.A., excluding its conflict of law provisions. (c) This Agreement will not be governed by the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods. (d) If any part of this Agreement is held invalid or unenforceable, that part will be construed to reflect the parties’ original intent, and the remaining portions will remain in full force and effect. (e) A waiver by either party of any term or condition of this Agreement or any breach thereof, in any one instance, will not waive such term or condition or any subsequent breach thereof. (f) Except as required by law, the controlling language of this Agreement is English. (g) You may assign your rights under this Agreement to any party that consents to, and agrees to be bound by, its terms; the Mozilla Corporation may assign its rights under this Agreement without condition. (h) This Agreement will be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the parties, their successors and permitted assigns.

73 Responses to Firefox EULA in Linux Distributions

  1. Pingback: Mitchell’s Blog » Blog Archive » Ubuntu, Firefox and License Issues

  2. Eli Friedman says:

    I think the most obvious objection is the title: “MOZILLA FIREFOX LICENSE AGREEMENT”. Do we really want to be placing *any* restrictions on people who just download Firefox and run it on their computer?

    “4. Termination. If you breach any provision of Paragraphs 1 -3, including the terms of the MPL incorporated by reference, your right to use the Product will terminate immediately and without notice.” So if I, for example, distribute an unbranded build of Firefox and forget to distribute the source (a violation of the MPL), I am no longer allowed to use Firefox?

    “If you modify the Product as permitted by the Open Source Licenses, you must remove or replace all images and files containing the Trademarks.” Does this mean if I replace the Firefox executable with a modified one on my own computer (so I have a modified version of the product), I’m in violation of the agreement? And by doing that, per Section 4, am I no longer allowed to use Firefox (despite the fact that this is all local on my computer)?

    Assuming the parts I just mentioned are fixed to only refer to distribution, is there really any reason for the user to see anything other than Section 5?

  3. Clearly then, Firefox is NOT distributed by Mozilla under the MPL or any other Open Source License as currently recognized by the OSI.

    Is the MFLA an Open Source License? It sure doesn’t look like one to me.

  4. jack says:

    Too little to late.

    This “thing” is again in front of the user. That is one part you do not get.

    Second the copyright notice is already located at HELP -> ABOUT. Place you trade mark there too.

    The MPL is a clean license. Forcing the user to click on / close the window of / or other actions breaks the trust of the user and FOSS community.

    My vote is dump Firefox since it is restrictive.

  5. Daniel Holbert says:

    Two nitpicks:

    > breach any provision of Paragraphs 1 -3
    You need a space between “-” and “3”

    I thought I heard somewhere that we were removing the all-caps styling in favor of some other form of emphasis. I don’t imagine we get any added legal protection from the all-caps usage, do we?
    (AFAICT, the all-caps usage was one of the main complaints in the original Ubuntu bug description at )

  6. Ron House says:

    WHO is going to read all that bilge? We want to know a few simple things: (1) Which FOSS licence governs the product? (2) What is its URL? (3) Anything else? (Such as your safe site stuff – but in plain English, not legalistic spaghetti).

    But all this legalistic BILGE??! Export controls??? “…referred to collectively herein…” C’mon! Honest. Who will read it? Tell me. Let’s be frank. You are trying to cover your legal asses by saying “Hey, we told them the terms, if they said they read it and didn’t, they are liars -it’s all their fault.” BS!

    Get real. Or it’s time to fork firefox for real.

  7. Chip Bennett says:

    …and still, none of this applies to me, as an end user of Firefox on Kubuntu – or, if Mozilla insists that this EULA remain, a *former* end user of Firefox.

    This crap is part of the reason that I left Windows. I will have no problem using unbranded Firefox.

  8. Jimmy Kaplowitz says:

    This license still purports to be a prerequisite for legally using Firefox: “The Product is made available to you under the terms of this Agreement. By using the Product, you are consenting to be bound by this Agreement. If you do not agree to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, do not use the Product.”

    It is incompatible with free software principles to have a usage contract (not technically a “license”), as opposed to a license to perform actions which copyright law would normally prohibit. Usage contracts, if they are valid at all, restrict the right a user would naturally have for a legally acquired program to use it unmodified on their own computer, converting it from an unconditional right to a conditional one. They act based on contract law instead of copyright law.

    A useful solution which would not restrict usage rights would be to convert the EULA from a contract into a screen of legal notices by removing paragraphs 1, 3, 4, and those parts of paragraph 10 which are particular to contracts. (I include paragraph 3 here since it is unreasonable to impose a duty to comply with US export laws on people residing outside the US who are not US citizens, and enough lawyer-reviewed free software archives exist, like Debian, that are hosted in the US without such a requirement. I would similarly suggest removing the application of California and US contract law as part of the conversion away from a contract.)

    If your lawyers absolutely require it, I could live with a screen on first launch which displays these notices, but I’d suggest clearly having a sentence outside the scrolling text box saying something like “These notices are for your information only, are not a contract, and do not require your agreement” (as modified to account for your online services). And then label the button to close the window as something like “Start Using Firefox” instead of OK or Agree. This would make it clear that all rights existing by default are preserved while still stating everything your lawyers require such as warranty disclaimers.

  9. Klerck says:

    The Mozilla Foundation is certainly not on the spoke.

  10. Klerck says:

    PS: And I know, because I am the spoke, and it certainly is not on me.

  11. Bob says:

    …and this crap may very well be the reason I got back to Windows.

    I like Linux, but if everyone starts throwing in inferior browsers because, OMG, EULA BAAAAAD I might as well just go back to Windows, since it also includes a crap browser by default.

    Seriously, this talk about forking Firefox to unbrand it is going to do more harm to Linux on the desktop than it’ll ever do to Mozilla.

  12. Corey Burger says:

    Sorry, still a giant fail. The issue is not the text that is shown. It is that there is text shown.

  13. John Gilmore says:

    It’s painful to see good organizations go bad.

    Your copyrighted code is covered by a *license*. Not a EULA *contract*.

    Your trademark is enforceable whether or not you attempt to force someone to sign a yellow-dog contract.

    The contract gives you virtually zero additional legal protection, while pissing off the people who you are set up as a nonprofit to serve. Not only is it destroying the universality of your beloved trademark (as every distro calls their browser something else, just so they can get out from under this EULA crap), it’s pissing away the goodwill of the free software community.

    The license also appears to deny the GPL and LGPL, in that it claims that this EULA boilerplate and the MPL are the sole terms between me and Mozilla that are valid.

    PS: If you really believed that users should be able to see the terms of the software, make your *$*# “About” box contain the terms. It currently (3.0.1) doesn’t even include the MPL, GPL, LGPL, nor the EULA. Don’t pop the terms up once during system installation and then make them impossible to find anytime thereafter; just put them where everyone expects to find them, in the About box.

    Please drop the whole EULA thing, the whole attempt to get users to “agree” to some contract that gives you rights that the Copyright Act and trademark law do not already give you. Act like every other major free software project.
    Or does your infinite Google revenue stream make you like Lily Tomlin’s phone company: “We don’t care. We don’t have to.”

  14. Meneer R says:

    Unacceptable. All EULA applications have to pass through legal here.

  15. Anders says:

    Seriously why do you do this? Why do you hurt users? Why do you hurt the respect for users freedom?

    This pile of legalese still has all the feel of one of the foremost symbols of proprietary software vendor abuse of customers – the EULA.


  16. Alan Bell says:

    I would strongly support putting about:license in the help menu of Firefox. It should be as easy as possible for the interested user to inform themselves of the license and the development methodology and the heroic efforts of the developers. Putting a click-through on the front breaks live CDs and doesn’t work on multi-user computers and just isn’t the right thing to do.

  17. Ami says:

    Surely no license is required to run software that already exists on my PC. The person running the browser may not be the person who installed it, in which case they aren’t subject to the license. Remember that, as a copyright license, it only binds people who want to copy the software. (And I don’t buy the nonsense that copying it to memory for the purposes of executing counts as copying.)

    If the license appears anywhere, then presumably it should be part of the download process.

  18. Robert says:

    It doesn’t matter whether it’s the correct terms or not. It still looks like legal garbage that nobody will read, nor wants to see. If you think that this will even affect the end user, you’re deluded as I don’t know anybody who reads this kind of crap.

    Just disable it. It’s not as if it’s unenforceable because you don’t irritate thousands of end users.

  19. Pingback: Mozilla a EULA at stream of bytes

  20. MarkC says:

    Personally I hate the presence of a EULA at all, but if there has to be one, why not make it a simple, plain English document describing briefly what you can and can’t do, and with a link to the full legalese license.

    The Creative Commons license pages are a wonderful example of how such things _should_ be done.

  21. Nathanael Nerode says:

    Not an acceptable license. I don’t have to “agree” to anything to use software (free or proprietary, actually!): you should be granting me unrestricted permission. Only if I wish to use one of the exclusive rights restricted by copyright, trademark, or patent, do I need to agree to anything.

    Click-through EULAs exist in proprietary software to make it impossible to use the software without either modifying it (restricted by copyright law) or agreeing to the EULA. Since we can modify Mozilla, any sane person will modify it to delete the EULA, and start it up.

    On top of that, you’ve just written a document which attempts to reinvent the free software license. This is essentially always an error, because there are so many ways to screw it up (you’ve avoided several, but you hit a few big landmines in drafting). Worse, the free software licenses already exist for the codebase, so this document probably has no legal effect from a licensing or “agreement” point of view.

    What you want is a list of LEGAL NOTICES. Not an END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT.

    But then you folks have been incompetent about free software licensing quite a lot in the last few years.

    For an old exaple, your icons are not licensed according to free software principles, and for no rational reason. (YES, it is possible to put the artwork under a free software license without dropping any trademark restrictions: there are several actual use cases for this, including artwork not used to represent anything and therefore outside the realm of trademark; derivative WORKS which aren’t derivative MARKS; private modifications; etc.). The Iceweasel logos are like this: they’re under a free copyright license, but if anyone ever tries to use them to represent something other than a fully-free-software derivative of the Mozilla codebase, we have an excellent trademark infringment case.

    Meanwhile, your trademark policy is frighteningly intolerant; a normal trademark policy for free software allows for anything which is ‘basically’ your code to be labelled with the same name, provided modifications are prominently noted; yours, not even allowing for security fixes or local compatibility fixes, essentially means that if the trademarks are used, Mozilla is completely proprietary. This is compatible with free software, but compatible only in the “nobody should use the trademarks” sense.

    Your trademark policy contains some outright lies, in fact. If you do make a substantial variant of Mozilla, but one where over half the code is from Mozilla, it is 100% appropriate (and accurate) to say that it is “based (loosely) on Mozilla Firefox”, and furthermore we can do it without asking your permission — it doesn’t constitute ‘passing off’ or trading off the value of the name, it’s just a plain statement of fact. There are court precedents for this sort of thing (the “D&D compatible” cases, which TSR *lost*), and it’s utterly contemptible of Mozilla to suggest otherwise.

    It is well past time for Mozilla to dump its lawyers and get some who understand free software. However, since you just keep getting worse, perhaps forking will become the only reasonable option.

  22. Mikko Rantalainen says:

    “The Product is made available to you under the terms of this Agreement. By using the Product, you are consenting to be bound by this Agreement. If you do not agree to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, do not use the Product.”

    This makes it sound like you MUST accept the EULA to USE the product at all. If I’ve understood the intent correctly, the end user is allowed to use (but not distribute) the product (modified or not) without agreeing the EULA. However, user is not allowed to use the “website information services” unless he accepts the EULA. That difference should be made blindingly obvious! I’d suggest that EULA should be displayed only when the user is trying to use those said services. The use of the Firefox browser as is for other web sites should not require accepting the EULA!

    “If you modify the Product as permitted by the Open Source Licenses, you must remove or replace all images and files containing the Trademarks.”

    The wording is not clear here either. Surely the intent is to allow modifying the product if the modified product is not distributed? What kind of modification is enough? Do I have to remove all logos and files if I modify e.g. html.css or all.js?

  23. Nathanael Nerode says:

    Ha — just realized you *are* the lawyer. Well, I don’t blame you for being a bit off base about this stuff — most lawyers are when they first get into it; even Eben Moglen, the FSF lawyer, apparently took months before he understood what the GNU Project was asking him to do.

    The needs of free software require a very careful approach to legal drafting, which requires a *detailed* understanding of certain aspects of copyright, patent, and trademark law. Most laywers spend most of their time using “shortcuts” which work well for proprietary situations but miss vital, if sometimes obscure, cases for free software.

    The reason is that in ordinary drafting you’re only trying to defend the rights of *one* party, and you rely on the opposing party’s lawyers to defend the rights of the other party; in the proprietary world, copyright, patent, and trademark lawyers never have an opposing party and therefore err on the side of protecting the copyright/patent/trademark holder.

    In the free software world, you have to draft your license to protect *both* the rightsholder *and* the users, and the users have very particular demands. It’s more like writing a true, mutually-agreed contract, except you, as the lawyer writing the contract, have to represent BOTH SIDES.

    It’s time for you to learn, and to shape up. And, because nobody’s perfect, run all planned legal writing past the free software community three or four times *before* using it.

  24. Pingback: Noch ein unnötiger Blog

  25. jsmith says:

    You did it wrong. Now, Mozilla will be blamed by same zealot users who allowed it to became popular. They liked Mozilla for freedom principles. It was pretty stupid move to enforce EULA appearance and extra restrictions. You did ALL possible things to get such zealots to HATE you. First, most hated name of licenses, “EULA” was used. In open source world this is probably one of most hated words ever. “License” or “License Agreement” is slightly better than “EULA”. Also, forcing appearance of this stuff is hardly considered as user friendly action. So, you’re widely blamed and let’s say, for a good reason… if you’ll go in this way, Mozilla and Firefox will be symbol of fallen hope. A symbol of corporation who has fooled their user by promising freedom and then revoking that freedom once getting popular.The most ironical is most of Mozilla marketing done by users. I’d advertised Firefox a lot. After such move I will rather think twice before recommending Firefox to someone. Since I’m no longer sure which goals you have in long term after all this EULA crap.

  26. Hagar says:

    Like Ron House has written above.

    No one reads that long boring lawyers bullshits. People are trying to find OK/Accept as soon as possible and move on.
    Please Mozilla do not torture us 🙂

    If You really must put something like that into Fx do that in simple, short way understandable for normal human being.

    Keep this EULA for trials.

  27. Christoffer Brodd-Reijer says:

    First of all: this EULA will have absolutely no effect at all in a lot of countries (for example Sweden and Finland). An EULA is not a legal document and it will not matter if the user clicks on “Agree” or “Disagree”. So the EULA here is… *drumsnare*… Not necessary! 😀

    Secondly: clean up the language, no one wants to read stuff like that. So I bet you will not make your point if you don’t clean up the language.

    Thirdly: Don’t bother the users, or the community, too much. Look at history: XFree86. Please, don’t make mistakes, especially now when everyone are making their own browser.

    So to sum up: your EULA cannot be used in a legal case in a number of countries outside the U.S., your EULA will not even function as non-legal education for the users on your trademark policy, since they don’t like to read long and boring texts. So what will you (Mozilla) actually gain from doing this?

    I just wanna know.. Cause I don’t get it.

  28. Pablo says:

    This idea of Mozilla foundation of insisting in EULAs, “branded versions” etc. does not make any sense to me.What do you expect to get from this?

    Perhaps just loosing users to really free browsers (including “unbranded” versions of your own Firefox like
    Debian’s Iceweasel), and spreading a bad image in the open source comunity?

    Perhaps some marketing genius told you that it was a good marketing move to the insist on displaying the EULA to each user…

    Why don’t you just say “Mozilla is licence under MPL version 1.1/ GNU GPL version 2/ GNU LGPL version 2.1”
    (or what ever open-source/free software license you prefer) as most people in the open source comunity do?. This way things would be much clearer.

    Don’t you see that Firefox needs the support of the free software comunity to grow?

  29. bain says:

    > The license doesn’t require explicit click through

    Ifi t doesn’t require click through, why have it pop up on use. Why not have a link on the start page to about:license where user can click if they want to.

  30. Ami says:

    I was curious about what Ubuntu does about showing license agreements, and found that they have a legal page linked from the bottom of every page on their web site:

    This seems pretty unobtrusive. Surely if this is good enough for Ubuntu, it should be good enough for Mozilla to have an addendum to this page. That way there is at least a chance of somebody reading the license who is actually bound by it (somebody who might be about to copy/download Firefox as part of their Ubuntu download, for example).

  31. Sebol says:

    This still reads like intimidation by legalese. But it is totally unnecessary.

    The user has no obligations to the distributor. This is a unilateral licence grant. You are not asking anything from the user, you have no need for user consent (and if you did, you would have no proof of it). So why annoy the user at all?

    As far as trademarks: international trademark laws already protect those, not a contract with your users.

    As far as MPL/GPL/LGPL: these are extra rights you grant the user. The GPL requires you to point out those rights, a disclaimer of warranty, and a link to the source code. You can do that in the about box.

  32. jef says:

    Just to clarify…
    In the scope of the new communication over the re-wording…..

    Will the Mozilla blessed Fedora notification text approach be allow to continue?

    Does Mozilla feel that this approach can be used to adequately notify users of the things Mozilla needs them to be notified of? And will Mozilla be recommending that approach to other distributions?

    So far the Fedora implementation has done its job with little or no user backlash in the Fedora community. If Mozilla is comfortable with this approach it would make the most sense for Mozilla to polish and enshrine it as a preferred method of notification for other distributions to use.

    If Mozilla isn’t comfortable with this approach, and will be asking Fedora to discontinue using it, then we in userbase need to know with some specificity as to why that is so.


  33. Someone says:

    Sorry, but all caps sentences are *not* user-friendly. I’d rather not have anyone shouting at me when I first start Firefox.

    Linux, KDE, Gnome, Pidgin, OpenOffice, Xorg, etc all exist peacefully without having to show the user a license agreement. Why does Mozilla have to make a fuss?

  34. Yes i did read it all (as i always do). But did i understand everything ? Not sure. Under linux i already use Iceweasel.

  35. Stefanie says:

    I’ve done a lot to push Mozilla products, started with the first Mozilla. Later on I changed to Firefox and Thunderbird.
    Every single week I told a lot of users and companies to use Firefox and Thunderbird. Also I’ve done services around these products for nothing, only because I liked the products and it was my way to extend the using.

    Because I can’t stand behind any EULA, that is springing in front of a user, I stop my support for all Mozilla products. This started last night by removing ever link to Thunderbird and Firefox on my website. Hey I may have violated the the trademarks, because there where Firefox Logos on my website.

    My next step is to look out for a replacement of Mozilla products.

    This discussion about the content of an EULA will not help the Mozilla products, especially not with people, who helped to spread this products. And as talks last night have shown, I am not alone with my opinions.

    Keep your EULA and be proud of bringing the products to a stop. I am not talking about the way, the Debian people have done, by renaming the product, I am talking about a real replacement. Maybe starting from scratch, maybe starting with something that already is open source.

    Thanks for a great time with Mozilla


  36. Tobias says:

    Let me be really clear:
    The only licence I am going to click “accept” to is the L/GPL licence, because I know what it stands for. I am not going to read through such a long licence agreement just for using any software. No way.
    Your licence says “If you do not agree to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, do not use the Product.” you know what I’ll going to do.
    I did like FF so far. Looking for alternatives.

  37. Jonas B. says:

    Please, Ubuntu, just give us Iceweasel and be done with this crap!

  38. orlando_ombzzz says:

    asides of the happy/sad-ending of this story, i’m afraid that there is some fundamental problem in Mozilla top-guys …. that causes this kind of things to emerge and force us to waste time discussing useless stuff ( EULAs! my god )

    may be we ( open source community ) should rethink what browser we want to the future

    KHTML with webkit engine? chrome? totally forked ( not just rebranded ) firefox ?

  39. Erik Postma says:

    I agree with Jimmy K. above. The offending sentence to me is “The Product is made available to you under the terms of this Agreement. By using the Product, you are consenting to be bound by this Agreement.” So you are indeed saying that accepting the EULA is the only way to get to use the Firefox binary. This sounds rather like trying to make contract law apply to it. I will not enter into any *agreement* to use Firefox. I am very willing to accept the conditions of a *license*, but that is a very different matter. See for an explanation of the difference.

  40. Pingback: The Ubuntu community challenges the Firefox EULA - Mozilla Links

  41. Ural says:

    Your proposal seems good. It would be better if you can give us some taste of what the start pages would present.

    And another very important issue would be how this is presented in the LiveCD’s. If a user have to agree to see this every time he runs a live CD, that is certainly not in favor of the feel. Please clarify your position on LiveCD’s.

    And at the proposed draft,It’s again the same old legal crap that 99.5% users will skip without looking twice at. At the same time this breaks the homely feel in linux distros. I use ubuntu and the feel that I can get everything I need *without lawyers sniffing my backside* is just great. I just wished it wasn’t here,now I hope the average Joe won’t have to see it at all.

    and please take a look at this post. It describes much clearly what I had in mind:

  42. Zertberat says:

    Mozilla please grow up! Im really upset about how you have handle the situation.

    Thanks for a great time, Im on Icewease from now on.

  43. Aphoxema says:

    Is it really necessary to have the user agree to anything? Why not simply inform the user of Mozilla’s rights?

    Does this really apply to the user as much as anyone who derives from the code or graphics?

    How on Earth can you threaten to terminate the right to use the program (provision 4) when, if someone is using the software in the binary form as provided by Mozilla without obligation, cost, or boundary? That is, I can use Firefox to browse any site I want, install any plugin I want, anything legal or illegal I want to do without any effect to Mozilla itself? If I derived my own software from the source, even if I used the Firefox name and graphics, it would no longer be the same program.

    All you have to do is clearly inform the users that the artwork and the name ‘Firefox’ belongs to Mozilla and that Mozilla is not liable for any damages done with the software.

    Everything else is jurisdictional and limited to the US, involving laws that are already widely known and acknowledged, and irrelevant to any end user agreement.

    To be complete and precise in my constructive critique, this entire license is one big ball of extraneous fluff that means almost nothing to any users more than what is already in place.

    The only thing a license agreement can do, for this situation, is restrict users and place superfluous limits on them that serve no purpose.

  44. From my perspective, the *idea* of an EULA is offensive. It perpetuates a collection of incoherent legal ideas that are dangerous. It doesn’t really matter what the EULA says – the only possible reaction to it is to click through without paying attention.

    For example: is this a *license* agreement, or terms of a license for the software? Almost certainly not: the software is covered by the MPL. Is it a *service* agreement? Possibly, but it still says “the product is made available to you under the terms of this agreement”.

    The main idea that EULAs represent is that they are a contract. They aren’t. Contracts are based on a set of very old, standard ideas about informed consent and mutual obligation. If an EULA were held to the standard of a normal contract, then nobody would use software – would *you* sit down with a lawyer and read the license agreement in detail, and fax a copy of your signature to each software vendor? What if every user of Firefox had to click through for each library that it used? ‘ldd’ tells me that it would be a pretty tedious process, setting up.

    Furthermore this is going to introduce yet another hurdle to using Firefox in an automated fashion (opening links from other programs). When I invoke firefox from a program, what window should I expect to pop up – the browser or some random, crappy legalese? But extension updates and other problems already made that difficult, so I guess it’s just not a priority.

    That said, this is a tempest in a teacup. Firefox (and lots of other software) has already had an EULA on Windows for some time now. Since EULAs are almost certainly legally meaningless, and almost certainly nobody will read it, the only effect this will have is making the Mozilla project unpopular in free software circles and duplicating a lot of work for people who have better things to do. I am unhappy that you have decided to waste everyone’s time, but it’s a drop in the ocean of time-wasteage that other organizations’ poor licensing policies have caused.

    I appreciate that you have timed this decision to nearly coincide with the release of Google Chrome. I anticipate that the most significant consequence of this decision will be to kick off an intense effort on the part of Linux distributors to better support Chrome so that they will no longer be dependent upon the whims of the Mozilla organization.

    My initial reaction to Chrome’s release was mixed. While the idea was neat, I thought that they were pointlessly duplicating work – why not invest those resources in accelerating and securing Firefox’s runtime? Does Google need even more control over users’ browsers? But now it’s clear to me that there are good reasons that the organizational legacy of Mozilla might be a weight that we will one day be glad to be clear of.

  45. Paul Sladen says:

    AFAICT, the only item that is not already covered by the *real* license (the MPL) is the trademark policy; (which is implicitly covered by law).

    However, section 7 appears to prevent service companies/organisations/individuals from installing (distributing) Firefox and providing a warranty (service contract) covering that supply.

    Since service is the economy of the IT industry at the point; this affects a lot of people’s bread and butter.

  46. Cynoclast says:

    It’s really very simple, if Mozilla decides to annoy its users of Firefox with anything, their users will simply use abandon the product. We’ve already abandoned one annoying product, so we’ve proven ourselves in that respect.

    Any sort of obtrusive legal crap thrown in the user’s face constitutes annoyance.

    Therefore including a forcibly displayed EULA or non-EULA will simply drive more people to away from Mozilla Firefox. If that’s what you intend, by all means, include more annoying crap like EULAs.

  47. Pingback: Does Mozilla hate Ubuntu users? « I’m Just an Avatar

  48. jsmith says:

    Uhm, my comment still “awaiting moderation” for more than 12h but I can see other people successfully posting. Mozilla not just going to enforce EULA but also about to introduce censorship? Or I’m just missed something?

  49. JohnFlux says:

    Hi Lockshot,

    I think it would help a lot if the Mozilla foundation posted _very specific_ explanations as to why you feel that the EULA is required. What _exactly_ is your goal here? Are you sure that this is the only way to achieve those goals?

  50. EULAhater says:

    “The Product is made available to you under the terms of this Agreement. By using the Product, you are consenting to be bound by this Agreement. If you do not agree to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, do not use the Product.”

    This just a bunch of very american legalese. There is NO WAY I will agree to EULAs like this one.

    Iceweasel! Iceweasel! Iceweasel! 😛

  51. Dustin Jones says:

    I don’t use any software that places requirements on the user, whether express or implied. The only reason to have an EULA is to do that.

    I have now switched to Iceweasel, which lets me use my browser how I like without giving me any kind of stupid nonsense.

  52. Blake says:

    That’s it. I’m dumping Firefox for my personal use (I have to use it at work), and I’m encouraging others to do so, as well.

    This EULA is completely unacceptable, end of story. If something pops up during install or on the first run, it’s an EULA.

  53. Pingback: Mozilla exige a Ubuntu incorporar una EULA a Firefox « Conocimiento Libre (o lo que está detrás del Software Libre)

  54. SilverWave says:

    If I see a EULA on Firefox in Ubuntu I expect it to be a package in restricted.

    Ubuntu will need the default browser changed to “abrower”.

    You force this and I wont use it the nonfree version.

    I have been using ff for years and the lawyer types are in danger of turning this into a IE-lite type user experience.

  55. GermanUbuntuUser says:

    Goodbye Firefox, hello Iceweasel!

  56. Martin says:

    For me it is all about feeling. I feel comfortable with free software (free in the sense of the GPL) and that’s why I stopped using proprietary stuff whenever possible. By getting up to nonsense with Debian and finally pissing them completely of, my positive attitude to Firefox sufferd for some time, but I got over it.

    Now it is enough. This “Foundation” obviously consists of people who want to do the same blind business dance all the rotten companies around perform. Bad karma here, so I am leaving.

  57. Blagug says:

    Even if ignore the text completely (as such texts do not have any value in my local legislation) that windows is annoying. I current have 2087 packages installed on my system and I surly don’t want to click 2087 windows away.

    By the way: Icewesel has a much nicer look. I hope we will get that as part of SuSE in the future.

  58. kramer65 says:

    If the license is already under the options > about section I see no reason at all to leave it in face of the user. We know its FOSS, the only thing the license is about is the use of the trademark. But isn’t trademark protection already ruled by the normal trademark protection laws in the country’s legal system? Do you need to explicitly tell people? Why don’t we tell them it’s illegal to commit murders or to fly planes into buildings as well while we’re at it?

    I would leave the license out, and simply contact parties which actually infringe on your trademark.

    I chose ubuntu mainly because it doesn’t have endless notifications like MS windows does. If this enters ubuntu now as well, it would bye bye for me.

    My statement should be clear; no license in the face of the user, or dump firefox in favour of iceweasel, abrowser or anything else..

  59. hhass says:

    The Fedora notification page ( ) suggests that the actual reason why the Mozilla Corporation considers this new EULA necessary is that Mozilla Firefox ships with the newly introduced “website information services” enabled by default.

    Perhaps it would be possible for the Mozilla Corporation to allow GNU/Linux distributions to install Firefox with these “website information services” disabled by default, and only pop up the EULA if users choose to enable the “safe-browsing features, which are provided by the Mozilla Corporation and made available to you under additional terms”? Does that sound reasonable?

  60. Flimm says:

    Wow, that was quick! It’s great to see that Mozilla is responding to the voices of the people. Keep up the good work, I’m sure you’ll find a solution that will keep everyone happy.

  61. Sir Adrian says:

    Maybe it could help to point out a few reasons for the neccessity of rules even in open source software. I guess that John Doe Enduser could get a grip at it: “We want to assure you that anything labeled as the real thing IS the real thing – and not a misty modified version (which may be buggy, brew coffee, or steal your home banking data). We have own bugs to fix and gladly pass on additional bug reports and legal affairs traffic in which we couldn’t help anyway.”

    But since John Doe Enduser would not be the typical pirate sailing under trusted colors, why should he bothered with it?

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  64. Taxman says:

    Hmm. It’s really unfortunate that you think this needs to be done and aren’t understanding the damage that it is causing. Firefox has generated a huge amount of goodwill because of freedom and that freedom led to building a quality alternative browser. That goodwill was not generated from restrictions and legalese.

    The restrictions added by this license do no good for Mozilla since the law already protects trademarks, and does a lot to harm software freedom. I like others actively encouraged the use of Firefox and that word of mouth is what has led to it’s rise in use. But I also no longer feel that I can continue to do that given that Mozilla has made it clear freedom is not important to them anymore. And that’s too bad, because there are some advantages to having a single alternative browser that people can come to know and be familiar with.

    You say that the license doesn’t infringe on the rights that the opensource licenses give with this wording:
    Nothing in this Agreement will be construed to limit any rights granted to you under the Open Source Licenses with respect to the Corresponding Source.
    yet section (4) directly conflicts with that:
    4. Termination. If you breach any provision of Paragraphs 1 -3, including the terms of the MPL incorporated by reference, your right to use the Product will terminate immediately and without notice.
    As I understand it the MPL, like other opensource licenses is a distribution license and only carries restrictions on distribution. It does not restrict use. Your license draft does restrict use, and is unsurprisingly not being received very well.

    For all the reasons that Firefox became popular in the first place and in order to help it keep becoming moreso, please drop this whole thing and don’t just hide it deeper in the licensing somewhere.

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  67. clear says:

    I’m fairly curious how many people actually read the entire if any of the EULA of any installation. I know I never do.

  68. Pingback: Mi espacio con GNU/Linux y todo lo que pasa… » Blog Archive » Ubuntu 8.10 : y la polémica alrrededor del nombre Mozilla Firefox

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  70. AnoymousePerson says:

    F-you Mozilla. Your Firefox browser is wonderful but it has gotten more and more bloated and it uses a TON of memory (RAM) after opening a few tabs. Cut the EULA crap and get back to what you should be doing, improving the open-source software which gave you the cred you have.
    Firefox is open source and you pretty much have no right to it aside from a damn trademark. Nobody cares about it, take that ‘trademark’ and shove it down your f-in throats, we’ll take the code and call it ‘Mutton’ for all you care and its still legal cause IT IS OPEN SOURCE, it is NOT your code or anyone’s code, its for EVERYONE. You worthless a-holes are violating the spirit of open source with your crappy EULA crap.


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