Licensing Proposal

We’ve received a lot of feedback on the licensing proposal. The commentary overwhelmingly indicated the proposed approach wasn’t good enough (that would be an understatement). We looked at it again, incorporated suggestions from the community at large and from some of the Linux distributors. The new design addresses both presentation and content. We’re still tweaking the language a bit and working on the implementation, but directionally this is where we’re going.

Presentation: There’s no click-through, or license splashed in the users face on start-up (or at any point thereafter). We’ll either include some text on the first-run page or in an info box that links to a static page in the browser that contains a notice about your rights. We’re still working through which implementation works best – so this isn’t final.  Some examples below:

Content:  There is no EULA. There are no caps except where grammatically required.  There is a notice page that points to the MPL, provides summary information on the rights that come with it, includes a statement about trademarks, and a statement about optional web services (like safe-browsing) that are not covered under the MPL.  The notice includes a link to the terms related to the services. Screenshots and text will be coming in the next hour or so.

We’ll likely see the first implementation of this in the Ubuntu builds, and depending on shipping schedules we see how this rolls out across other distributions/platforms and in our packages.

Obviously, we’ve been working with Canonical to get this worked out; however, the Red Hat and Fedora folks have also provided invaluable guidance.

36 Responses to Licensing Proposal

  1. Arthur says:

    Heh, that looks wonderful. Nice job.

  2. Pingback: John’s Blog » Progress on Firefox license issues

  3. Pingback: Mitchell’s Blog » Blog Archive » Mock-Ups Available for Notices (previously was EULA)

  4. lordalan says:

    Great – that looks so much “friendlier” 🙂

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  6. Ryan Prior says:

    Thank you for your part in this. The screen shots look nice; I prefer the first one.

  7. Alan Bell says:

    excellent! well done to all concerned. It is a positive step for users to be able to easily see the license. There is a vast difference between an EULA and a license notice, this little firestorm has served to clarify the importance of the distinction.

  8. lordalan says:

    I think my preference would be for the layout in second of the two images.

    In the second option, what user action would cause the notice bar to disappear?

  9. lordalan says:

    Sorry, my bad. My pretence is for the top image. My question is around the bar on the lower image.

  10. AndersH says:

    Much better, I think.

    I like the first one (the text in the first-run page) better than the second (with the info bar), since the second makes it look like some thing bad (that the user needs to respond to) has happened (while in fact something good has happened 🙂 ).

    The “Your Rights” could be more “happy” (I haven’t at that point yet committed anything, for which I need to be informed of my rights), like “It’s All Yours” (which is not accurate, but neither is “Your Rights”, since the page e.g. also talks about trademarks).

    Also, I don’t want to be put on Notice, call it “Information” if no friendly/fun (look at the background image on the mozilla site – it’s a freaking cartoon 🙂 ) word can be found.

    The metric I use is, if there is anything that I can do with a standard dead-tree book, that I can’t do with Firefox. And as far as I can see, there isn’t (trandemarks and discaimers also apply to books). So there aren’t really any reason to annoy the user.

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  12. furicle says:

    That looks like a giant leap in a positive direction! Thank you for listening to my concerns, which so many others seemed to share 😉

  13. Arno Schuring says:

    Congratulations. So far I have been very sceptical about Mozillas stance on this, but it looks like you are heading in the right direction.

    Like the other comments, I prefer mockup #1 because I think the license issue does not deserve a bar in and of itself (in spite of all the fuss about it, it’s still a minor thing).

    Minor nitpick: the mockup #1 mentions a “close button on this tab” that does not exist 🙂

  14. Ami says:

    Really nice. I’m sure either example would satisfy just about everybody.

    Of the two, I’d prefer the first one, but perhaps with a slightly different text. How about:

    Users like you have contributed their work
    to the Mozilla Foundation so that you can
    enjoy this free software.
    [Know your rights]

    The idea being to subtly suggest the possibility that the user might also join the Mozilla community.

    … Ami.

  15. SilverWave says:

    First Thoughts are that I actually like the second one better.

    It informs the use of her rights – Nice.

    The Icon at the left would have to go though – replace it with a smiley 🙂

  16. SilverWave says:

    Changed my mind on looking at this again.

    The first one is cleaner – still informs but is less cluttered.

  17. Paul Sladen says:

    It’s really hard to “Close this tab” if it’s the only tab…

    I can’t see any need for either of the two grey boxes at the top; if it’s non-intuitive, something is wrong.

    Ideally it should be possible (ans permissible) for a distributor to include things like a Google search bar, or translations, or dual branding.

  18. Tom says:

    I like the first one much better.

    The second seems like the homepage wants have a popup or wants to install something.
    That is what I associate with buttons in the top right corner.

    Just refine the html to include customize and rights in a sane manner.

    But still it is really really great that you guys listen to the community!

    R E S P E C T 🙂

  19. Chip Bennett says:

    First, I applaud a great effort to address the concerns of the community!

    I will throw my opinion also to the first mock-up screenshot. An unexpected InfoBar might imply “Bad!” or “Important!” – either of which might imply “you really need/must click through me” (even though it really doesn’t mean that).

    I still have a question/issue regarding the non-free services bundled with Firefox, but I will pose those on your next post, with the appropriate screenshots.

  20. Carl says:

    Very nice. I prefer the first one. Definitely comes across more as information than something that must be acted upon. I have one suggestion though – move “Your Rights” to the middle. Since English is a left to right reading language, doing so would imply that rights are more important than questions, which I think most users would appreciate.

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  23. celtic_hackr says:

    Way to go Mozilla folks! It’s so refreshing to see a company realize they offended a number of firends and goes the distance to resolve the differnces. I feel so vindicated for recommending and installing Firefox to all my friends willing to listen. I think I’m going to make another round and push Firefox to any holdouts!
    Congratulations! And keep up the good work and good works! I’m glad you’re with us.

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  25. Joe Smoith says:

    Paul Sladen:

    The close this tab part of that page is valid, because the first run page actually opens up in Tab 1, with the Homepage in tab 2. For the mock-ups though, the browser had been manually browsed to the page.

    As for co-branding, non-official translations, or including additional default plug-ins, that is all handled through the Mozilla Community Edition Policy. ( However, that policy is still a draft, and I’m not aware of anybody releasing a Firefox Community Edition. It is an official MoFo policy though, so it should override any inconsistent MoCo policies.

  26. Pingback: An update on the Firefox EULA issue « I’m Just an Avatar

  27. Miles says:

    this sounds very reasonable! I am glad you try to find a solution 🙂

  28. Jsmith says:

    Glad to see Mozilla has got idea that not everyone happy with their actions. Looks like there is constructive ideas in the air. That’s great. I hope Mozilla will rather improve and advertise their product rather than threat others with EULAs, trademarks and other legal stuff.

  29. kyleabaker says:

    This is a much better plan!

  30. This looks great! I’m glad you are fixing this problem so that the official Firefox can be free software again.

  31. Sum Yung Gai says:

    I like the looks of these. Nothing wrong with the way you’re now proposing to do it.

    You’ve taken plenty of heat over this. I think I can offer a short, bug cogent, explanation of why.

    Like former Major League Baseball Commissioner Bart Giamatti once said about baseball great Pete Rose, “if someone had told me any other player had bet on baseball, I would’ve understood. But not Pete Rose! Pete is synonymous with baseball! Doesn’t Pete understand that he’s Pete Rose?!”

    In like fashion, you’ve got to remember that you’re not just coordinating the development of “some software.” You’re the Mozilla Corp, and you’re the source of the poster child of Free Software applications, the Firefox Web browser. It’d be just as if Linus & Co. decided on a EULA for Linux, over and above the GPLv2.

    You’re too important, way too visible a FOSS project. You can’t even have the *appearance* of “going proprietary”. Some obscure niche app, maybe. But not Linux, not OpenBSD, not, and most definitely not you.


  32. Pingback: kev – about:rights in Firefox 3.0.5

  33. finally, thanks for this reference…

    Thank’s very much.

  34. tagalogmovies says:

    mozilla is great

  35. Essy says:

    XjZtlR Ppl like you get all the brains. I just get to say thanks for he answer.