Ubuntu – Firefox EULA Erupts Into Flame War

It all started when those installing Ubuntu noticed that they had to agree to a EULA [End User License Agreement] in order to use Mozilla Firefox. It appears that big complaint is that Firefox is open source and a EULA is antiehical. At least this is what some folks are saying.But is this a really big deal. Over at ars technica their article states:

The EULA is largely meaningless because the terms of the open-source software licenses under which Firefox is distributed give users the ability to strip the EULA and compile a custom version of the browser that omits it. Mozilla’s trademark policies, however, would make it impossible to include the Firefox name or branding on any derivative that deviates from the original sources in that manner. This poses a challenge for Linux distributors who don’t want to impose the EULA display screen on their users.

So here is the magic sentence in the article:

The EULA is largely meaningless because the terms of the open-source software licenses

I had always thought that open source meant just that. That the software was open to anyone who not only wished to use it, but also modify it. What seems strange is that seems to have happened right after Google released their Chrome browser.

What do you think? Is a EULA for Firefox necessary? Share your thoughts with us.

Comments welcome.

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I have been writing for LockerGnome since relocating to Missouri seven years ago, where I continue to be a technology enthusiast who enjoys playing with the newest and latest gadgets.