Ubuntu users who couldn’t stand the idea of a EULA (End User License Agreement) for the popular Firefox Web browser are going to get their way. The Mozilla Foundation‘s chairperson, Mitchell Baker, has agreed to entirely remove the Firefox EULA.
In her blog, Baker wrote, “We’ve come to understand that anything EULA-like is disturbing, even if the content is FLOSS (Free/Libre/Open Source Software) based. So we’re eliminating that. We still feel that something about the web services integrated into the browser is needed; these services can be turned off and not interrupt the flow of using the browser. We also want to tell people about the FLOSS license — as a notice, not as as EULA or use restriction. Again, this won’t block the flow or provide the unwelcoming feeling that one comment to my previous post described so eloquently.”
What this new way of telling people about Firefox’s license, the MPL (Mozilla Public License), will be hasn’t been determined yet. “We’re still working on this. There’s been a bunch of helpful feedback. We appreciate this. We think we’ve integrated the feedback into something that’s a good solution; different from out last version in both its essence and its presentation and content.” She added that this new “solution” should be made public sometime today, September 17.
This EULA fight began when Mozilla issued Firefox 3.02 with a new EULA that rapidly drew fire from Ubuntu users. Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu, urged users to calm down while Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, and Mozilla worked on the problem.
Baker quickly tried to get on top of the problem by issuing a proposed revision to the EULA. When this version also drew far more complaints than praise, Baker and the rest of the Mozilla leadership decided to abandon entirely a EULA approach and take a different approach.
While it still isn’t entirely clear what this will be, simply dropping any sign of a EULA will likely go a long way to calming upset Ubuntu Linux users.