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Shuttleworth urges calm in Firefox/Ubuntu flap


Grumpy Ubuntu users are snarling about Mozilla including a largely open-source irrelevant EULA (End-user license agreement) with the latest version of the Firefox Web browser. Indeed, one user went so far as to file an Ubuntu bug report about the EULA.

The bug report read, in part, “STARTING UP A CERTAIN 3.0.2 VERSION OF FIREFOX BROWSER MAKES AVAILABLE TO YOU A VERY CAPITAL END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT. THIS AGREEMENT IS OBNOXIOUS and largely irrelevant to Ubuntu users.” This immediately sparked up a flame war in Ubuntu circles.

Some users are demanding that Mozilla drop the EULA. Others are saying that Ubuntu should switch to another standard browser like GNOME’s Epiphany. Others think Ubuntu should follow Debian Linux’s lead and, while continuing to use Firefox’s code, use IceWeasel, which is the Firefox program without Mozilla’s trademarks or logos.

IceWeasel came from a similar fight. In its case, the Debian developers decided that Mozilla’s restrictions on the use of the Firefox logo were too obnoxious to live with, so they come up with IceWeasel their own, logo-less, Web browser. I think the whole IceWeasel affair was dumb. It’s a trademarked logo! Of course, you can’t modify it. Who would want to!?

Now, some Ubuntu users seem to be on the same path. Yes, the Mozilla EULA is essentially pointless. Who cares? It’s not like it’s the original Chrome EULA, which included a section that gave Google “a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through” Chrome. Now, That was a bad EULA, and Google quickly dumped that obnoxious section.

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