Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 5th Mar 2014 23:33 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems

The Mozilla Foundation has begun an investigation after tech juggernaut Dell appeared to be asking customers to pay GBP 16.25 ($27) to install its free web browser Firefox on newly purchased Dell kit.

What.

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RE: The "source"
by ddc_ on Thu 6th Mar 2014 10:42 UTC in reply to "The "source""
ddc_
Member since:
2006-12-05

Incredibly bad value for money? Sure.
License violation? No.

Sure it's not license violation – It is trademark terms of use violation. If Dell was selling IceWeasel or whatever else unbranded Firefox build, there would be no legal problem. In Mozilla's own words:
For example, it's OK if your website says, "Internet browser customization services for Firefox available here." It's not OK, though, if it says, "Firefox Internet browser customization services sold here," or "custom Firefox Internet browsers available here," since the first suggests that Mozilla is related to your business, and the second is confusing as to whom -- you or Mozilla -- performed the customization.

http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/foundation/trademarks/policy/

That is: Dell does something explicitly disallowed by Mozilla's trademark policy.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: The "source"
by Soulbender on Thu 6th Mar 2014 14:15 in reply to "RE: The "source""
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

So basically the problem is not that they charge for it, the problem is the wording. Change the wording and charging an exorbitant amount is perfectly fine.

Edited 2014-03-06 14:16 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: The "source"
by JLF65 on Thu 6th Mar 2014 19:33 in reply to "RE[2]: The "source""
JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

Change the wording AND all names and images in the product itself, like IceWeasel does. So any reference to Mozilla or Firefox would be changed to Dell and Funky Expensive Free Browser, and all icons and images changed to new ones.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: The "source"
by umccullough on Thu 6th Mar 2014 22:20 in reply to "RE: The "source""
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

That is: Dell does something explicitly disallowed by Mozilla's trademark policy.


I suspect Dell will argue that it's fair use of the trademark in this case since they are not selling the software, but the service of installing it.

I also suspect Dell will end up changing this so that the "charge" is clearly indicated as a "customized software installation" charge rather than for Firefox itself.

I've "charged" people to install Firefox before - well, similar to this. If I go to a business and install Firefox on 10 computers, I'm going to charge them for the time it takes me to do so.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: The "source"
by Alfman on Thu 6th Mar 2014 23:19 in reply to "RE[2]: The "source""
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

umccullough,

I've "charged" people to install Firefox before - well, similar to this. If I go to a business and install Firefox on 10 computers, I'm going to charge them for the time it takes me to do so.


That's funny, I'm surprised a business would pay consultants to do that. Regardless, there's still a difference in that you (edit: probably) weren't actually distributing firefox yourself, whereas Dell is.


I also suspect Dell will end up changing this so that the "charge" is clearly indicated as a "customized software installation" charge rather than for Firefox itself.


I don't believe Dell would continue distributing Firefox for a fee against Mozilla's wishes should Mozilla ask them to stop. I predict they'll either stop charging a fee, or stop distributing it.

Well either way, this is a bit of a rhetorical debate as none of us are really going to be the least bit impacted by it. I find it humorous that this trivial little article has 77 comments and counting ;)

Edited 2014-03-06 23:26 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2