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Firefox DRM Mozilla

Did Mozilla Have No Choice But To Add DRM To Firefox? 406

Posted by samzenpus
from the let-the-flamewar-begin dept.
JimLynch (684194) writes "Mozilla has been in the news quite a lot over the last few months. This time the organization is being hammered by open source advocates for adding Adobe DRM to Firefox. But did the folks at Mozilla really have a choice when it comes adding DRM? An open source project like Mozilla is not immune to market pressures. And with so many competing browsers such as Chrome adding DRM for Netflix, etc. how could Firefox avoid adding it? Is it realistic to think that Firefox can simply ignore such things? I don't think so and the reason why is in Firefox's usage numbers over the last few years."
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Did Mozilla Have No Choice But To Add DRM To Firefox?

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  • by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday May 18, 2014 @03:21PM (#47033471) Journal
    As I understand it, RMS has three points [fsf.org]:

    1) DRM is bad.
    2) Firefox implementing DRM is one piece of the problem.
    3) Firefox is free to do whatever they want, but if they felt forced to implement DRM, it would have been better if they at least made an effort to warn the users about the risks. Instead they are publicly praising Adobe for their approach to DRM.

    People who criticize RMS often don't even know what he said. That is not true of everyone, but most comments on the net are rather clueless about it. DRM is bad, that's not even controversial.
  • Let's not also forget two other particularly powerful points made in the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) essay:

    • "We understand that Mozilla is afraid of losing users. Cory Doctorow points out [theguardian.com] that they have produced no evidence to substantiate this fear or made any effort to study the situation."
    • "More importantly, popularity is not an end in itself. This is especially true for the Mozilla Foundation, a nonprofit with an ethical mission. In the past, Mozilla has distinguished itself and achieved success by protecting the freedom of its users and explaining the importance of that freedom: including publishing Firefox's source code, allowing others to make modifications to it, and sticking to Web standards in the face of attempts to impose proprietary extensions."

    Brad Kuhn builds on these points in his essay discussing Mozilla's announcement [ebb.org]: "Theoretically speaking, though, the Mozilla Foundation is supposed to be a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity which told the IRS [mozilla.com] its charitable purpose was: to "keep the Internet a universal platform that is accessible by anyone from anywhere, using any computer, and ... develop open-source Internet applications". Baker fails to explain how switching Firefox to include proprietary software fits that mission. In fact, with a bit of revisionist history, she says that open source was merely an "approach" that Mozilla Foundation was using, not their mission."

    Speaking of how people criticize the FSF without reading what they say, the FSF is not an "open source advocate" despite /.'s insistence to the contrary such as is stated in this story's headline. The FSF and the free software movement predate the developmental methodology known as open source, and the FSF fights for values the open source movement sets out to deny, namely software freedom. The FSF has published more than one essay on this topic (1 [gnu.org], 2 [gnu.org]) and RMS includes a clear and cogent explanation of this point in virtually every talk you'll hear him give. Archives of these talks are readily available online [gnu.org] in formats that favor free software. Mozilla's choice here is another example of reaching radically different conclusions given different philosophies: Mozilla's open source choice versus a free software activist's choice to reject DRM for many valid reasons the FSF points out.

  • by BilI_the_Engineer (3618871) on Sunday May 18, 2014 @04:53PM (#47034035)

    The best part of all these Nazi references is that they reveal people who are ignorant of what an analogy is.

    Hint: It's not the same as saying "These things are exactly alike."

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