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Free Software Foundation Condemns Mozilla's Move To Support DRM In Firefox 403

New submitter ptr_88 writes: "The Free Software Foundation has opposed Mozilla's move to support DRM in the Firefox browser, partnering with Adobe to do so. The FSF said, '[We're] deeply disappointed in Mozilla's announcement. The decision compromises important principles in order to alleviate misguided fears about loss of browser market share. It allies Mozilla with a company hostile to the free software movement and to Mozilla's own fundamental ideals. ... We recognize that Mozilla is doing this reluctantly, and we trust these words coming from Mozilla much more than we do when they come from Microsoft or Amazon. At the same time, nearly everyone who implements DRM says they are forced to do it, and this lack of accountability is how the practice sustains itself.'"
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Free Software Foundation Condemns Mozilla's Move To Support DRM In Firefox

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 17, 2014 @09:28PM (#47029073)

    The Free Software Foundation want's Mozilla to stop enabling companies from taking away control from the user. These companies have malicious intent and putting up pirating as it presents a reasonable explanation as to the "need" of these systems. Digital restrictions don't actually prevent pirates from pirating content. It's that simple.

    If all the major browser vendors succumb to an easy to use digital restriction mechanism. We're all going to be negatively impacted even if the browser we use don't enable easy installation of digital restriction software. Sites with mere video clips like YouTube that nobody pirates will end up using digital restrictions. News sites which at one time had digital restriction free video clips will be encumbered an unavailable to digital restriction free users. Free software users already have this problem as do users of many consumer products which don't include Adobe Flash. Lets not make this problem any worse than it already is.

  • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Saturday May 17, 2014 @09:42PM (#47029163) Journal

    And stop trying to take away my 'freedom' to use Firefox without DRM-enabling features.

    Don't click on the Netflix stream and FF won't load the offensive module. It's win-win.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 17, 2014 @09:52PM (#47029209)

    I know of at least three forks; Pale Moon, Cyberfox, and Waterfox. I know the Pale Moon author has no plans to add DRM, but I'm not sure about the other two.

  • by PapayaSF ( 721268 ) on Saturday May 17, 2014 @10:18PM (#47029347) Journal

    I wonder if anyone technically competent and influential has recently left the company...

    You are not the first person to suspect that. [] From the link:

    Consider these three blog posts from three Mozilla figures, including Eich: [snip] Eich stood firmly in the way of Mozilla incorporating DRM into Firefox. Now that he's gone, and his technological authority with him, Mozilla immediately caved to Hollywood interests.

  • It's not just flash (Score:4, Informative)

    by jopsen ( 885607 ) <> on Saturday May 17, 2014 @10:54PM (#47029523) Homepage

    Flash is a well understood protocol and there are plenty of tools out there to strip the security from flash video streams. I'm inclined to think it's better the evil we know than some html DRM that we don't.

    It's not just flash, it's also silverlight and googles DRM infected videolan plugin that this avoid...
    Things like flash have giant codebases and can spy on users, Andreas, CTO at Mozilla did promise in his blog post that he would ensure privacy of users and so that adobes DRM thingy can't spy unhindered.

    IMO this is the lesser evil.

    Either way, the majority just want to watch netflix, they don't care. And this will provide a less buggy experience than flash or silverlight.

    Personally, I think that when the revenue stream from online distribution becomes the primary source of income for the movie industry, then DRM will go away. Because DRM will always provide an inferior experience, more bugs, less stability and it is more expensive to stream... Than some static stream which can be distributed using a simple CDN. I think we have to be patient, DRM will die on it's own.

  • The Pale Moon version of Firefox appears to have better management than Mozilla Foundation gives Firefox.

    Pale Moon Windows version []
    Pale Moon Linux version []

    Here are some of the advantages:

    1) Pale Moon has a 64-bit version. Firefox doesn't. The 64-bit Pale Moon uses the Firefox add-ons; there are no problems except with some unusual add-ons.

    2) The "Find in page" is better in Pale Moon. In Firefox the "Find in page" field is on the left of the screen and the "Highlight All" and "Match Case" buttons are on the right. In Pale Moon they are together so that you immediately see if something is chosen from a former search. A small UI detail like that is not, in itself, as important as the fact that Mozilla Foundation could make such a careless mistake.

    3) Pale Moon is said to be more stable than Firefox. The memory-hogging flaws in Firefox are so widely acknowledged that there are at least 13 add-ons for re-starting Firefox: Firefox Re-start Add-ons. [] I use Restartless Restart. []

    4) Pale Moon management is independent of the forces that guide Firefox. Pale Moon is in no way associated with Mozilla Foundation. [] The Mozilla Foundation seems to feel forced to change Firefox in ways most users don't want.

    Whoever writes the Pale Moon web site seems to be very knowledgeable and a good manager.

    More information about Pale Moon: See the Pale Moon FAQ []. Here is a quote:

    "As Pale Moon has developed, so has the amount of individual code for the browser, steadily diverting Pale Moon from its sibling in the direction aimed for in this browser -- having transformed it from an optimized build into a true "fork" of Firefox."

    Pale Moon migration tool: Pale Moon has a profile migration tool [].

    Questions about Firefox:

    The management of Firefox is apparently looking for ways to abuse users so that it can make more money. See this Slashdot story: Mozilla Ditches Firefox's New-Tab Monetization Plans []. Apparently Firefox management wanted to adopt that method of abuse and found that it wasn't possible. This story we are reading now: Free Software Foundation Condemns Mozilla's Move To Support DRM In Firefox [] discusses another example.

    Have you seen $311,000,000 of yearly development of Firefox? Mitchell Baker [] is the "Executive Chairwoman of the Mozilla Foundation and Mozilla Corporation, a subsidiary of the Mozilla Foundation". She is a lawyer with no technical knowledge, apparently.

    See The State of Mozilla: 2012 Annual Report -- Frequently Asked Questions []. Quoting: (Seriously, this is copied from the site.) "Mozilla's consolidated reported revenue (Mozilla Foundation and all subsidiaries) for 2012 was $311M (US), up approximately 90 percent from $163M in 2011."

    Who gets the money? How it is spent? The amount of money is shocking to me. When someone clicks on an ad, Google may get 10 cents or 50 cents or $1.50. The cost to Google of linking to an ad is maybe .01 cent? It's easy money, pai
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 17, 2014 @11:44PM (#47029673)

    Here's Eich's blog post from October, 2013. [] Let me quote one of his comments on it -

    DRM is about gaining leverage over "playback devices" and ultimately "users" in order to jack prices a bit higher, a bit longer Ã" but not so long as to tip things to darknets too much. YouÃ(TM)re right that all "robust" DRM schemes are cracked, rapidly. ItÃ(TM)s clearly not about preventing copying.


    a mission to do X with the Web, without hundreds of millions of users loving the products upholding that mission, is toothless. We had to build Firefox to restart standardization and (via) competition, remember? When you read "promote", think more than cheerleading. We have been doing a lot more, and effectively, for over nine years.

    He knows what DRM means for open source, what it means for the larger social context, and what Firefox and Mozilla mean for open source and the larger social context.

    He was threatened that his name would be used to smear Mozilla and hobble what he saw as Mozilla's mission... and after resigning, Mozilla immediately betrays that mission.

  • by dryeo ( 100693 ) on Sunday May 18, 2014 @12:59AM (#47029863)

    The endgame of having the largest user base is not as important as their original manifesto of building and maintaining a free and open browser.

    How history is rewritten.

    Wasn't Firefox just code abandoned when Netscape went under?

    Firefox, actually Phoenix and then Firebird as they kept running into trademarks issues, was a fork of Mozilla which was based on the Netscape code when Netscape went under. Mozilla still lives on as SeaMonkey, which is what I'm posting from. Phoenix was a lighter version of Mozilla and now it is heavier then SeaMonkey while having much less functionality as it is going for the lowest denominator, namely users who don't even understand menus.

  • by fafalone ( 633739 ) on Sunday May 18, 2014 @01:16AM (#47029897)
    Maybe they need to stop putting marketshare above all else? It's bad enough how every version is progressively dumbing down the UI in an attempt to attract mainstream users. They did just fine long before they had the marketshare they do today. And they sure as hell didn't get off the ground by marketing to the non-technophile masses.
    Are there benefits to increased marketshare? Absolutely. But when did that become the most important factor in designing a web browser?
  • by Spamalope ( 91802 ) on Sunday May 18, 2014 @01:58PM (#47032765)

    the API surface will be smaller, the module will be better sandboxed, there will be real security and work to ensure users privacy (Andreas CTO at Mozilla promised this in his blog post on the topic).

    Real security from Adobe? Bwahahah! Name an Adobe security success in the past decade!

    And we'll get user privacy from the zombie tracking cookie company? Adobe actively opposes privacy as a business! Either your not too bright, or your a shill taking us for morons.

You can fool all the people all of the time if the advertising is right and the budget is big enough. -- Joseph E. Levine