EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

05.17.14

Mozilla Cannot Claim to Teach People About the Web While Facilitating, Defending and Even Promoting DRM

Posted in DRM at 5:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Mozilla makes an error by not staying true to the principles that made it popular in the first place

Mozilla has been trying to sell us a controversial new interface (which many people want to replace [1]) for its flagship product Firefox, changing the controversial plan with ads etc. while it is using a kids-washed marketing campaign and claiming to teach about the Web [2,3]. This is after struggling with a PR disaster (the Eich incident) that distracted from Mono issues. One sure thing is, Mozilla is going through a tough time. This is not a good thing at all because Mozilla has historically been a champion of standards and source code.

Mozilla is seemingly trying to make things worse by ignoring hostile feedback (from months ago) to its DRM plans. DRM and FOSS cannot co-exist, so Mozilla abandoned FOSS instead of rejecting DRM. Mozilla is now contradicting itself. It weakens FOSS as a whole.

Well, Microsoft and DRM boosters make it even worse, trying to bolster the case for DRM using Mozilla. Across the Web there is plenty of anger, including an expression of disappointment at Mozilla’s actions. Prominent DRM foe Cory Doctorow [4] says that this position [5] breaks his heart and Linux-centric sites [6] paint this scenario more properly than most (many journalists don’t really understand these matters). Free software people have condemned Mozilla [7,8], but there is no chance of Mozilla changing course just yet. Two of our readers have said they they would dump Mozilla over this issue (not just Firefox but Mozilla).

Truth be told, the W3C deserves a lot of the blame as well. It has been an utter disgrace in the past couple of years and Tim Berners-Lee let it be so, with Novell’s Jaffe making erroneous decisions that isolate the Web that’s already a surveillance platform of notorious proportions. Most Web browsers in use FOSS code, but the W3C decided to ban FOSS with DRM, promoting proprietary software and hence more surveillance. The W3C deserves much of the flack and it deserves much of the blame for Mozilla’s own actions.

Articles about the fiasco mostly blame Mozilla for this, but some say that it’s not Mozilla’s fault, which is partly true. Sam Dean, who is typically okay with some proprietary software like Mac OSuX, obviously disagrees with Mozilla as he says: “Now, Mozilla–a champion of openness on the web–has teamed up with Adobe to provide a Content Decryption Module (CDM) that effectively hitches its wagon to streaming video DRM (digital rights management) in the Firefox browser after years of eschewing the practice.”

In another article, Dean says that “The FSF isn’t the only organization condemning Mozilla for the move. The Register refers to the decision as an “ankle grab.””

Other sites noted the same alignment in position among “Open source advocates” and some news site wrongly frame this as “bring[ing] Netflix support to Linux with DRM in Firefox” (this is not really what the news should say).

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER MOZILLA has announced the implementation of proprietary HTML5 based digital restrictions management (DRM) in its Firefox web browser, such as that used by media streaming services.

It is much worse than that. It is an assault of Free software, it is not about augmenting support. To save/keep its biggest fanbase Mozilla will need to dump Adobe and abandon DRM immediately. A week ago Asa Dotzler thanked personally me for supporting Mozilla; well, I’m not sure I support Mozilla anymore. I wait for Mozilla to rectify its act.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Firefox 28 theme for Firefox 29 add-on
  2. Mozilla Offers Free Training for Teaching Web Skills
  3. Mozilla wants to teach you how to teach others about the Web

    Almost two years after launching its Webmaker initiative, Mozilla is launching a new online crash-course to give anyone the skills to teach other people about using and building on the Web.

    It’s called Webmaker Training and features four modules covering the basics of the Internet, how to use Mozilla’s current crop of Webmaker tools, nurturing open learning and engaging with other communities on the Web.

  4. Firefox’s adoption of closed-source DRM breaks my heart

    Future versions of the open-source Firefox browser will include closed-source digital rights management (DRM) from Adobe, the Mozilla project’s chief technology officer, Andreas Gal, announced on Wednesday.

    The purpose is to support commercial video streams. But this is a radical, disheartening development in the history of the organisation, long held out as a beacon for the open, free spirit of the web as a tool for liberation.

    As Gal’s blogpost makes clear, this move was done without much enthusiasm, out of a fear that Firefox (Mozilla’s flagship product and by far the most popular free/open browser in the world) was being sidelined by Apple, Google and Microsoft’s inclusion of proprietary technology to support Netflix and other DRM-encumbered videos in their browsers.

  5. Reconciling Mozilla’s Mission and W3C EME

    With most competing browsers and the content industry embracing the W3C EME specification, Mozilla has little choice but to implement EME as well so our users can continue to access all content they want to enjoy. Read on for some background on how we got here, and details of our implementation.

  6. Mozilla’s Route For Implementing W3C EME (HTML5 DRM)
  7. FSF condemns partnership between Mozilla and Adobe to support Digital Restrictions Management

    In response to Mozilla’s announcement that it is reluctantly adopting DRM in its Firefox Web browser, Free Software Foundation executive director John Sullivan made the following statement:

    “Only a week after the International Day Against DRM, Mozilla has announced that it will partner with proprietary software company Adobe to implement support for Web-based Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) in its Firefox browser, using Encrypted Media Extensions (EME).

  8. To Serve Users

    In the old science fiction story, To Serve Man (which later was adapted for the The Twilight Zone), aliens come to earth and freely share various technological advances, and offer free visits to the alien world. Eventually, the narrator, who remains skeptical, begins translating one of their books. The title is innocuous, and even well-meaning: To Serve Man. Only too late does the narrator realize that the book isn’t about service to mankind, but rather — a cookbook.

    It’s in the same spirit that Baker seeks to serve Firefox’s users up on a platter to the MPAA, the RIAA, and like-minded wealthy for-profit corporations. Baker’s only defense appears to be that other browser vendors have done the same, and cites specifically for-profit companies such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

A Single Comment

  1. lozz said,

    May 17, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Gravatar

    Gal and Baker need to be entombed in the same FOSS Hall of Shame as Ron Hovsepian; they are all the same type of sell-out.

    Saying that they’ll be “sidelined by Apple, Google and Microsoft” if they don’t include proprietary software to pander to Netflix is exactly the sort of self-serving rubbish Hovsepian would have loved.

    Millions of the FOSS community flocked to Mozilla precisely because they *weren’t* Apple, Google and Microsoft.

    Mozilla built its reputation on the patronage of the FOSS community. Now Mozilla has decided to abandon them so it can be just like Apple, Google and Microsoft, most of the FOSS community will abandon Mozilla.

    Mozilla failed to stand behind Brendan Eich when he was being attacked by a small vocal minority group. They persisted with the highly unpopular Firefox 29. Now they intend to foist proprietary DRM from the bug-ridden, insecure Adobe organisation on us.

    Guess again, Mozilla, I’m not just leaving, I’m already gone!

What Else is New


  1. 'Financial Director' Publishes Fake News About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    Response to some of the latest UPC propaganda, which strives to misinform Financial Directors so as to enrich the author and his firm



  2. Independent and Untainted Web Sites About Patents Are Still Few and Rare

    Commentary about news sources that we rely on, as well as the known pitfalls or the vested interests deeply ingrained in them



  3. The 20% Rule: Patent Trolling Suffers Double-Digit Declines and Patent Troll Technicolor is Collapsing

    Significant demise or total catastrophe for the modus operandi (method) of going after companies with a pile of patents and threats of litigation



  4. US Supreme Court Did Not End Apple's Patent Disputes Over Android (Linux), More Cases Imminent

    An overview of some very recent news regarding the highest court in the United States, which has been dealing with cases that can determine the fate of Free/Open Source software in an age of patent uncertainty and patent thickets surrounding mobility



  5. Links 15/1/2017: Switching From OS X to GNU/Linux, Debian 8.7 Released

    Links for the day



  6. Number of New Patent Cases in the US Fell 25% Last Year, Thanks in Part to the Demise of Software Patent Trolls

    Litigation and prosecutions that rely on patents (failure to resolve disputes, e.g. by sharing ideas, out of court) is down very sharply, in part because firms that make nothing at all (just threaten and/or litigate) have been sinking after much-needed reform



  7. America Invents Act Improved Patent Quality, But Right Wingers Threaten to Make It Worse Again

    The past half a decade saw gradual improvement in assessment of patents in the United States, but there is a growing threat and pressure from the patent microcosm to restore patent maximalism and chaos



  8. PTAB -- Not Deterred by Courts -- Continues to Invalidate a Lot of Software Patents

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) continues to make progress reforming the patent system by eliminating a lot of patents and setting an example (or new standards) for what is patent-eligible after Alice



  9. EPO Abuses Come Under Fire From Politicians in Luxembourg

    Luxembourg is the latest nation in which concerns about the EPO's serious abuses are brought up not only by the media but also by politicians



  10. Constitutionality as a Barrier and Brexit Barriers to UPC Keep the Whole Pipe Dream Deadlocked

    The UPC is still going nowhere fast, but the demise (or death) of the UPC as we know it must not be taken for granted



  11. Links 14/1/2017: Wine 2.0 RC5 and AryaLinux 2017 Released

    Links for the day



  12. Links 13/1/2017: Linux 4.9.3 and Linux 4.4.42

    Links for the day



  13. Brexit Means No UPC (Unified Patent Court)

    Now that Jo Johnson, Boris Johnson's brother, is officially declared the new minister for intellectual property in the UK everything that Lucy Neville-Rolfe wrote is as solid as paper bag on a rainy London day



  14. Patent Trolls and Software Patents: CloudTrade, Patent Practitioners Density, and Via Licensing

    Software patents armament from a British company, charted concentration of the patent microcosm in the United States, and US-leaning patent trolls that prey on China



  15. Patent Maximalism -- Like Copyright Maximalism -- Relies on Misconceptions and Mass Deception

    The latest examples of discussions about patent scope, courtesy of those looking to benefit financially by pushing such monopolies to the max



  16. Software Patents Still Promoted by IBM and Its Lobbyist (and Former Employee) David Kappos, in Defiance of Much-Needed US Patent Reform

    While the corporate media celebrates IBM as though it's some kind of 'champion' for hoarding patents that it then uses to attack companies which actually grow



  17. Brexit/Trump Effect: Patent Systems With Institutional Corruption and Nepotism

    Rumours about Britain's head of patents (and copyrights etc.) being the brother of the Brexit campaigner and Foreign Minister; meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, rumours suggest that the corrupt judge Rader might be the next head of patents in the United States



  18. Links 11/1/2017: X.Org Server 1.19.1, GitHub's Atom 1.13

    Links for the day



  19. The Patent Microcosm is Already Sucking up to Donald Trump in an Effort to Enrich Itself at Everyone's Expense

    Four new examples of patent maximalists embracing/adopting the pseudo-populist slogan to advance their goals of increasing litigation (which they profit from) and undermining PTAB (which made patents great in the quality sense)



  20. Patent Quality in the United States Can Only be Assessed at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the Courts

    The travesty of patent offices in the US and China, where the goal or the accomplishment is measured in terms of the number of patents rather than their quality



  21. Gradual Collapse of Microsoft's Extensive (and External) Patent Trolling Operations

    The President of Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC (patent troll) leaves and the founder of Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft's largest peripheral patent troll, joins Sherpa Technology



  22. No End to Battistelli's Witch-hunts Against the Media, Against Staff, and Against Politicians

    Rumours about the fate of people who are (or have been) criticising Battistelli's reign of terror at the EPO



  23. Links 10/1/2017: Synfig 1.2, Kodachi Linux 3.7

    Links for the day



  24. With Help From the US Supreme Court (Key Cases), Patent Trolls Are Going Away

    The demise of patent trolls in the United States, a trend partly attributable to Alice and other Supreme Court decisions, will likely accelerate soon (later this year) as the future of the Eastern District of Texas courts is at stake



  25. Patent Maximalism on Display: Patent Aggressor IBM Celebrated in the Media

    The patent lust at IBM, which is suing if not just shaking down companies using software patents, earns plenty of puff pieces from the corporate media



  26. FFPE-EPO, the EPO Management's Pet/Yellow Union, Helps Union-Busting (Against SUEPO) in Letter to Notorious Vice-President

    In a letter to Elodie Bergot (as CC) and Željko Topić, who faces many criminal investigations, FFPE-EPO ringleaders reveal their allegiance not to EPO staff but to those who perpetually attack the staff



  27. Links 9/1/2017: Civilization VI Coming to GNU/Linux, digiKam 5.4.0 Released

    Links for the day



  28. Links 9/1/2017: Dell’s Latest XPS 13, GPD Pocket With GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  29. Update on Patent Trolls and Their Enablers: IAM, Fortress, Inventergy, Nokia, MOSAID/Conversant, Microsoft, Intellectual Ventures, Faraday Future, A*STAR, GPNE, AlphaCap Ventures, and TC Heartland

    A potpourri of reports about some of the world’s worst patent trolls and their highly damaging enablers/facilitators, including Microsoft which claims that it “loves Linux” whilst attacking it with patents by proxy



  30. Mark Summerfield: “US Supreme Court Decision in Alice Looks to Have Eliminated About 75% of New Business Method Patents.”

    Some of the patent microcosm, or those who profit from the bureaucracy associated with patents, responds to claims made by Techrights (that software patents are a dying breed in the US)


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts