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. Links 29/7/2015: Akademy 2015 Ends, NetBSD 7.0 RC

    Links for the day



  2. MPEG-LA is Preparing New Patent Obstruction (Called DASH) Against Free Software, OIN Grows

    A new conspiracy against free multimedia software, set up by the MPEG cartel, is called DASH



  3. New Zealand's Media Gets History Wrong on Software Patents

    Setting the record straight on the fight against software patents in New Zealand



  4. Not Only Vista 10 Crashes a Lot, Any .NET Application Does Too

    Microsoft software is quickly becoming synonymous with crashes as any piece of software developed with Microsoft's tools, not just the underlying platform, crashes chronically



  5. The Government of Bulgaria Sells Out to Microsoft, Again

    Despite some promises and reassurances that Bulgaria will consider Free/libre software, the Bulgarian government hands out a lot more of taxpayers' money to the Mafia



  6. Corporate Media Finally Finds Out That Vista 10 Crashes a Lot

    Stability issues of Vista 10 are belatedly reported to be a major catastrophe, leaving it unusable for many early adopters



  7. Links 28/7/2015: Linux 4.2 RC4, New Logos and Bug 'Branding' for FUD

    Links for the day



  8. Patents Roundup: Technicolor, Alice, Voip-Pal, Fitbit, Marijuana Patents, and JDate

    A look at some of last week's patent news, with imperative responses that criticise corporate exploitation of patents for protectionism (excluding and/or driving away the competition using legal threats)



  9. Corporate Lobbyists Including Koch-Connected Front Groups Attack Real and Perceived Patent Reform in the United States

    Looking at some of the latest propaganda for and against a bill which is already too watered-down to actually fix the US patent system



  10. Patents in the Android World Further Complicate Freedom in This Linux-Powered Platform

    A survey of last week's news with special focus on Google and Android, which are trying to coexist and thrive in a world full of patent maximalists



  11. The 'Unitary' Patent Trojan Horse Rammed Down the Throat of Europe

    Under the guise of 'unification' or 'unity', existing patent systems are being abandoned and more power gets passed to corrupt EPO officials



  12. HEVC Cartel is Not News, Only the Names of Backers and the Costs Are New

    A few remarks on and a roundup of recent articles about HEVC, which we first wrote about in spring



  13. IRC Proceedings: July 12th, 2015 – July 25th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  14. Links 26/7/2015: Purism Librem and Freedom, Akademy Updates

    Links for the day



  15. Vista 10 (Windows 10) Has NSA Back Doors and Front Doors

    Vista 10 to bring new ways for spies (and other crackers) to remotely access people's computers and remotely modify the binary files on them (via Windows Update, which for most people cannot be disabled)



  16. Vista 10 Not Ready, But Released Anyway

    Despite severe technical issues in the rushed-out-the-door Vista 10, Microsoft decides to stick with the deadline, only days after reporting billions of dollars in losses



  17. Links 25/7/2015: Plasma Mobile, Linux Mint 17.2 OEM

    Links for the day



  18. Links 24/7/2015: openSUSE Leap 42.1, Intel With Rackspace for OpenStack

    Links for the day



  19. Links 24/7/2015: GNOME 3.17.4, Mozilla Developer Network Turns 10

    Links for the day



  20. Microsoft Has Run Out of Attempts and Vista 10 Will Definitely Fail

    As Microsoft admits billions of dollars in losses just days before Vista 10 is pushed as a 'free' upgrade, there is no concrete sign that financial recovery is imminent, for the bigger cash cow (Office) suffers a similar fate



  21. GNU/Linux Circles Ought to Stop Promoting Visual Studio, Which is Neither Cross-Platform Nor Free Software

    Media carries on openwashing Visual Studio and perpetuating the illusion that it is not tied to Microsoft Windows



  22. Spinning Proprietary Software Dangers as Dangers of Free/Libre Software

    News sites mislead their readers, teaching them that the biggest dangers associated with proprietary software are in fact problems exclusive to Free/libre Open Source software



  23. Links 23/7/2015: New RHEL Release, Capital One Releases Code

    Links for the day



  24. Terminology of Patent Lawyers and Pro-Patents Media Serves to Mislead the Public

    An outline of stories where the language used to describe patents is grossly distorted so as to bias the reality and mislead the audience/readers



  25. Amid Billions in Losses, Microsoft Tries to Conquer the Competition (Which Already Wins)

    The 'Embrace, Extend, Extinguish' strategy goes a few steps further as Microsoft looks to dominate developers, devices and servers that are running Free/libre software



  26. Microsoft Losing Billions of Dollars is Not News

    Few remarks on Microsoft's latest admission that it is losing a lot of money



  27. Links 22/7/2015: Kodi 15.0, MKVToolnix 8.2.0

    Links for the day



  28. The Technology Sector in the US Has Gotten Fed Up With Apple's Patent Aggression Against Android/Linux

    Apple is desperately trying to stop Android from increasing its levels of dominance (in phones, tablets, watches, and so on), so Silicon Valley is lining up against Apple, antagonising its misuse/abuse of patents for anticompetitive purposes



  29. Patents Regime in Europe: Mixture of Greed, Competition Abuses, and Propaganda

    A roundup of the latest patent news from Europe, focusing on Italy, the UK, Germany, and Hungary



  30. Patent 'Reform' in US Congress Still Under Attack by Patent Lawyers and Corporate Lobbyists

    The latest instances of assault on changes to the US patent system, demonstrated through an elaborative survey of the media (two days' worth)


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