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Mozilla ‘Pulls a Novell’, Distributes DRM-riddled Prizes

Posted in Apple, DRM, GNU/Linux, Novell at 11:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“We like you so much, so we give you competitors’ products”

Isn’t it troubling when a company which takes prides in open source actually distributes proprietary software products as awards while at the same time ignoring smaller players that thrive in open source? Well, Mozilla is now boasting an Apple Mac to earn this criticism, which is well ‘earned’.

And you do realize that other manufacturers offer laptops pre-loaded with Firefox and Linux, right?

Mozilla gives a proprietary, DRM-oriented software and hardware from a company that has it excluded from distribution and had it excluded from market share charts. Didn’t Mozilla slam Apple just a couple of months ago for promoting duopoly? This reminded me of Novell doing the same thing with iPods. I remember this because I criticised them at the time. That was long before the deal with Microsoft and also a time when I advocated SUSE. Bear in mind that Apple not only refused to port iTunes to Linux, but it also tried to block Linux software for iPods about a month ago. To make matters worse, its co-founder slammed open source about a month ago.

Let’s look at the bright side. Novell offered iPods, not Zunes, which were not even out in the market at the time.

Microsoft ZUN

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  1. aw shit said,

    October 26, 2007 at 6:43 pm


    Google gives out ipods in some contests.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 26, 2007 at 8:08 pm


    Yes, but Google is not a Linux and open source company. They only use that technology in house, so the “eat your own dogfood” argument does not apply. Eric Schmidt is also on Apple board.

  3. Asa Dotzler said,

    October 28, 2007 at 5:16 pm


    There’s nothing stopping winners from putting Linux on their brand new MacBook Pro. Well, except that I doubt Linux still isn’t ready for the desktop (or laptop.)

    I suppose Mozilla could offer prizes that no one wants but that would satisfy free software zealots. That, though, I don’t think is a strategy that actually works very well.

    - A

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 28, 2007 at 6:49 pm


    “Free software zealots”, eh? Thanks for reminding me how Mozilla perceives Free software, without which it would be nowhere. It was not long ago that a staff member of yours wanted to neglect Linux further and you then tried to pretend that his opinion did not reflect on that of the company as a whole.

    As for the hardware (MacBook Pro), paying the company which makes non-Free and non-Open Source software is the reason for criticism. Read my comments above again — the comments about the way Apple perceives open source, such as Firefox.

  5. Asa Dotzler said,

    October 30, 2007 at 2:35 am


    “Free software, without which it would be nowhere.”

    Care to elaborate? Firefox is taking market share from Microsoft by offering a superior product, not by offering a software religion.

    I appreciate the one or two percent of Firefox users who are running on Linux or other FLOSS desktops, but they hardly constitute a force without which Firefox would suffer. Heck, there are considerably more Firefox users running Mac OSX than all flavors of FLOSS desktops combined. Not only that, but those Mac users are disproportionately responsible for writing Websites that work in multiple browsers and not just IE.

    It would have been more accurate if you’d said that without the Mac audience, Firefox would be nowhere.

    - A

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 30, 2007 at 5:24 am



    I am aware of your great work bringing Firefox to such an admirable position (a true David versus Goliath story). Please be aware, however, that a lot pf promotional force, such as people promoting Firefox in their Web sites and helping their friends migrate to a new Web browser, have come from people who suffered from being excluded from the Web. I was among those people.

    I apologise if my last message sounded rude, but stereotypes like “zealot” strike a nerve and they help nobody. It is best to avoid them.

  7. Yuhong Bao said,

    January 28, 2008 at 3:06 pm


    In fairness, only one part of Mac is DRM-riddled, that is iTunes.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 28, 2008 at 8:49 pm


    Have you not seen the recent story about QuickTime and users being forbidden editing?

  9. Yuhong Bao said,

    January 28, 2008 at 10:08 pm


    Yea, but that is probably it for the parts of OS X that have DRM.

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 28, 2008 at 11:32 pm


    Apple came under the threat of lawsuits for failing to ‘protect’ those Hollywood studios. Make no mistake. Apple seems to be going down the path of Vista with that DRM suicide for all I can tell. There’s a liaison (media companies and software companies).

  11. Yuhong Bao said,

    January 28, 2008 at 11:56 pm


    >Apple came under the threat of lawsuits for failing to ‘protect’ those Hollywood studios.
    So even if Steve Jobs do hate that, Apple have to impose DRM.
    >Apple seems to be going down the path of Vista with that DRM suicide for all I can tell.
    Fortunately, Vista’s DRM support also have a limited scope. Only if you play DRMed content will Vista activate it’s DRM support to protect the content.

  12. Yuhong Bao said,

    January 28, 2008 at 11:58 pm


    I would not call it pulling a Novell, because the crucial part is missing. That part is that patent agreement.

  13. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 29, 2008 at 12:03 am


    Fortunately, Vista’s DRM support also have a limited scope. Only if you play DRMed content will Vista activate it’s DRM support to protect the content.

    Are you aware of the performance and security penalties?

    I would not call it pulling a Novell, because the crucial part is missing. That part is that patent agreement.

    Yes, of course. I do like Mozilla, but as the cited item suggests, it would be nice for an Open Source software company to support a product that does not snub (and almost sabotage) interaction with FOSS and GNU/Linux (mind the recent iPod-Linux incident).

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