Mozilla to adopt support for digital restrictions: help with the protest!

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I am a member!

Joined: 04/23/2011

Here is what the FSF has to say about it (scowl down for an email address to send a complaint):

*You can read this post online at *

# FSF condemns partnership between Mozilla and Adobe to support Digital Restrictions Management

BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA — Wednesday, May 14th, 2014 —
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][1], Mozilla has
announced that it will partner with proprietary software company Adobe
to implement support for Web-based [Digital Restrictions
Management][2] (DRM) in its Firefox browser, using Encrypted Media
Extensions (EME).

The Free Software Foundation is deeply disappointed in Mozilla's
announcement. The decision compromises important principles in order
to alleviate misguided fears about loss of browser marketshare. It
allies Mozilla with a company hostile to the free software movement
and to Mozilla's own fundamental ideals.

Although Mozilla will not directly ship Adobe's proprietary DRM
plugin, it will, as an official feature, encourage Firefox users to
install the plugin from Adobe when presented with media that requests
DRM. We agree with Cory Doctorow that there is no meaningful
distinction between 'installing DRM' and 'installing code that
installs DRM.'

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. Mozilla's
announcement today unfortunately puts it -- in this regard -- in the
same category as its proprietary competitors.

Unlike those proprietary competitors, Mozilla is going to great
lengths to reduce some of the specific harms of DRM by attempting to
'sandbox' the plugin. But this approach cannot solve the fundamental
ethical problems with proprietary software, or [the issues that
inevitably arise when proprietary software is installed][3] on a
user's computer.

In [the announcement][4], Mitchell Baker asserts that Mozilla's hands
were tied. But she then goes on to actively praise Adobe's "value" and
suggests that there is some kind of necessary balance between DRM and
user freedom.

There is nothing necessary about DRM, and to hear Mozilla praising
Adobe -- the company who has been and continues to be a vicious
opponent of the free software movement and the free Web -- is
shocking. With this partnership in place, we worry about Mozilla's
ability and willingness to criticize Adobe's practices going forward.

We understand that Mozilla is afraid of losing users. Cory Doctorow
[points out][5] 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.

Today's decision turns that calculus on its head, devoting Mozilla
resources to delivering users to Adobe and hostile media
distributors. In the process, Firefox is losing the identity which set
it apart from its proprietary competitors -- Internet Explorer and
Chrome -- both of which are implementing EME in an even worse fashion.

Undoubtedly, some number of users just want restricted media like
Netflix to work in Firefox, and they will be upset if it doesn't. This
is unsurprising, since the majority of the world is not yet familiar
with the ethical issues surrounding proprietary software. This debate
was, and is, a high-profile opportunity to introduce these concepts to
users and ask them to stand together in some tough decisions.

To see Mozilla compromise without making any public effort to rally
users against this supposed "forced choice" is doubly
disappointing. They should reverse this decision. But whether they do
or do not, we call on them to join us by devoting as many of their
extensive resources to permanently eliminating DRM as they are now
devoting to supporting it. The FSF will have more to say and do on
this in the coming days. For now, users who are concerned about this
issue should:

* **[Write to Mozilla CTO Andreas Gal and let him know that you
oppose DRM](mailto:name at domain)**. Mozilla made this
decision in a misguided appeal to its userbase; it needs to
hear in clear and reasoned terms from the users who feel
this as a betrayal. Ask Mozilla what it is going to do to
actually solve the DRM problem that has created this false
forced choice.

* **[Join our effort to stop EME approval][6] at the W3C**. While today's
announcement makes it even more obvious that W3C rejection of EME
will not stop its implementation, it also makes it clear that W3C can
fearlessly reject EME to send a message that DRM is *not* a part of
the vision of a free Web.

* **Use a version of Firefox without the EME code**: Since its source
code is available under a license allowing anyone to modify and
redistribute it under a different name, we expect versions without
EME to be made available, and you should use those instead. We will
list them in the [Free Software Directory][7].

* **Donate to support the work of the [Free Software Foundation][8]
and our [Defective by Design][9] campaign to actually end DRM.**
Until it's completely gone, Mozilla and others will be constantly
tempted to capitulate, and users will be pressured to continue using
some proprietary software. If not us, give to another group fighting
against digital restrictions."

## References

What is DRM? 2


I am a member!

Joined: 11/22/2013

I just recently received this news from FSF also.

This reminds me of when Adobe released its Creative suite, free of charge, to students at my University. Shortly after, they started pushing their cloud software. In hindsight, I question their intentions and the effects. I know that I am still struggling with a transition from their software, and I wonder about others.

Chris, thanks for posting the article here.

Joined: 12/13/2013

I'm not going to fight it (they can do what they like) I'm just going to stop using Firefox. It's been on my "to do" list since they started talking about introducing ads, and alarm bells had been ringing already before that.

I know they won't care if they lose one user, but I don't care either.


I am a member!

Joined: 04/23/2011

The problem is doing nothing means we end up with no good options. It won't matter if you don't use Firefox, IE, or Chrome. It still has a negative impact because more sites will adopt this new standard knowing that all of the important browsers have adopted it. Your non-ie-firefox-chrome browser will just end up getting a pop up warning saying your browser is out of date and that you need to upgrade.

Also- despite Mozilla's bad decision here the alternative browsers are worse. Chrome and IE (if I recall correctly) already include non-free software (Adobe Flash being one of them) or are completely non-free to begin with and they both have already implemented this digital restriction 'standard'.

To keep web sites from forcing users to adopt these standards we need to keep at least one major browser from adopting it. We need to disrupt this standard. It's absolutely critical. If we fail you may soon find that there isn't any video you can play on the web. Not YouTube, not your favorite news web sites, nothing. This is already largely the case because Adobe Flash is a standard method (if not an actual standard) of streaming video and free software advocates can't and won't adopt it.

Joined: 05/30/2012

To be fair, Flash was adopted because there wasn't a better (in terms of practicality) alternative for streaming video at all, not because of the digital restriction feature. Videos that aren't from big producers probably won't be affected by EME, and I'm sure video sharing sites like YouTube will at worst simply have an option to enable digital restrictions that not everyone will use. But regardless, it's true that this will cause problems that could even be catastrophic.

Joined: 12/10/2013

Even the sandbox isn't free (or even open source) software. The CDM checks the integrity of the sandbox, so you can't run modified versions. Even the open source definition says that "people need to be able to experiment with and redistribute modifications."

So despite their claims, the browser itself include nonfree/non-open-source software.

Joined: 12/13/2013


Joined: 05/16/2014

Me too, two days ago i was using Ubuntu, but, the story about firefox and adobe and the loss of identity at the ubuntu project. So today i install the trisquel and i'm using now. It's so good! Is clean and simple and most fast. I really like it.

Joined: 05/15/2011

All browsers will have to adopt it at some point considering they are at the mercy of the content providers. Heck, Firefox can't play the majority of the HTML5 video out there since H264, AAC, and MP3 are not enabled by default for most builds.

Joined: 01/09/2013

Well, Even do, I don't agree with the decision of Mozilla in supporting DRM restrictions, that is fine with me, if they choose too.

I don't use DRM NET anyhow. But to restrain me, In telling me that requires DRM to watch a public video that has been posted as Public, for example: teaching videos on how to assemble an X part.That is when too much is ENOUGH. I still said the DRM restrictions is not a standard but an dictatorial way of saying, you don't play, will ban you! That is the problem, of another control tool for all the idiots of Hollywood that supports this cluster f..K

When it comes to Mozilla, the owners just sold their soul and freedom to DEVIL!

I did my part in supporting the protest against DRM.

Joined: 05/15/2011

I've emailed Mozilla and it has gone onto deaf ears with no reply. Mozilla is very set in their ways and extremely self righteous.

I've read responses from employees (like to Kuhn's recent post) and they give an arrogant response telling the users that they are making the right choices for you and the user is simply wrong if they disagree with the for profit interests of the Mozilla Corporation.

Joined: 12/13/2013

It's a recurring pattern. A business gets big and successful by giving users what they want, then it starts telling them what they should have and looks for ways to make more money. Then it enters a long slow decline as it alienates more and more users who are motivated to look for alternatives.

Joined: 11/30/2010

Absolutely agree with you Freedom. This is the usual pattern and very disappointing. Just means another fork of Firefox will be developed that'll have no DRM, forced ads, etc ...

I'm really sick of Adobe trying to muscle in on everything. I wish they'd go away and develop something actually useful, instead of forcing folk to use they're buggy bloated plugins.

Joined: 01/18/2012

According to this Phoronix article, a new Firefox fork is beign developed under the name of Pale Moon with a goal to resolve the recent disagreement about the project direction. I hope that this will also bring native WebP support to finally deprecate the old JPEG/PNG formats that many people (including me) relies upon for a too long time.

Joined: 12/10/2013

Pale Moon doesn't seem new.
Also, the binaries on the website are nonfree.

Joined: 05/30/2012

Hm, I didn't notice this. In fact, the developer of Pale Moon mentions on that page "principles of free software", by which they mean "distributing without charge". Directing people to Pale Moon would be a rather dangerous move.

Joined: 05/30/2012

Pale Moon isn't "new", and its goal has nothing to do with the recent direction of Firefox. It's been around for years (since 2009), and it's basically just what someone thinks is practically better in a browser.

A developer has said on the Pale Moon forum that Firefox's EME system is never going to be in Pale Moon, so it seems it's an OK fork to recommend at least for now, but keep in mind that the way that Phoronix article portrays it is misleading.

Joined: 12/10/2013

If you use it, don't use the binaries.


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I am a translator!

Joined: 02/01/2011

Trisquel users have abrowser, so no worry. I would love to be able to advise non-Trisquel users to switch to GNU IceCat, but it lags too far behind Firefox security-wise :(.

Joined: 01/18/2012

To my previous comment: I just heard about the existence of the Pale Moon browser, I doesn't even looked at their website up until now. I simply wasn't that much interested (about the project, not the topic). While, as stated above, this project isn't new and that the developers doesn't really care about user's freedom by releasing their binaries under a _stupid_ proprietary license, the source code itself is derived from Firefox, which is freely licensed under the Mozilla Public License. Together, this means that there is a readily available fork for people who will not want to wait until the outcome of this debate, and want to quit from using Firefox now.