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Old 06-02-2008, 02:28 AM
"Keith G. Robertson-Turner"
 
Default Firefox and Moonlight (Mono) "Free Software" Status?

Any comments on the following, and how it might pertain to future releases?:

[quote]
I noticed a comment thread on Groklaw about Moonlight, with a link to
the license terms on Microsoft's website. They call it Covenant to
Downstream Recipients of Moonlight - Microsoft & Novell Interoperability
Collaboration . A comment by Microsoft's Brian Goldfarb on Dana
Blankenhorn's article about Novell being a lead pony for Silverlight
started the discussion originally. Goldfarb represented that anyone can
use Moonlight: "Moonlight is usable for anyone on any distribution of
Linux (redhat, ubuntu, etc.) -- it is not limited just to Novell as Mono
is." And he linked to the covenant, saying it "applies to all downstream
recepients of the software." Is that true?

...

"Microsoft, on behalf of itself and its Subsidiaries, hereby covenants
not to sue Downstream Recipients of Novell and its Subsidiaries for
infringement under Necessary Claims of Microsoft on account of such
Downstream Recipients’ use of Moonlight Implementations to the extent
originally provided by Novell during the Term and, if applicable, the
Extension or Post-Extension Period, but only to the extent such
Moonlight Implementations are used to provide Plug-In Functionality. The
foregoing covenants shall survive termination of the Agreement, but only
as to specific copies of such Moonlight Implementations distributed
during the Term, and if applicable, the Extension or Post-Extension Period."

...

Q: But the definitions section seems to be saying that Moonlight is safe
from threat only if you get it from Novell AND DO NOT PASS IT ON, as
there are no protections for downstream recipients.

A: Correct, unless those downstream recipients get it from an
'Intermediate Recipient' defined to only include authorized resellers.
[quote]

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20080528133529454


I was particularly interested in the phrase "it is not limited just to
Novell as Mono is."
^^^^^^^^^^

I know you don't ship Moonlight, and I sincerely hope you never do, but
you /do/ ship Mono, and I have been vigorously campaigning (in various
places) for distros not to, without much success. I think this latest
revelation is finally vindication of my concerns, and you should drop
Mono like a hot brick.


On the subject of Microsoft's "covenants", there's also this:

[quote]
So much quarreling about open standards. Jason Matusow advocates for a
document format with RAND licensing conditions for the patents. What
does he mean when he talks about RAND? RAND stands for "reasonable and
non-discriminatory". But Jason Matusow's company Microsoft lacks honesty
when it talks about "reasonable and non-discriminatory" conditions.

...

Reasonable and non-discriminatory in patent licensing means "we apply a
uniform fee".

...

RAND patent licensing conditions are a tool to ban Free Software, which
is entirely incompatible with RAND licensing conditions. Now one side of
the debate blames it on the patent licensing conditions, the other side
on the software licensing conditions.

"The reason I agree with the statement about patents and Free Software
not mixing is that there have been terms written into GPL licenses that
explicitly conflict with software patents. Okay, that is the choice of
the authors and users of those licenses."
[quote]

http://www.digitalmajority.org/forum/t-54546/reasonable-and-not-non-discriminatory


It seems clear to me that the cloak of ECMA's RAND, that Microsoft hides
their .NET and OOXML patents behind, has been exposed as a sham. IOW the
Emperor has no clothes.

Why are you still shipping Mono?


Then there's this new debacle over Firefox:

[quote]
I decided to upgrade my copy of Firefox 3 Beta5 to the recent Release
Candidate today and was greeted with something quite unexpected.

Instead of my browser window opening as it was supposed to do I was
given a End-User Software License Agreement (EULA) screen which would
not let me use Firefox until I agreed with the terms and conditions.

While Mozilla has had a EULA since Firefox 1.5 or so they have never
brazenly shoved it into the end-user's face until now. It immediately
set me on edge because this behavior is indicative of proprietary
software and not something you would expect to see when using something
that is open source.
[quote]

http://www.linuxinfusion.com/firefox-3-rc1-forces-you-agree-eula-usage


Why are you still shipping Firefox instead of GNU IceCat, which is after
all exactly the same software - but without the additional restrictions
that make Firefox® non-Free?

--
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Keith G. Robertson-Turner

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Old 06-02-2008, 02:59 AM
"Horst H. von Brand"
 
Default Firefox and Moonlight (Mono) "Free Software" Status?

As far as I see, the Moonlight "Covenant" is /far/ from open source; so as
long as the conditions stay as today, this is just out of the question for
Fedora.
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Old 06-02-2008, 02:59 AM
"Horst H. von Brand"
 
Default Firefox and Moonlight (Mono) "Free Software" Status?

As far as I see, the Moonlight "Covenant" is /far/ from open source; so as
long as the conditions stay as today, this is just out of the question for
Fedora.
--
Dr. Horst H. von Brand User #22616 counter.li.org
Departamento de Informatica Fono: +56 32 2654431
Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria +56 32 2654239
Casilla 110-V, Valparaiso, Chile 2340000 Fax: +56 32 2797513

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Old 06-02-2008, 06:11 AM
Rahul Sundaram
 
Default Firefox and Moonlight (Mono) "Free Software" Status?

Keith G. Robertson-Turner wrote:

Any comments on the following, and how it might pertain to future releases?:


Moonlight:

http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/ForbiddenItems#Moonlight

Mono has been discussed extensively in the past. So just refer to list
archives for details.


Firefox: EULA shown is just MPL/LGPL/GPL and doesn't really make it
non-free anymore than showing EULA in previous Fedora releases made it
non-free.


However refer

https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=447661

Rahul







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Old 06-02-2008, 08:24 AM
"Keith G. Robertson-Turner"
 
Default Firefox and Moonlight (Mono) "Free Software" Status?

Verily I say unto thee, that Rahul Sundaram spake thusly:
> Keith G. Robertson-Turner wrote:

>> Any comments on the following, and how it might pertain to future
>> releases?:
>
> Moonlight:
>
> http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/ForbiddenItems#Moonlight

Thank you. I hadn't actually seen that page, but I was aware that you'd
blocked Moonlight as non-Free. Indeed, this is why I'm so surprised that
you don't block Mono for the same, or similar, reasons.

> Mono has been discussed extensively in the past. So just refer to
> list archives for details.

In advance of reviewing the archives, I'd just like to reiterate
concerns that have been made about Mono elsewhere:

Quote:
I read the agreement between Xandros and Microsoft, and one of the
excluded products was Mono, so Microsoft promises to not sue Xandros
over their distribution but excluding Mono and a few other products,
i.e. they reserve the right to sue over Mono. I wonder if this is an
interesting preview of on what basis they want to fight the free world.

Interestingly, the Novell deal seems to be different, Mono is not
excluded from the Novell deal. So Microsoft seems to be promising not to
sue Novell over Mono, but keeps the option open for Xandros. Weird but true.
http://commandline.org.uk/linux/2007/aug/5/be-careful-who-you-kiss/

Coupled with the revelations of Microsoft's agenda for Moonlight, I'd
say it's pretty clear that Mono is a serious (and unnecessary) risk,
since Mono is encumbered by similar terms, by the same patent holder.

> Firefox: EULA shown is just MPL/LGPL/GPL and doesn't really make it
> non-free anymore than showing EULA in previous Fedora releases made
> it non-free.

Having read the EULA, I see there is considerably more in there than
just the MPL, in fact there is no mention of the GPL at all, and only a
very brief reference to the MPL. The vast majority of the document
details Intellectual Property restrictions, and other insidious elements
such as export restrictions.

Also, I really don't think that Free Software should require an
affirmative confirmation of license acceptance to allow use of that
software, especially when what one is "accepting" is the revocation of
one's rights WRT that software.

The EULA itself does not even read like an expression of Freedom, but
much more like a corporate declaration that /inhibits/ Freedom. In fact
I couldn't even locate a copy of that version of the license on Mozilla
Corp's Website, to review before deciding whether or not to download the
software, although this is a preview release, so that may (hopefully)
change. Ultimately I had to download the tarball, and even then I could
not find a license file to read, I had to actually run the software to
see the (presumably embedded) license. I've published a copy here (I
assume that publishing a copy of the license is not, in and of itself,
some form of Intellectual Property violation):

http://slated.org/firefox_3_is_this_really_free_software

Quote:
By clicking the "Accept" button, or by installing or using the Mozilla
Firefox Browser, you are consenting to be bound by the Agreement. If you
do not agree to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, do not click
the "Accept" button, and do not install or use any part of the Mozilla
Firefox Browser.

...

Mozilla, for itself and on behalf of its licensors, hereby reserves all
intellectual property rights in the Product, except for the rights
expressly granted in this Agreement. You may not remove or alter any
trademark, logo, copyright or other proprietary notice in or on the
Product. This license does not grant you any right to use the
trademarks, service marks or logos of Mozilla or its licensors.

...

8. EXPORT CONTROLS. This license is subject to all applicable export
restrictions. You must comply with all export and import laws and
restrictions and regulations of any United States or foreign agency or
authority relating to the Product and its use.

9. U.S. GOVERNMENT END-USERS. This Product is a "commercial item," as
that term is defined in 48 C.F.R. 2.101, consisting of "commercial
computer software" and "commercial computer software documentation," as
such terms are used in 48 C.F.R. 12.212 (Sept. 1995) and 48 C.F.R.
227.7202 (June 1995). Consistent with 48 C.F.R. 12.212, 48 C.F.R.
27.405(b)(2) (June 1998) and 48 C.F.R. 227.7202, all U.S. Government End
Users acquire the Product with only those rights as set forth therein.

IMHO this is non-Free, and obviously both Debian and FSF agree with me,
since they have each forked Firefox.

Personally I just don't see why there should be an issue switching to
the Freest available version of any given software.

> However refer
>
> https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=447661

Thank you.

--
Regards,
Keith G. Robertson-Turner

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Old 06-02-2008, 08:26 AM
"Nicolas Mailhot"
 
Default Firefox and Moonlight (Mono) "Free Software" Status?

Le Lun 2 juin 2008 08:11, Rahul Sundaram a crit :

> Firefox: EULA shown is just MPL/LGPL/GPL

It's not. In particular the "privacy policy" bits are more than
borderline in any country but the USA. (not just from a FLOSS angle,
from a general legal angle).

> and doesn't really make it
> non-free anymore than showing EULA in previous Fedora releases made it
> non-free.

Is this a legal opinion?

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Old 06-02-2008, 09:39 AM
Rahul Sundaram
 
Default Firefox and Moonlight (Mono) "Free Software" Status?

Nicolas Mailhot wrote:

Le Lun 2 juin 2008 08:11, Rahul Sundaram a crit :


Firefox: EULA shown is just MPL/LGPL/GPL


It's not. In particular the "privacy policy" bits are more than
borderline in any country but the USA. (not just from a FLOSS angle,
from a general legal angle).


Feel free to comment on the bugzilla report referenced earlier.




and doesn't really make it
non-free anymore than showing EULA in previous Fedora releases made it
non-free.


Is this a legal opinion?


You have to find a lawyer for that.

Rahul

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Old 06-02-2008, 09:43 AM
Rahul Sundaram
 
Default Firefox and Moonlight (Mono) "Free Software" Status?

Keith G. Robertson-Turner wrote:



Also, I really don't think that Free Software should require an
affirmative confirmation of license acceptance to allow use of that
software, especially when what one is "accepting" is the revocation of
one's rights WRT that software.


This is correct which is which is why I asked the person complaining
about this on fedora-test list to file a bug report which has already
been done. So further comments should go there.


IMHO this is non-Free, and obviously both Debian and FSF agree with me,
since they have each forked Firefox.


Debian forked because the logo is non-free and FSF has forked earlier
due to non-free components like talkback which we didn't include in
Fedora. Export controls do not make a software non-free according to
FSF. Refer


http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FreeSoftwareAnalysis/FSF

Rahul

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Old 06-02-2008, 10:28 AM
"Richard W.M. Jones"
 
Default Firefox and Moonlight (Mono) "Free Software" Status?

On Mon, Jun 02, 2008 at 03:28:51AM +0100, Keith G. Robertson-Turner wrote:
> Why are you still shipping Mono?

Have MSFT actually revealed what patents Mono might infringe yet?
Since Mono/.Net is just a warmed-over version of Java/p-Code and other
concepts dating back 30 years or more it seems like these patents (if
identified) are probably worthless anyway.

Rich.

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Old 06-02-2008, 11:19 AM
"Keith G. Robertson-Turner"
 
Default Firefox and Moonlight (Mono) "Free Software" Status?

Verily I say unto thee, that Richard W.M. Jones spake thusly:
> On Mon, Jun 02, 2008 at 03:28:51AM +0100, Keith G. Robertson-Turner
> wrote:

>> Why are you still shipping Mono?
>
> Have MSFT actually revealed what patents Mono might infringe yet?

Do they ever?

Of course they never will, they don't need to - the FUD works better.

> Since Mono/.Net is just a warmed-over version of Java/p-Code and
> other concepts dating back 30 years or more it seems like these
> patents (if identified) are probably worthless anyway.

Yes I agree, but it isn't a very comfortable position to have Ballmer
breathing down one's neck and leering in a menacing fashion.

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Keith G. Robertson-Turner

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