Ubuntu Firefox EULA Inclusion Marks Worrying Trend Amongst The Open Source Movement

The inclusion of Firefox 3.0 end-user license agreement (EULA) into the newly launched Intrepid Ibex version of Ubuntu has left the open-source community fuming.

Initially, the Firefox EULA pop-up was reported as a bug by William Grant on the LaunchPad Community Forum, who quoted it as “obnoxious and largely irrelevant to Ubuntu users”; however, the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu, Canonical, has later on admitted the addition of Firefox EULA following a request from Mozilla, mainly for trademarking purposes.

Upholding the inclusion of the license agreement, Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical’s chief executive said, “Since Firefox is their trademark, which we intend to respect, we have the choice of working with Mozilla to meet their requirements.”

However, Shuttleworth mentioned that he acknowledged the importance of the brand but EULA was not a “best practice” in his view; moreover, he asserted that it is really unfortunate that Mozilla is considering this addition absolutely necessary.

Furthermore, he also stated that Canonical is discussing the issue with Mozilla, so as to explore better ways for meeting the trademarking requirements of the latter.