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Re: Why Mozilla Firefox is nonfree? (was: Vanilla Firefox recipe?)

From: Dmitry Alexandrov
Subject: Re: Why Mozilla Firefox is nonfree? (was: Vanilla Firefox recipe?)
Date: Wed, 27 May 2020 08:16:47 +0300
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/28.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Christopher Lemmer Webber <address@hidden> wrote:
> I'm not sure it's really accurate to categorize asking for a vanilla copy of 
> firefox, which might not comply with the FSDG, as nonfree software.  The 
> primary issue with Firefox that makes it qualify as "nonfree" is that the 
> add-ons tool brings you to something that might guide a user towards nonfree 
> software right?

Nope.  Firefox, as distributed by Mozilla, is simply not a free software.  Just 
reread the agreement with Mozilla [0] you are supposed to abide.  You are _not_ 
free even to redistribute _exact_ copies of it, let aside distributing modified 

| You may distribute unaltered copies of Mozilla Firefox and other Mozilla 
software from without express permission from Mozilla as long as 
you comply with the following rules:
|    — You may not charge for the software. That means:
|        · Distribution may not be subject to any fee.
|        · Distribution may not be tied to purchasing a product or service.

There are many other points there, that alone enough to render it nonfree.  My 
favourite one:

|   — When distributing you must distribute the most recent version of Firefox 
and other Mozilla software.


> Thus I think this isn't exactly correct framing, since firefox itself isn't 
> nonfree?

As you see, it is.  You could build something very similar to Firefox from 
sources, of course, but it would not be Mozilla Firefox.  No much difference 
from Google Chrome in that regard.

But there is one difference, that is to credit of Google and that I would not 
underestimate — the free counterpart of their browser has a canonical name — 
Chromium.  While Mozillaʼs browser is anonymous and, unless are fine with 
adverting nonfree software, cannot be referred in any concise way; hence the 
whole zoo of rebrands: Icecat, Iceweasel, Fennec (F-Droid), Abrowser 

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