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posted by LaminatorX on Saturday March 08 2014, @11:10PM   Printer-friendly
from the Dude,-you're-getting-a-bill! dept.

lhsi writes:

"Mozilla are investigating reports that Dell is charging customers £16 to install the Firefox browser, according to The Register.

Mozilla's trademark policy says that you can't charge for distributing unaltered binaries of the software.

According to the BBC, Dell said that the money was being charged for the time and labour involved.

"In this particular situation, the customer would not be charged for the Mozilla Firefox software download, rather the fee would cover the time and labour involved for factory personnel to load a different image than is provided on the system's standard configuration."

A preliminary consultation with legal teams has stated at Mozilla, but is at an early stage."

 
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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Khyber on Saturday March 08 2014, @11:22PM

    by Khyber (54) on Saturday March 08 2014, @11:22PM (#13344) Journal

    Just like how you're really paying for support with some Linux Distributions.

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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by jimshatt on Saturday March 08 2014, @11:36PM

    by jimshatt (978) on Saturday March 08 2014, @11:36PM (#13352) Journal
    I actually don't see why it would not be legal. If you have 'a guy' install it for you, you would pay too. Besides, the MPL grants you this right, so the trademark policy and the license seem to be at odds. If that is even legal, it's at least 'sneaky' to take away rights in a trademark policy that you granted previously with your license.
    Will a judge go for the intersection or the union of the granted rights (and vice-versa for the restrictions)?
    • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Sunday March 09 2014, @06:46PM

      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Sunday March 09 2014, @06:46PM (#13614) Homepage Journal

      I laughed out loud at the summary. Joe Sixpack can install pr0n trojans but not FireFox?

      Maybe I should RTFA but that might spoil a good joke. Hell, TFA is in the Register, that site's one big joke anyway, always good for a laugh.

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      mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Angry Jesus on Sunday March 09 2014, @12:20AM

    by Angry Jesus (182) on Sunday March 09 2014, @12:20AM (#13375)

    Just like how you're really paying for support with some Linux Distributions.

    RTFA. Mozilla's trademark licensing terms prevent Dell from doing it.
    Dell can charge all they want, they just can't advertise with the Firefox trademark if they do.

    • (Score: 1) by ngarrang on Sunday March 09 2014, @03:31AM

      by ngarrang (896) on Sunday March 09 2014, @03:31AM (#13425) Journal

      So, when someone asks me to come over and install something for them, I am committing an illegal act by charging the person for my time and travel to install FireFox for them?

      • (Score: 1) by Angry Jesus on Sunday March 09 2014, @04:34AM

        by Angry Jesus (182) on Sunday March 09 2014, @04:34AM (#13434)

        Yeah, that is exactly what I meant.

        Doh!

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by mcgrew on Sunday March 09 2014, @06:49PM

          by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Sunday March 09 2014, @06:49PM (#13615) Homepage Journal

          It ain't so until a judge says it's so.

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          mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @02:54AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @02:54AM (#13726)

            Trademark law is a well-settled area.
            It isn't like obeying licensing terms in exchange for the ability to use a trademark is anything new.

  • (Score: 0) by crutchy on Sunday March 09 2014, @12:35AM

    by crutchy (179) on Sunday March 09 2014, @12:35AM (#13383) Homepage Journal

    don't see what the big deal is. firefox might be available for download for free, but dell clearly thinks that the time they pay for someone to install it (or image it or whatever) is worth something.

    linux is more about free as in freedom. i didn't have a problem paying a couple of hundred dollars for a boxed redhat linux 6.0, so companies have been making money out of linux for a long time, and that's good for these companies and good for linux.

    • (Score: 1) by broggyr on Sunday March 09 2014, @12:50AM

      by broggyr (3589) <broggyrNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday March 09 2014, @12:50AM (#13388)

      Apparently, some buyers also clearly think it's worth extra money to have it installed.

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      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by edIII on Sunday March 09 2014, @03:13AM

        by edIII (791) on Sunday March 09 2014, @03:13AM (#13422)

        I think it's a pretty petty argument actually. Dell deserves to make money, and what they are really saying is, "We don't really have the time for custom installs AND be assured of quality assurance on them. Do it yourself".

        That's more or less correct. Consumers might not like the fact Dell is effectively not willing to sell the product by setting the price so high, but then that's the true cost of IT isn't?

        We are all so abused and underpaid right?

        Well, sucks to be them, but if they are so helpless that they can't install web browser on their own, they better budget a few thousand dollars a year for the help of professionals, or you know, actually learn to do something themselves.

        This would be like a home buyer complaining that it cost an extra few thousand dollars to get whole house RO installed because that was vastly superior to the default city water hookup.

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