[Discussioni] Fwd: FSF condemns partnership between Mozilla and Adobe to support Digital Restrictions Management

Francesco Potort́ pot a potorti.it
Gio 15 Maggio 2014 09:40:47 CEST

------- Start of forwarded message -------
Date: Thu, 15 May 2014 03:21:18 -0400
From: Free Software Foundation <info a fsf.org>
Subject: FSF condemns partnership between Mozilla and Adobe to support Digital
 Restrictions Management
To: pot <pot a gnu.org>
Reply-to: Free Software Foundation <info a fsf.org>

*You can read this post online at <https://u.fsf.org/xk>.*
# 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:agal a mozilla.com)**. 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]
  * <https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2014/05/14/drm-and-the-challenge-of-serving-users/>
  * <https://hacks.mozilla.org/2014/05/reconciling-mozillas-mission-and-w3c-eme/>
  * <https://defectivebydesign.org/dbd-condemns-drm-in-html>
  * <https://fsf.org/news/coalition-against-drm-in-html>
  * <https://defectivebydesign.org/oscar-awarded-w3c-in-the-hollyweb>

## Media Contact

John Sullivan  
Executive Director  
Free Software Foundation  
+1 (617) 542 5942  
<campaigns a fsf.org>

## About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to
promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and
redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and
use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating
system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free
software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and
political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites,
located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information
about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at
<https://donate.fsf.org>. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

[1]: https://defectivebydesign.org/dayagainstdrm/
[2]: https://defectivebydesign.org/what_is_drm_digital_restrictions_management
[3]: https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/proprietary.html
[4]: https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2014/05/14/drm-and-the-challenge-of-serving-users/
[5]: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/may/14/firefox-closed-source-drm-video-browser-cory-doctorow
[6]: https://defectivebydesign.org/no-drm-in-html5
[7]: https://directory.fsf.org
[8]: https://u.fsf.org/xi
[9]: https://u.fsf.org/xh
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