Feeds

Fee fie Firefox: Mozilla's lawyers probe Dell over browser install charge

Thou shalt NOT charge for freeware, thunders Moz

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Mozilla has put its legal department to work on a preliminary investigation into claims that Dell is charging £16 to install freeware browser Firefox on new PCs.

Sources told us about Mozilla's plans after we received reports that Dell was asking customers to stump up £16.25 to have the free software pre-installed.

Mozilla's legal department has now officially confirmed that it is probing Dell. It is not yet known whether this will lead to Mozilla filing any sort of legal suit.

Denelle Dixon-Thayer, Mozilla's vice president of business and legal affairs, said: "There is no agreement between Dell and Mozilla which allows Dell or anyone else to charge for installing Firefox using that brand name. Our trademark policy makes clear that this is not permitted and we are investigating this specific report."

Mozilla also sent us the relevant part of of its Ts&Cs covering the issue, which demand that "unaltered binaries" of software with the "Mozilla mark(s)" must be given away for free. The following paragraph can be found at the end of the section on software distribution:

The Mozilla product must be without cost and its distribution (whether by download or other media) may not be subject to a fee, or tied to subscribing to or purchasing a service, or the collection of personal information.

If you want to sell the product, you may do so, but you must call that product by another name — one unrelated to Mozilla or any of the Mozilla Marks.

A Dell spokeswoman said the fee covered the time taken to install Firefox, rather than the product itself.

"Dell Configuration Services, including the application loading service, ensure customers have a complete, ready to use product when it arrives," she said. "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." ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.