Mozilla breaks our hearts, adds DRM to Firefox

I am curious, and this is actual curiosity and not snark (really!), what browser @doctorow and others are going to suggest people to run if Firefox is now considered polluted by this decision.

I think that’s the crux of Cory’s anger. There isn’t any other practical choice, is there? I think Firefox was the last holdout, AFAIK.

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I probably speak for quite a few people here when I say I don’t care whether my browser supports Netflix. I never stream their stuff.

In fact, I don’t listen to audio or view video I can’t download, own, and retain under my control. That already means I go for Creative Commons and public domain material whenever I can. If I really want copyright material, I buy it on CDs and DVDs, which I can own.

And maybe I’m missing something, but I wonder if a non-DRM fork is really necessary. I don’t (yet) see any mention of this crap being included in FF’s cousin, Seamonkey. I don’t know how this “DRM sandbox” is implemented, but unless it’s inseparably joined to the underlying rendering engine, the SM crew - or any other programmers of a Mozilla derivative - can choose to leave it out.

In fact it’s instructive to look at the differences between the two browsers’ homepages. Firefox, in an enormous, perfidious font: “Committed to you, your privacy, and an open web.” Seamonkey, in quiet, modest type: “The SeaMonkey project is a community effort to develop the SeaMonkey all-in-one internet application suite (see below).”

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Except this is clickbait bullshit.

Iceweaseal and a wide variety of other mozilla forks will remove this in a heartbeat. Palemoon, etc. Because mozilla wants to specifically isolate this away so they don’t have liability close to the rest of their source tree (as they’ve said repeatedly), it’ll be easy to rebuild firefox without this.

This is just sensationalist journalism, as is becoming more and more typical of boingboing in general and doctorow in particular.

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You could run some special Chromium build or something? I mean, this is leaving aside the fact that I know he (and similar folks) are all on Linux and I don’t think there are any DRM plugins on it anyway.

I know it sounds dismissive but, on a practical level, I don’t really see how not giving users what they ask for (in the best way we can do to limit harm) is a failure on Mozilla’s part. I say this as someone with a Netflix streaming subscription running OS X too.

So, you’ve opted out of hollywood and popular television. No blockbusters, no Game of Thrones, etc?

Iceweaseal and a wide variety of other mozilla forks will remove this in a heartbeat. Palemoon, etc. Because mozilla wants to specifically isolate this away so they don’t have liability close to the rest of their source tree (as they’ve said repeatedly), it’ll be easy to rebuild firefox without this.

I hope that happens, but I’m not sure you understand this is about principles.

this is clickbait bullshit …

Cory isn’t the only person upset about this. Even people within the Mozilla Foundation and community are pissed because it’s a matter of principle. Whether or not people can offer non-DRM forks is beside the point in this regard.

Why assume bad faith? What this could be instead of nefarious clickbait is someone who is genuinely pissed off (on principle) and expressing himself on his blog. Just a theory.

Besides, if this is clickbait, what are you even doing here? Surely you’re savvy enough to avoid the supposed bait at this point and you certainly don’t want to support insidious clickbait by participating here? Do you just simply enjoy being unhappy and whining about it?

This is just sensationalist journalism, as is becoming more and more typical of boingboing in general and doctorow in particular.

But, anyway… I’ve got a suggestion, stop derailing this thread and start an exciting, new BBS thread on how much your topic upsets you. This thread’s topic is about DRM in Firefox and the principles of the Mozilla Foundation, not your esoteric criticisms of the Boing Boing format and your assumptions of bad faith in Cory and Boing Boing in general.

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I think you misunderstood @heeveel. Heevee is willing to purchase optical formats:

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You could run some special Chromium build or something? I mean, this is leaving aside the fact that I know he (and similar folks) are all on Linux and I don’t think there are any DRM plugins on it anyway.

Right, but in retrospect, I think I may have misjudged Cory’s train of thought on this. I probably should have taken a clue from the “breaks our hearts” part. I think this is more about the principle of the thing than whether or not there are workarounds, forks, etc.

I know it sounds dismissive but, on a practical level, I don’t really see how not giving users what they ask for (in the best way we can do to limit harm) is a failure on Mozilla’s part. I say this as someone with a Netflix streaming subscription running OS X too.

I don’t think that sounds dismissive. I’m torn on this. While I can understand those being concerned and upset about Mozilla breaking its principles and the slippery slope that situation may or may not portend. – I’m also relieved that Mozilla chose to make it opt-in instead of opt-out or, much worse, mandatory.

I’m also happy to see that Mozilla is currently looking for alternatives to DRM and that this might only be a temporary lapse in its open principles.

running OS X

I knew I liked you past your rotten exterior. :wink:

Not sure I understand the software/technical points here correctly…

Firefox always allowed (also proprietary) plugins, but now it comes with a “plugin” of it’s own which is a sandbox that can run proprietary DRM software. The reason for that sandbox being, to limit the access of that DRM software to the rest of the browser software and generally the computer itself. If they could come up with a sandbox for most of the other (and very often necessary, since required by many websites) proprietary plugins - like the adobe stuff - the whole thing could be an advantage over other browsers. No idea if such a thing can be done or not…

Politically I think, the difference between allowing proprietary plugins and creating a special sandbox for DRM software is mainly Mozilla saying “you better run this dangerous DRM software in a sandbox to avoid harm, rather than using a proprietary plugin that does whatever it wants on your computer”. It’s more of a warning than a recognition in my view, even though their official communication seems to be more concerned about their demise than about their politics.

So, you’ve opted out of Hollywood and popular television. No blockbusters, no Game of Thrones, etc?

Yep, and I don’t miss them a bit.

We live in a age of unimaginable entertainment wealth, including millions of hours of recorded audio and video that are old enough to be in the public domain. For contemporary media, there’s a surprising amount of material under Creative Commons license. Just browse archive.org and see what’s there. It’s mind-boggling.

And as I said, when I want copyright media, I buy it on CDs and DVDs - preferably used ones.

There’s such a pile of compelling material either not controlled by big media, or available in formats that by US law (thank you First Sale Doctrine) I can own, that I could spend the rest of my life listening and watching, and never even dig down to the mediocre stuff.

So, no, I neither need nor want any DRM browser plugins.

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Netflix and other media companies are easy enough to avoid. The real harm is the tidal wave of ordinary websites that will start requiring DRM once it’s ubiquitously available. Government websites, google and gmail will all eventually decide it’s better in their interests to avoid letting users download content.

You won’t be able to save images to files anymore, and copy/paste may even break.

You’ll tell your kids stories about how it was to be able to back up your own data on a flash drive rather than paying megacorps for access to your data.

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General sandboxing is being worked on but it is a complex problem.

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Citation needed.

You do realize that this only happens if users allow it or perhaps want it. I know it is a stretch for some folks here but a lot of folks want to stream current TV and movie content and pay services for this privilege. These services, good or bad, require DRM in order to do this and users agree because they want the content. Most aren’t content to go to the Internet Archive to watch free content instead of current media…

So, apples and oranges. If you can convince users that standing on principles for being DRM-free is more important to them than watching House of Cards, you can win this fight. Good luck!

Can’t speak for heeveel, but in my case yes. No smartphone either. And keep in mind I have absolutely no objection to you - or anyone else - having any of those things and I don’t think less of you for it. Follow your bliss, I say.

I simply have no need of or desire for those things.

General purpose computing and communication devices, I need those, yes indeedy. But I don’t need hollywood, popular television, or a phone in my pocket. Don’t want it, don’t need it.

Edit: I see @heeveel already gave a better answer than me, that’ll teach me to finish the thread before posting.

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This is where I point out that neither you nor @heeveel are typical Firefox users. Firefox can’t be all things to all people but it does have to be relevant to a large number of people to have the leverage to work towards the manifesto and an open web. I know people will say any move in the direction of DRM is against that but we already had that in the big, hurkin’, unsafe plugins of silverlight and flash. The new system is actually much safer for everyone, from a practical security point of view, and much more limiting of third parties than the current system. The fact that refusing to do so also loses Mozilla any leverage in this space is also a factor.

I think you meant to respond to @albill, not me.

Hah. And just a few weeks ago, you suckers were all so delighted about how you got Mozilla to fire somebody for holding an unpopular political opinion. Maybe you’ll learn from this that a company that instantly caves to the whims of a Twitter mob is not the sort of company that’s going to stand fast for principle when something much more powerful shows up and starts making demands.

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No. My initial discussions with Moz about this, some months ago, included Brendan explaining why he supported this.

Uh, who the hell uses Firefox anymore, anyway?