THE FREE SOFTWARE FOUNDATION (FSF) has launched an attack on the decision by Mozilla to support an Adobe DRM plug-in in Firefox, its open source web browser.
As we reported, Mozilla chair Mitchell Baker wrote to users yesterday, explaining that while the organisation would prefer not implement such measures, it has become essential for the company to keep up with competition in streaming video content such as that offered by Netflix.
FSF executive director John Sullivan wrote a scathing retort at the FSF website today, accusing the Mozilla Foundation of betraying its open source values.
Sullivan said, "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."
He said the view of the FSF is that, although Firefox will not ship with Adobe software, recommending it as a plug-in amounts to the same thing. He suggested that although Mozilla made the decision reluctantly, the lack of accountability for DRM is the problem, before going on to question whether the stance would damage Mozilla's ability to remain neutral in the future.
"There is nothing necessary about DRM, and to hear Mozilla praising Adobe - the company [that] 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 criticise Adobe's practices going forward."
Sullivan appealed to Mozilla to reverse its decision and urged readers to voice their displeasure directly to Mozilla CTO Andreas Gal and refuse to install the EME DRM code.
He also asked for donations to help the FSF oppose non-free software. We've asked Mozilla for comment, but have yet to receive a response.
Mozilla triggered controversy recently by announcing that it will consider adding sponsored bookmarks to Firefox. µ