Dell: charging customers for free software
Mozilla are currently hopping mad and investigating claims that Dell have been charging users to install Firefox for them. One report states that people have been asked to cough-up £16.25 to have the browser installed on their new computer.
Of course, Firefox is open-source and completely free. And it is an absolute doddle to install as well. Mozilla have said that there's "no agreement" with Dell to permit this fee.
"Our trademark policy makes clear that this is not permitted and we are investigating this specific report," said Denelle Dixon-Thayer, vice-prez of Mozilla's general counsel.
If you look at Mozilla's policy document, it says: "If you are using the Mozilla Mark(s) for the unaltered binaries you are distributing, you may not charge for that product. By not charging, we mean 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."
So what is Dell's excuse? Well, they've said that they're simply charging for time and labour: "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."
Are Dell just exploiting the dimwitted or is this an outrage? Comments please, readers.