Mozilla resists request to remove Firefox tool

May 6, 2011

Mozilla, the non-profit developer of the Firefox Web browser, is holding off on complying with a government request to remove a software tool meant to circumvent federal efforts at curbing Internet piracy.

The has been seizing the of sites accused of piracy, so that visitors can't reach them by typing in those . The sites, however, still exist under other addresses.

The MafiaaFire tool for Firefox, developed by an outside party but available through Mozilla, seeks to automatically match seized names with the alternate addresses, similar to a mail-forwarding service, so that visitors can reach the sites.

Mozilla General Counsel Harvey Anderson said the DHS asked Mozilla to remove MafiaaFire from a site where Firefox users can add functions to the browser.

Anderson said the group is awaiting more information from the government before taking action. It wants to know whether the tool is illegal, and whether it is legally obligated to take it down.

Anderson said Mozilla complies with legal mandates, but hasn't received any court order, and the DHS hasn't responded to Mozilla's questions. The order raises questions about when companies should agree to government censorship requests, Anderson said in a blog post Thursday.

Anderson said that the government is alleging that the MafiaaFire tool circumvents a court order to disable sites that distribute copyright-protected content, including live sporting and pay-per-view events.

The DHS did not respond to calls for comment.

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1 / 5 (18) May 06, 2011
People that use the web for piracy are bloody stupid and deserve to get caught. There are far better service out there that do not track you or log your ip/mac. But I guess those fools serve a purpose, to keep the LEA occupied.
4.8 / 5 (24) May 06, 2011
But look at it this way, what happens when the government wants to take down ANY given site for what IT deems to be illegal activities?

This tool and tools like it gives us the power to circumvent that over-reach by the government. It isn't just people doing ILLEGAL things that can get caught up by the government, especially when the government these days seems to shut down first/check for legality later. We need tools like these to check the governments power.
5 / 5 (15) May 06, 2011
Internet was built on the grounds that every user is equal. Since we are all equal, its only natural that we want to share whatever we can. Its our obvious course of evolution. I will forever fight to keep it open and free. Only few idiots are in charge but our numbers always trumps them. Its inevitable that internet will be hours. Whos with me? :p
5 / 5 (6) May 07, 2011
Ugh - this is just shocking. If they are too lazy to find another way around this, then they should just admit it. Really now, it's not Firefox's fault that the sites have mirrors and kak.
4.7 / 5 (12) May 07, 2011
And what in hell does that have to do with Homeland Security? Basically, big corporations get the govt. to use your tax dollars to do their work. I've seen this before. State insurance commissions work for crooked insurance companies, and do Not protect insurance consumers. Big Brother is Watching You.

I guess these jackasses are going to equate pirating songs with terrorism to please their corporate masters
4.2 / 5 (6) May 07, 2011
When I build a fireplace I don't get paid every time they have a fire in it! Every fireplace built is different than the last and has tons of intellectual property in its design. Musicians and singers can play to audiences for a living, and actors paid to do their job have been paid! Why should I pay to keep them being millionaires? If they don't like it, they can find a job where they have to do more than just "pretend" to be someone else for a few weeks!
2.3 / 5 (3) May 07, 2011
Now, hold on Mrak. Equating musicians with actors is totally bogus: I write and perform songs that come from my life experiences and a ton of hard work mastering my instruments. What, do you think artists shouldn't be paid for what they produce?? If so, then make your own damn music or paintings or sculptures or video games!!
5 / 5 (2) May 07, 2011
well on day soon we won't be able to fart without getting first authorized by the dpt of homeland security, the cia, the fbi...
if you want to fart, raise your hand or fill in an application with those agencies.
3 / 5 (2) May 07, 2011
Now hold on maxcypher. Song writers should get compensation. Corporations that by copyrights should not take the copyright and make it a 75 year cash cow. Music is the soul of the artist given to humanity rather than the perpetual source of income for a souless corporation. Performers of music add interpetation (from their own soul) to the music they perform in the same sense that actors do for scripts. Aperformance is not forever as far as the performer is concerned, but it is forever as far as the publication house corporation that "owns" it is concerned. There is a dichotomy here, and the industry has ignored the author/performer in favor of corporate greed.
5 / 5 (4) May 07, 2011
Right or wrong, you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube. We artists are going to have to find a way to USE the internet to make money instead of fighting it. Using government censorship in the fight will do nothing but come back later to bite us all in the ass, especially when the method of censorship is the demand that a communication tool be made unavailable to the whole public to protect one small segment from another small segment.
not rated yet May 07, 2011
When will they learn this is a doomed ship?

The internet will have it's way.

Open source is the future, get with it or gtfo.

We are Legion
4 / 5 (2) May 07, 2011
Right or wrong, you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube. We artists are going to have to find a way to USE the internet to make money instead of fighting it.

Right. I will never, ever go back to listening to CDs. Or eight-track tapes for that matter. iTunes, makes buying tracks more convenient than buying CDs and ripping them myself. (But I still have a stack of CDs cluttering up my apartment, just so I can "prove" to the Spanish Inquisition that I own the music that I listen to.)

The dispute here is not between performers--or authors--and their audience. It is the middlemen trying to act as gatekeepers just so they can collect their "share" in the way they--but the public--don't prefer who are causing all the friction.

Downloading books has not put bookstores out of business. In fact the two largest chains have competing download technologies. However, I prefer to go to the publisher when possible, and download in a (free) format, even though I pay for it.
2.6 / 5 (5) May 07, 2011
According to a recent article on MSNBC 6 out of the top ten highest paid CEO's in 2010 were in the entertainment industry, including the highest paid, Philippe Dauman of Viacom, who received a pay package valued at $84.5 million.

You just can't help but feel sorry for these people getting ripped off by pirates when they are just trying to eke out a meager living selling someone else's artistic work.
1 / 5 (1) May 07, 2011
Simpson did it.
5 / 5 (1) May 07, 2011
When Mickey Mouse will be free?. Disney will never die, and if sometime goes bankrupt, then other company will buy the rights.

So Disney will keep profiting for a dead man work. Disney should profit for new works, not decades old ones. Mickey Mouse already should be free.

Imagine if Newton had sold his rights to a company. Today each book with Newton laws should pay royalties, and many poor people would not have access to it.

The copyright industry needs limitations.
not rated yet May 07, 2011
Downloading books has not put bookstores out of business. In fact the two largest chains have competing download technologies. However, I prefer to go to the publisher when possible, and download in a (free) format, even though I pay for it

I think that's not true, small independant bookstores have been hit by ebook industry (amazon, sony etc).

1 / 5 (1) May 08, 2011
The principle is not whether it is right or sensible, but which damn hog got to the so called 'intellectual property office first. Prior work is no longer the issue where monopolies are concerned, or even observant individuals. For example, I think that someone, who knows perhaps myself, will copyright all the vowels in the english language. Then everyone who writes anything meant to convey knowledge, propaganda, or other will have to pay me first. I can see it now, newspapers, web authors, governments all over the world governed (hamstrung) by unequal treaties much like the Chinese in the nineteenth century..all paying me billions, trillions, while all commerce, agriculture, banking, etc...effectively....STOPS! Welcome to Al Gore's wretched 'information highway'. And THAT is an inconvenient truth.
not rated yet May 08, 2011
well my opinion of mozilla just went up higher
5 / 5 (1) May 08, 2011
SCREW the government! They are confiscating everything and putting them under federal law. How can they do this? Nixon signed a Treaty, back in his day, stating the gov't can take over ANYTHING it wants. Privately owned businesses, anything and everything that is yours the gov't CAN take. A treaty overrides everything & anything! The constitution, Bill Of Rights and YOU!C'mon, already one can't smoke outside and us the public, puts up with what the gov't does and never fights back. $7.00 for a jar of mayo, $10.00 for a lb. of ham. YOU ALL know prices are off the hook. People receiving Social Security did not get a cost of living raise because the gov't said there was not increase in the cost of living.???????. So, SCREW THE GOV't and what they want to take control of and take away from US, THE AMERICAN PUBLIC. The public has a right to know any and all info. there is, whether it be over the internet or in the papers. Stand your ground Mozilla!!
1 / 5 (4) May 09, 2011
The public has a right to know any and all info

Well, then, as a member of that public, there are some questions that I'd like you to publicly answer.

Okay with you?

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