Courtesy of Slashdot, a nice bit of culture clash and mutual incomprehension broke out in England when an anti-piracy bureaucrat approached the Mozilla Foundation reporting that someone was making money selling Mozilla software. The representative of Mozilla said that that was OK, they were licenced to do so.
“I can’t believe that your company would allow people to make money from something that you allow people to have free access to. Is this really the case?” she asked.
If Mozilla permit the sale of copied versions of its software, it makes it virtually impossible for us, from a practical point of view, to enforce UK anti-piracy legislation, as it is difficult for us to give general advice to businesses over what is/is not permitted.”
. . . She then asked me to identify myself, so that she could confirm that I was authorised to speak for the Mozilla Foundation on this matter. I wondered if she was imagining nefarious copyright-infringing street traders taking a few moments off from shouting about the price of bananas to pop into an internet cafe, crack a router and intercept her e-mail.
How could I prove I was authorised to speak for the Foundation? We’re a virtual organisation we have three employees, one in Vancouver, one in Virginia and one in leafy North London, with no office or registered trading address in the UK. As far as the Mozilla part of my life goes, my entire existence is electronic.