[Dev] [Packages - Freedom issue #2409] (confirmed) [iceweasel] Can recommend non-free extensions and themes on about:addons page

labs at parabola.nu labs at parabola.nu
Sun Aug 4 19:44:36 GMT 2019

Issue #2409 has been updated by bill-auger.

Priority changed from bug to freedom issue
Status changed from unconfirmed to confirmed

this was noted a few days ago in issue #2318

it is controlled at least partially by the 'extensions.htmlaboutaddons.recommendations.enabled' config key

Freedom issue #2409: [iceweasel] Can recommend non-free extensions and themes on about:addons page

* Author: grizzlyuser
* Status: confirmed
* Priority: freedom issue
* Assignee: 
* Category: 
Firefox 68 introduced extension recommendations in about:addons page [1].
Description of the recommendation program [2] doesn't say they require the extension to have libre license in order to get recommended. 

In the list of recommended extensions [3] I found a few which don't look like free ones: 
[4], [5], [6]. Here's a quote from [6] that restricts freedom to distribute modified versions:
Derived works using source code that serve the same general purpose as
the original software may not be distributed using any official Mozilla
services such as addons.mozilla.org or through any other official
service for any web browser without prior permission. Works using
portions of source code for other purposes may be distributed without
this restriction.

There's also 
a similar program for themes [7]. Here's an example of recommended theme that has Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 license [8]. If I understand correctly, that license cannot be considered to be free.

[1] https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/68.0/releasenotes/#note-788063
[2] https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/recommended-extensions-program
[3] https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/search/?recommended=true&type=extension
[4] https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/enhancer-for-youtube/license/
[5] https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/video-downloadhelper/license/
[6] https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/flagfox/license/
[7] https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/recommended-extensions-program#w_what-are-recommended-themes
[8] https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/ex-blue/?src=featured

That's why it looks like Iceweasel needs to be patched in order to disable or remove the offending functionality.

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