“Subscription Trap” Websites


“Subscription trap” websites prey on users who are trying to download
legitimate free software. These sites trick users into paying for
expensive subscriptions for otherwise free software. Some even go as far
as threatening users with collection efforts to compel payment. Such
sites have long been a cause for complaint among Firefox users,
particularly in Germany.

State authorities are starting to take the threat to consumers from such
sites seriously. Recently, a criminal court in Hamburg convicted 7
operators of fraud for the operation of such download websites. Part of
the case was based on the unlawful use and infringement of Mozilla’s
trademarks along with a host of other brand owners.

We provided evidence in the case to assist the prosecutors in
establishing their claims. We hope that this will make the Internet a
safer place for people who want to download Firefox and other free software.