Money Matters - Simplified

Mozilla Goes Commercial to Promote Firefox

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The Mozilla Foundation, which distributes the open source Firefox Web browser, announced today the creation of Mozilla Corporation to support its money-making activities and help widen the use of its products.

"The formation of the Mozilla Corporation gives the Mozilla Foundation new capabilities for becoming even more successful in delivering innovative open source end-user products," Mitchell Baker, president of Mozilla Corporation, wrote in her blog.

Frank Hecker, director of policy for the foundation, said the Mozilla Corporation would not become just another commercial property, but instead would remain in line with the original goal of the Mozilla Project, which is to keep the Internet open and available to everyone.

The corporation will initially be home to Firefox and Thunderbird, with projects including Camino and SeaMonkey still overseen by the foundation.

“The foundation is eager to emphasize that it will pursue the same public benefit goals as the foundation itself and will not be driven purely by revenue goals,” Mozilla said on its web site.

The Mozilla Foundation will remain "the nucleus" of the organization, responsible for overseeing projects, distributing source code and managing relationships between contributors. The corporation will focus on marketing, sponsorships and "a range of distribution-related activities."

All the 36 people who worked for the Mozilla Foundation will become employees at the corporation. The volunteers and commercial groups that contribute to the project will not see any change in the way Mozilla code is developed, according to the group.

The Mozilla Foundation, which is working on Firefox 1.5, does not plan to distribute its own versions of Firefox and Thunderbird and it will continue to allow others to distribute versions of Firefox and Thunderbird in accordance with the Mozilla trademark policy.