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Mozilla Foundation Launches Mozilla Corporation

CmdrTaco posted about 9 years ago | from the just-keeping-kicking-out-out-the-code dept.

Mozilla 270

An anonymous reader writes "MozillaZine is reporting that the Mozilla Foundation has created a commercial subsidiary to continue development of Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird. Don't let the word "commercial" scare you, the new Mozilla Corporation (as it has been dubbed) will be owned 100% by the Mozilla Foundation. The change is mostly a legal/tax thing to avoid the problems of pursuing revenue-generating avenues while remaining a non-profit. There will be no change to the development process and end-users won't notice much difference either. See also the Mozilla Foundation press release about the Mozilla Corporation and the Mozilla reorganization FAQ."

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OB (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13229958)

I, for one, welcome our revenue-generating overlords.

Re:OB (1, Funny)

vain gloria (831093) | about 9 years ago | (#13230007)

I, for one, would welcome never hearing the word "productizing" ever again.

Re:OB (1)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | about 9 years ago | (#13230195)

Why? It's a perfectly cromulent word. Don't embiggen the situation excesively.

Re:OB (2, Interesting)

BoldAC (735721) | about 9 years ago | (#13230019)

For once the slashdot cliche actually works...

Making money is not a bad thing for such a product. It gives the project insurance against the evils that will be thrown against it--patents, hacks, clones.

My prediction is that firefox will develop more and more commerical-like features: Bundling with certain software, branding for certain services, etc.

IE will likely develop more open-source-like features: listening to user, more standards compliance, more open APIs.)

In most battles, the enemies become more and more like each other in the end. For example, in politics, as the election draws nearer both candidates spirial toward the center.

Re:OB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13230157)

My prediction is that firefox will develop more and more commerical-like features

It is already bloated, spyware-loaden (special treatment of the Google-cookie) etc.

To gain some credibility, they should really start to block AdSense by default, like IE7 does.

Re:OB (1)

Synli (781075) | about 9 years ago | (#13230268)

> AdSense by default, like IE7

Where did you get that information from?

Re:OB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13230277)

lol, what? Are you on crack?

NEED HELP with new apple product (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13230271)

Help! My mouse has a little penis on top of it... I am afraid that scrolling means rubbing it! What should I do?

Re:NEED HELP with new apple product (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 9 years ago | (#13230382)

What should I do?

Post to the correct discussion :-)

MHO about possible IPO (1)

shadowknot (853491) | about 9 years ago | (#13229963)

This can only be a good thing, if all the fine products coming out of the Mozilla community are to compete with the likes of MS it needs to be done on a level playing field. Plus there's nothing wrong with making money for all your hard work!

Re:MHO about possible IPO (1)

protocoldroid (633203) | about 9 years ago | (#13230074)

Agreed, i can't live without firefox (even the minor security flaws still outweigh how terrible MSIE is [in my experience]). If they don't add some fuel to the fire... ...how can the developers afford more delectable microwaveable frozen foods & delightful caffeinated to keep slinging away? Time to throw these guys a bone! *thumbs up*

Re:MHO about possible IPO (1)

samuelsidler (53864) | about 9 years ago | (#13230081)

An IPO isn't possible since the Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Foundation. It's a mess legally, but I hope they have it right.

Re:MHO about possible IPO (1)

saur2004 (801688) | about 9 years ago | (#13230111)

I do have a BIG problem about IPOing. Once there is stock publicly held, the stock holders value is required to be maximized.

OK, From my understanding here, the Corporation is "part of" the Foundation. If the proper binding contracts are not put in place before hand, then we can say good buy to the popup blockers.

Re:MHO about possible IPO (4, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 9 years ago | (#13230170)

If the proper binding contracts are not put in place before hand, then we can say good buy to the popup blockers.

If the Mozilla Corporation should go wrong, the Foundation can just re-start to release the official Firefox/Thunderbird versions themselves, including any improvements dome by the Corporation in the mean time. That's the power of Open Source: Even if the corporation gets evil, it cannot suddenly remove the code. The only possible weak point would be the trademark, but I hope the trademark rights remain at the Foundation.

Re:MHO about possible IPO (2, Interesting)

Haydn Fenton (752330) | about 9 years ago | (#13230182)

I'm no business or legal expert, and I'm not completely sure about what IPO means exactly.

Does becoming 'IPOed' that mean big mean Microsoft can come along and buy the whole thing? Or does IPO mean the company offers shares to be bought, but keeps a significant amount for itself to prevent that kind of thing from happening?

All this stuff aside, a Corporation sounds like it's much more capable of kicking ass than a Foundation, even if there's no real difference.

Re:MHO about possible IPO (3, Informative)

Nytewynd (829901) | about 9 years ago | (#13230222)

Going IPO means your shares are publicly traded, and you have a duty to your shareholders to make money. That can mean that you make decisions based on money rather than what is best for your product. In games, it usually means rushed releases and unfinished products. In software it can mean anything from a rushed release to signing a deal with Gator to include their software in your browser for extra money. That is obviously a worst case scenario.

Re:MHO about possible IPO (4, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | about 9 years ago | (#13230204)

I do have a BIG problem about IPOing. Once there is stock publicly held, the stock holders value is required to be maximized.
From MozillaZine's article on the Mozilla Corporation [mozillazine.org] :
While the Mozilla Corporation will be a for-profit, the Mozilla Foundation is keen to stress that it is not selling out. The Mozilla Foundation will ultimately control the activities of the Mozilla Corporation and will retain its 100 percent ownership of the new subsidiary. Any profits made by the Mozilla Corporation will be invested back into the Mozilla project. There will be no shareholders, no stock options will be issued and no dividends will be paid. The Mozilla Corporation will not be floating on the stock market and it will be impossible for any company to take over or buy a stake in the subsidiary. The Mozilla Foundation will continue to own the Mozilla trademarks and other intellectual property and will license them to the Mozilla Corporation. The Foundation will also continue to govern the source code repository and control who is allowed to check in.
There's no public stock, so the problem you mention cannot happen.

Re:MHO about possible IPO (2, Insightful)

cwhicks (62623) | about 9 years ago | (#13230210)

I disagree as well. Unfortunately, very few people continue to do "the right thing" when there is money to be made to not do "the right thing", i.e. insert ads, stop blocking certain pop-ups, add propriatary code. I am not saying this will happen, but up until now the insentive for adoption has been the opposite of what the insentives will be now.

Also, when money becomes available, like flies to shit, people whose only interest is money immediatly try to get involved and usually succeed.

Re:MHO about possible IPO (1)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | about 9 years ago | (#13230261)

I disagree. There are all kinds of ways to make money by doing the wrong thing.

Most of us don't rob banks, break into our neighbors' homes, or counterfeit money. And it's not just because we are afraid of the consequences.

But I realize you're also talking about ethical issues rather than illegal problems. But the point is the same. Most people won't do ANYTHING for money... there are a lot of people on Slashdot that wouldn't write viruses, spyware, or send spam. Sure, some of them will. But, thankfully, a lot of people still try to adhere to the Golden Rule. Especially since a lot of the folks around here (and at Mozilla) probably remember the results of selling out during the late 90s.

Since this will be controlled by the currently non-evil Mozilla Foundation, I have faith that they will keep up the good work and resist the temptation to sell out for a quick buck.

GNAA sues the CDC for patent violations (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13229964)

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So. (3, Funny)

PsychicX (866028) | about 9 years ago | (#13229981)

It's not enough that Mozilla, this irresponsible pet owner who constantly loses its pets to suspicious ends, is now making a corporation. Its first pet, Phoenix, just vanished. Its second pet, a fox, got set on fire and presumably died. Its two birds are both in bad shape -- one is on fire and one got hit by lightning.

Would you really invest in such a corporation? How can a dinosaur be trusted to manage a corporation, when it can't even keep its own pets safe??

Re:So. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13230088)

Good lord. Do everyone a favor and keep your "humor" to yourself.

Re:So. (1)

baadger (764884) | about 9 years ago | (#13230165)

News just in, the dinosaur is extinct.

I can't quite decide (1)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | about 9 years ago | (#13229986)

if this this a good thing or a bad thing. On one hand, it makes Mozilla look like a more professionnal and organized software "company", which will help it's public image and also in negotiations but on the other it, in the long term, will diminish the visibility of the open-source movement's importance in the project's development.

Re:I can't quite decide (1)

theamazingflyingshee (900968) | about 9 years ago | (#13230023)

I agree, i hope it won't get like mandriva where the open source is so outwardly hard to see.

Re:I can't quite decide (1)

hazah (807503) | about 9 years ago | (#13230035)

How so? What exactly do you see changing as far as open source is concerned? From what I gather, it's all about accounting, not development methods.

Re:I can't quite decide (1)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | about 9 years ago | (#13230048)

I'm not saying the software itself or the development methods will change. I'm only talking about the image it generates, or rather the lack of representation open-source could get under a corporate banner.

Re:I can't quite decide (1)

hazah (807503) | about 9 years ago | (#13230114)

I don't disagree, per se, but in my experience image is a less important strategy when it comes to open source. So while you are technically correct, I doubt it really has much significance. I will consult the crystal ball now.

Re:I can't quite decide (0)

theamazingflyingshee (900968) | about 9 years ago | (#13230070)

I obviously misread the article then, sorry, i take it back.

Re:I can't quite decide (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 9 years ago | (#13230149)

As an analogy, which organization seems more dedicated to the ideals of Free Software: Debian or Red Hat?

Re:I can't quite decide (1)

hazah (807503) | about 9 years ago | (#13230254)

Now that I think about it, Red Hat isn't at all about the ideals of Free Software. Red Hat is a Corporation to the letter. It conducts its business using Free Software, to which it contributed and continues to contribute, that is true. Free Software allows for such businesses to exist.

Debian, on the other hand is (or one of) the altimate idealists. It provides a gateway to a gigantic, well maintained, Free-Software-Only repository.

Both end up giving you a distribution, and reguardless of ideology, give you a choice that is *still* Free Software. So what are we comparing?

Re:I can't quite decide (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 9 years ago | (#13230297)

A Mozilla Corporation would have an image more similar to Red Hat, while the Mozilla Foundation has an image more similar to Debian. Do you see now why some of the more idealistic of us would not welcome the Corporation?

Re:I can't quite decide (1)

hazah (807503) | about 9 years ago | (#13230374)

Disclaimer: I'm more on RMS' side than I care to flaunt around. Ideology is not at all lost on me.

You and I, as individuals, will rarely see this corporation. We will continue to deal with the foundation almost exclusively. However, businesses are generally aren't out there to give charity (sadly), a non profit organization is not reliable. This makes investment decisions difficult. The corporation should augment that market well by being "one of them".

IF, and only IF, the corporation ideologies begin to spill over into the foundation, I will be concerned. If, on the other hand, the foundation's ideologies spill over, what did we lose?

Re:I can't quite decide (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 9 years ago | (#13230445)

I agree completely with what you say. The only thing I'm worried about is the media emphasizing the "commercial" aspect of Firefox at the expense of the "Free Software" aspect of it. (The damage from the fact that most of the media calls it just "open source" is bad enough!)

Strange business plan (3, Funny)

Knx (743893) | about 9 years ago | (#13229987)

The change is mostly a legal/tax thing to avoid the problems of pursuing revenue-generating avenues while remaining a non-profit.

Hmm... This is unusual.

1. Fix this legal/tax thing
2. Avoid the problems of pursuing revenue-generating avenues
3. ???
4. non-profit!

You'd be modded funny if... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13230036)

if only the moderation system worked.

Way to go, Slashdot! Engineering at its finest.

Re:Strange business plan (2, Funny)

ikkonoishi (674762) | about 9 years ago | (#13230179)

I for one welcome our meme-breaking overlords.

Re:Strange business plan (2, Funny)

byolinux (535260) | about 9 years ago | (#13230340)

in soviet russia, Mozilla incorporates you!

Wait a second (1)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | about 9 years ago | (#13230000)

I was under the impression that we should be paying for the software, and that hardware will be free.

How can these, for the lack of a better term, Hackers be expecting to make a buck off free software??

Naah, I don't believe in this. I'm with you Mr. Gates.

Re:Wait a second (1)

Winckle (870180) | about 9 years ago | (#13230038)

It probably has something to do with the mozilla store, pethaps they have started to mass produce firefox plushie toys.

Sniff Sniff, Cry Cry..... =*( (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13230004)

NO!!!! Now Mozilla is all corporate! Corportations are evil! I can no longer surf the information super highway. =(

Re:Sniff Sniff, Cry Cry..... =*( (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 9 years ago | (#13230125)

You are aware that the Mozilla (non-profit) Foundation was technically a corporation too, right?

Except... (3, Funny)

Dante Shamest (813622) | about 9 years ago | (#13230008)

Plus there's nothing wrong with making money for all your hard work!

That's what I've been saying for years! =(

-Bill Gates

Small groups (1)

Mattygfunk1 (596840) | about 9 years ago | (#13230017)

I've always believed that small teams work better and more efficiently, so it sounds a pretty smart move IMO. Hopefully efficient development will lead to better development and and even better browser.

__
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Something doesn't make sense (3, Interesting)

amliebsch (724858) | about 9 years ago | (#13230020)

There's no reason that that a non-profit corporation can't have revenues. In fact, they can have massive revenues. The profits just can't accrue to private profits. So there's really only two reasons I can think of for this change: (1) the folks at Mozilla want to start getting rich, and/or (2) they want to attract private investment (which neccessarily entails revenues accruing to the investors).

Re:Something doesn't make sense (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 9 years ago | (#13230102)

"(1) the folks at Mozilla want to start getting rich, and/or
(2) they want to attract private investment

I had the same thinking. And I am scared by both options (2 more than 1). Ok, maybe they can run Mozilla as a private company (option 1), but something must change for that.

Re:Something doesn't make sense (1)

Blindman (36862) | about 9 years ago | (#13230242)

Actually there are rules regulating the ways in which non-profits can raise revenues. For example, one couldn't start a non-profit clothing store for the purpose of saving pandas without some sort of negative tax consequence. I can't remember what the consequence is, but it is bad. Frankly, I don't know how starting a corporation helps, but I do know that there is a reason, even if I don't know what the reason is.

Re:Something doesn't make sense (1)

Matt2k (688738) | about 9 years ago | (#13230348)

You sound like my accountant!

Re:Something doesn't make sense (1)

Threni (635302) | about 9 years ago | (#13230365)

In that case I think it's time to get a new accountant. I'm not sure why, but it definitely is.

Re:Something doesn't make sense (1)

amliebsch (724858) | about 9 years ago | (#13230414)

Just a guess, but you're maybe thinking of the Unrelated Business Income Tax. This makes it so that when a nonprofit engages in a trade or business not directly related to its mission, the proceeds from those operations are subject to tax as though they were a for-profit corporation. But if they become a for-profit corporation, they pay the taxes anyways. So this seems like a weak reason for the switch.

It's Counterproductive to have a Corporation (1)

rwade (131726) | about 9 years ago | (#13230279)

It seems like they want to have an entity around to sell their products for revenue, and they can do that now.

Indeed, it seems almost counter-productive to have a seperate corporation. If MozFoundation sold the goods and put that right into investment, then there would be no profit. However, if MozCorp sold the goods and made a profit, it would have to pay taxes, cutting back the amount of money sent up to the Foundation.

There is another possibility, though.

The Foundation might generate a lot of revenue selling its product. They would attempt to invest this cash into the operation to prevent profitting. But suppose that they ran out of ways to invest the money, because there are rules limiting what they can do with their money in the Foundations by-laws or other bureaucratic issues.

That would be a conundrum. But if there's a corporation, it is much less messy because they can just hang on to the money while MozFoundation figures out what to do with it.

Re:Something doesn't make sense (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 9 years ago | (#13230305)

So there's really only two reasons I can think of for this change: (1) the folks at Mozilla want to start getting rich, and/or (2) they want to attract private investment (which neccessarily entails revenues accruing to the investors) - actually that's only one reason: the folks at Mozilla want to start getting rich. The second reason is the same.

Mozilla Co. = Services Organization (1)

reporter (666905) | about 9 years ago | (#13230317)

Since the code developed by the Mozilla Foundation is open-source code which can be freely distributed, how could Mozilla Corporation possibly make money?

Well, Mozilla Corporation (MC) will sell one thing: programming services that tailors Mozilla Foundation's software for the customer. Suppose that a corporate client wants a version of Firefox to uses a special type (e.g., 256-bit ?)of encryption. Then, the programmers at MC modify Firefox's code to incorporate that encryption. The corporate client does not pay for the software but, rather, pays for the programmer's time spent in modifying Firefox.

Re:Mozilla Co. = Services Organization (1)

reporter (666905) | about 9 years ago | (#13230343)

I forgot to add the following. In short, Mozilla Corporation (MC) would be similar to IBM Global Services. Services is a very profitable business. Unlike IBM Global Services (which handles all kinds of software), MC specializes in modifying open-source code generated by the Mozilla Foundation.

Re:Something doesn't make sense (1)

Monkeyman334 (205694) | about 9 years ago | (#13230439)

A certain percentage of the income must be from donations to be a non-profit.

The Google Connection (3, Interesting)

MBoffin (259181) | about 9 years ago | (#13230031)

I think one of the underlying reasons for this is Google. It's not explicitly stated that this is the reason, but that's what I read between the lines when reading the FAQ about the reorganization [mozilla.org] . After reading Mitchell Baker's blog [mozillazine.org] , I'm almost certain of it (though he doesn't explicitly state it either).

I think we will be seeing some more serious collaboration between Mozilla and Google now.

Re:The Google Connection (0)

RebelWebmaster (628941) | about 9 years ago | (#13230046)

Just so you know, Mitchell Baker is a woman.

Re:The Google Connection (1)

Linus Torvaalds (876626) | about 9 years ago | (#13230191)

I think we will be seeing some more serious collaboration between Mozilla and Google now.

What kind of collaboration would this change enable? Seems to me there's nothing stopping them collaborating now.

Re:The Google Connection (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 9 years ago | (#13230250)

No, she [golem.de] doesn't state that explicity, but she does specifically mention workign with "other commercial entities." Google would probably definitely be on that list ... perhaps even their could be a Google-branded version of Firefox? Integration between a Google-branded Thunderbird and Gmail? Whatever it is, after reading Mitchell's blog, I'm convinced that it's big. Very big. IE-killer big.

Makes Sense... (1)

zombiestomper (228123) | about 9 years ago | (#13230301)

Remember, about a year or so ago there was talk of a Google web browser [kottke.org] .

If they teamed up with Mozilla, they would save development costs, have a robust product already with a niche in the marketplace and also avoid alot of potential snags with P.R. and market perception.

I think the last thing that Google would want to do is be compared (or percieved threat...) to MS with thier own browser, search engine, maps, etc. What would be next? GoogleOS?

Something like that would give MS the perfect reason to 'lean on' Google, and perhaps even get some other companies who see an emerging threat to join in.

New (1)

Ours (596171) | about 9 years ago | (#13230043)

Mozilla Corp: new, now with 100% real corporate greed!

deviantART? (4, Interesting)

IAmTheDave (746256) | about 9 years ago | (#13230044)

This may be cause for a tiny bit of concern, considering what has been happening over at devianART, with the ousting of jark [deviantart.com] (one of the two original founders) by the corporate entity.

The lesson of deviantART is that once the corporation starts pursuing profits, and this becomes more important than the community, the origins of the foundation and the original purpose and driving force of the community may become lost.

Re:deviantART? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13230185)

The lesson of deviantART is that once the corporation starts pursuing profits, and this becomes more important than the community, the origins of the foundation and the original purpose and driving force of the community may become lost.

sounds just like /. after it was bought

Well... (1)

AirRaven (843900) | about 9 years ago | (#13230054)

This doesn't really affect things in the long term- for all intents and purposes, this is just a change of frontend. It doesn't matter one bit. Firefox isn't about to turn into Opera (Pity).

"To promote choice and innovation..." (2, Interesting)

NickFortune (613926) | about 9 years ago | (#13230058)

What is the role of the Mozilla Corporation?

The Mozilla Corporation is responsible for productizing and distributing Firefox, Thunderbird, and related branded products built on the Mozilla open source code base. The Mozilla Corporation's mission, shared by that of the Mozilla Foundation, is to promote choice and innovation on the Internet.

Whoo, what'd they do - cut and past that last bit from an epiphyte(2) prospectus?

Sometimes I could almost wish one of these press releases would say our aim is to make the Internet a shittier place for everyone and to gouge the public so deep that their children's children will still be paying off the debt. I wouldn't approve, but at least it would reduce the entropy of the data stream.

It's not that I suspect the Mozilla corp of anything untoward, and short of omitting it entirely, I can't think of a better way to to say what they appear to be saying.

All the same, it's a bit semantically null, innit? Where's the point of a FAQ if you fill it with meaningless platitudes?

Re:"To promote choice and innovation..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13230190)

I wouldn't approve, but at least it would reduce the entropy of the data stream.

Having something different would increase the entropy of the data stream, not decrease it. Entropy is increased with unique information, not redundancy

Re:"To promote choice and innovation..." (1)

moosesocks (264553) | about 9 years ago | (#13230248)

FYI, the parent poster is referencing a moderately humorous passage from Niel Stephenson's novel Cryptonomicon

It reads as such:


Epiphyte Corp.'s business plan is about an inch thick, neither fat nor skinny as these things go. The interior pages are slickly and groovily desktop-published out of Avi's laptop. The covers are rugged hand-laid paper of rice chaff, bamboo tailings, free-range hemp, and crystalline glacial meltwater made by wizened artisans operating out of a mist-shrouded temple hewn from living volcanic rock on some island known only to aerobically gifted, Spandex-sheathed Left Coast travel bores. An impressionistic map of the South China Sea has been dashed across these covers by molecularly reconstructed Ming Dynasty calligraphers using brushes of combed unicorn mane dipped into ink made by grinding down charcoal slabs fashioned by blind stylite monks from hand-charred fragments of the the True Cross.

The actual contents of the business plan hews to a logical structure straight out of the Principia Mathematica. Lesser entrepreneurs purchase business-plan-writing software: packages of boilerplate text and spreadsheets, craftily linked together so that you need only go through and fill in a few blanks. Avi and Beryl have written enough business plans between the two of them that they can smash them out from brute memory. Avi's business plans tend to go something like this:

MISSION: At [name of company], it is our conviction that [to do the stuff we want to do] and to increase shareholder value are not merely complementary activities -- they are inextricably linked.

PURPOSE: To increase shareholder value by [doing stuff].

EXTREMELY SERIOUS WARNING (printed out on a separate page, in red letters on a yellow background): Unless you are as smart as Johann Karl Friedrich Gauss, savvy as a half-blind Calcutta bootblack, tough as General William Tecumseh Sherman, rich as the Queen of England, emotionally resilient as a Red Sox fan, and as generally able to take care of yourself as the average nuclear submarine commander, you should never have been allowed near this document. Please dispose of it as you would any piece of high-level radioactive waste and then arrange with a qualified surgeon to amputate your arms at the elbows and gouge your eyes from their sockets. This warning is necessary because once, a hundred years ago, a little old lady in Kentucky put a hundred dollars into a dry goods company that went belly-up and returned her only ninety-nine dollars. Ever since, the government has been on our asses. If you ignore this warning, read on at your peril -- you are dead certain to lose everything you've got and live out your final decades beating back waves of termites in a Mississippi Delta leper colony.

Still reading? Great. Now that we've scared off the lightweights, let's get down to business.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: We will raise [some money], then [do some stuff] and increase shareholder value. Want details? Read on.

INTRODUCTION: [This trend], which everyone knows about, and [that trend], which is so incredibly arcane that you probably didn't know about it until just now, and [this other trend over here] which might seem, at first blush, to be completely unrelated, when all taken together, lead us to the (proprietary, secret, heavily patented, trademarked, and NDAed) insight that we could increase shareholder value by [doing stuff]. We will need $ [a large number] and after [not too long] we will be able to realize an increase in value to $ [an even larger number], unless [hell freezes over in midsummer].

DETAILS:

Phase 1: After taking vows of celibacy and abstinence and foregoing all of our material possessions for homespun robes, we (viz. appended resumes) will move into a modest complex of scavenged refrigerator boxes in the central Gobi Desert, where real estate is so cheap that we are actually being paid to occupy it, thereby enhancing shareholder value even before we have actually done anything. On a daily ration consisting of a handful of uncooked rice and a ladleful of water, we will [begin to do stuff].

Phase 2, 3, 4, . . . , n - 1: We will [do more stuff, steadily enhancing shareholder value in the process] unless [the earth is struck by an asteroid a thousand miles in diameter, in which case certain assumptions will have to be readjusted; refer to Spreadsheets 397-413 ].

Phase n: Before the ink on our Nobel Prize certificates is dry, we will confiscate the property of our competitors, including anyone foolish enough to have invested in their pathetic companies. We will sell all of these people into slavery. All proceeds will be redistributed among our shareholders, who will hardly notice, since Spreadsheet 265 demonstrates that, by this time, the company will be larger than the British Empire at its zenith.

SPREADSHEETS: [Pages and pages of numbers in tiny print, conveniently summarized by graphs that all seem to be exponential curves screaming heavenward, albeit with enough pseudo-random noise in them to lend plausibility.]

RESUMES: Just recall the opening reel of "The Magnificent Seven", and you won't have to bother with this part; you should crawl to us on hands and knees, and beg us for the privilege of paying our salaries.


the novel's a good read overall. Highly reccommended.

Positive and negative. (2, Interesting)

hkmwbz (531650) | about 9 years ago | (#13230059)

This could be a good thing if Mozilla wants to grow, although I am puzzled by Mitchell's comment that they won't be pursuing a profit. Is there such a thing as a non-profit corporation? Surely, they will need to turn a profit to bring in money for the Mozilla Foundation?

One might also wonder how everyone who has contributed to Mozilla's development because it was a project they believed in will feel. A lot of people have contributed to Mozilla through the years, and now Mozilla is going to profit?

In the end, I guess this is what it takes to take the battle with Microsoft to the next step.

But will Mozilla now lose the funding it receives from Google, IBM, Sun, and so on? Until now, hasn't Mozilla simply received donations from these and other large companies who didn't want to see Mozilla die?

Re:Positive and negative. (1)

Frank Hecker (1123) | about 9 years ago | (#13230339)

I can't speak for Mitchell, but I presume that when she wrote about "not pursuing a profit" she was referring to the fact that the goal of traditional "for profit" corporations is to pursue profits in order to maximise the financial value for shareholders (private or public). That is not the case for the Mozilla Corporation; its charter is not to maximize shareholder value but rather to advance the mission of the Mozilla Foundation.

Re:Positive and negative. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13230373)

and now Mozilla is going to profit?

They're not going to profit, not really. Any money left over will simply be reinvested in the project.

But will Mozilla now lose the funding it receives from Google, IBM, Sun, and so on?

I'm sure they wouldn't be doing this if that was case. Before this change, the Mozilla Foundation had to consult a tax attorney before every decision involving revenue to check it didn't put their not-for-profit status at risk. Now they won't have to (as income to the Corporation will be taxed), which should make relationships with Google etc. easier.

Re:Positive and negative. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13230388)

Is there such a thing as a non-profit corporation?

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Handgun Control, Inc.

Anti-Corporate Extension (1, Funny)

donnacha (161610) | about 9 years ago | (#13230062)

Keep an eye on the Firefox Extensions page for my imminent release, The Firefox Anti-Corporate Extension, which will remove the word "Corporation" from the the About pop-up.

Thank God for the awesome power and flexibility of extensions.

Re:Anti-Corporate Extension (1)

WindozeSux (857211) | about 9 years ago | (#13230407)

Where can I get it, huh?

Will this help (3, Interesting)

C_Kode (102755) | about 9 years ago | (#13230063)

Fix the issues with filtering/moving emails around in your folders in Thunderbird? I'm getting close to being forced to abandon Thunderbird. I send an email and I cannot copy it into the sent folder (and I must have copies of my sent email) The filters stop functioning and I have to shutdown and restart Thunderbird to even manually copy the email to the correct folder.

Don't take this as a flame, I've used Netscape Messenger/Thunderbird since around 1997, but I am starting to have way to many problems... I've seen bug reports about this for several years now, yet no fix gets released. (Thunderbird hardly gets any new releases compared to Firefox)

My programming skills are minimal otherwise I would try myself to fix it...

Anyone know of another email client? (mainly for windows, Eudora, Pegasus, and Outlook) are either not options or I do not like them.

I like Thunderbird... It's a shame that it's such a task to use with this problem...

Re:Will this help (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13230136)

"My programming skills are minimal otherwise I would try myself to fix it..."

Well C Kode might I suggest changing your /. nick first. Then maybe going out and buying a book on, well C (++) code. Hey you might learn something and be able to fix your problems with thunderbird all in one fell swoop.

Re:Will this help (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13230139)

> Anyone know of another email client? (mainly for
> windows, Eudora, Pegasus, and Outlook) are
> either not options or I do not like them.

Try Mulberry.
It's not free, but it beats the crap out of most other clients out there, especially when it comes to IMAP. Has pretty much everything Thunderbird does, but also a whole lot more. Could not be happier.
Available for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and Solaris, with configuration interchangable between all of them.

http://www.mulberrymail.com/ [mulberrymail.com]

    - y

Re:Will this help (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 9 years ago | (#13230145)

Funny, I haven't noticed this. I do get emails which randomly appear in the wrong accounts - an email sent to my business account will show up both there and in my personal inbox *shrug*. Its free (beer)...hard to complain too much.

I take it the "Copies & Folders" section isn't sending your sent items to the desired folders, or bcc'ing the right folks?

email clients (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | about 9 years ago | (#13230146)

"Anyone know of another email client?

My wife just tried Thunderbird. It imported email from 3 accounts in the Mozilla suite. It mixed up all the mail between accounts. I switched to Fedora this spring, which uses Evolution for email and I like it just fine. There is a Windows port of Evolution [sourceforge.net] in the works, but there is no firm timeframe for release yet. I see that it sent it's first message recently.

Re:Will this help (1)

myspys (204685) | about 9 years ago | (#13230147)

operas email client works quite nicely

haven't tried opera 8 yet though (still using 7.x)

ps. if you ever think about switching, do! apples Mail is wonderful. not the fastest but it works oh so nicely :)

Re:Will this help (1)

baadger (764884) | about 9 years ago | (#13230230)

Try Becky [rimarts.co.jp] - it's free, it's fast and there are quite a few plugins and themes out there if you look (just watch out for the japaneseness)

Re:Will this help (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | about 9 years ago | (#13230241)

Try mutt [mutt.org] . Yes, it's a text-mode client, and yes, it will take some getting used to, but it's quite addictive once you do get used to it.

If you're on windows, then you can probably run it in Cygwin - I haven't tried that, but I doubt there'll be much problems.

Re:Will this help (3, Interesting)

jurt1235 (834677) | about 9 years ago | (#13230274)

You can help in the following way: Instead of your time, you can use a small bonus for the person who solves the problem. That way you and the community both benefit from it.

Yet another evil corporation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13230098)

Fortunately, there are still some people willing to stand-up [cpusa.org] for the little guy. We [rwor.org] have to stop these corporations from hijacking the Web. INFORMATION WANTS TO BE FREE!

Non-profit as in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13230113)

the CEO getting a $1,000,000 salary, but the company won't make any profit?

Doesn't change much (1)

Nytewynd (829901) | about 9 years ago | (#13230116)

Becoming a corporation doesn't mean that an entity is all of a sudden going to change its practices and start pillaging the public. I am a corporation. The only reason is for liability and tax reasons. It makes it easier for me to hire and place subcontractors, and to pay them.

In the long run, this will probably be 100% transparent to everyone besides Mozilla, the IRS, and some of their business partners. It shouldn't affect their product at all.

Re:Doesn't change much (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13230290)

Until the Microsoft lobby convinces their favorite politician that they are in need of an audit on a yearly basis, not to mention the lawsuits that will ensue.

Making money from open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13230117)

The business end of open source is still very much a work in progress.

I have a humble proposal. Open source becomes like science. People can make money from science. Scientists get grants and do research. Engineers, usually working for corporations, turn the research into technology. The knowldege is supplied at no cost to the end user by the scientists.

So, how about government grants for open source coders. (If you think this is too loosey-goosey, you've never had to apply for a grant.) The result is that groups like Mozilla don't have to figure out how to make money. Technologists then get paid to apply the open source knowledge in their own companies.

Re:Making money from open source (1)

in4apenny (902923) | about 9 years ago | (#13230255)

What planet do you live on!!?? Government grants = taxes = me paying for a browser

This is a classic "slippery slope" condition. (1)

mmell (832646) | about 9 years ago | (#13230152)

Yes, with the best of intentions to further the lofty goal of supporting the free software ideal, Mozilla has created a commercial entity.

X years from now, when that corporation gets a new CEO who wants to do his job and improve the corporation's bottom-line, we'll be at the bottom of that slippery slope. Remember: it's easier to slide down the hill than it is to climb back up it!

Re:This is a classic "slippery slope" condition. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 9 years ago | (#13230252)

But with the Foundation holding the relevant IP rights, even a Mozilla Corporation going evil will not do too much harm.
Also, aren't the CEOs bound to do with the company whatever the company owners want?

Name doesn't matter (1)

tehcypress (904804) | about 9 years ago | (#13230198)

As long as Mozilla keeps on making good software that is safe, secure, and free, do we really care what they call themselves???

Coming Soon: A Plus! version of FF & TB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13230265)

Don't let this fool you. Very soon you'll see a Plus! or an Extendde version of Firefox & Thunderbird with all the bells & whistles for paying people and a stripped down/buggy version for unwashed masses.

It'll be like RedHat & its bastard child Fedora. See it happening.....

again (1)

mholt108 (229701) | about 9 years ago | (#13230272)

Here we go again - the fuck_it_up cycle .... it was a good product for a while!

Put On Some Slacks (1)

blueZhift (652272) | about 9 years ago | (#13230327)

It sounds like Mozilla is just putting on a suit and some nice slacks (or perhaps a smart looking suit and skirt combo). I agree with their motives as stated though since generally the tax situation for a nonprofit that has significant revenues is a little dicey. At least that's what I've heard. And oddly enough, if Firefox, etc. come from a Corp. it'll remove one more mental barrier that some companies have about adopting OSS. Afterall, if it comes from Company Inc. it must be good, right?

Re:Put On Some Slacks (1)

pizen (178182) | about 9 years ago | (#13230419)

Indeed. Putting a corporate face on the product will help its adoption by the corporate world.

There are never and mod points around when you need them.

Playing With The People's Trust (1)

xoboots (683791) | about 9 years ago | (#13230342)

On the FAQ page it begins by saying "The Mozilla Corporation is a taxable subsidiary that serves the non-profit, public benefit goals of its parent, the Mozilla Foundation" yet Corporations have a duty to profit and serving the interest of its shareholders, not the public benefit. This is going to piss a lot of people off no matter what kind of spin they put on it.

Re:Playing With The People's Trust (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13230355)

"On the FAQ page it begins by saying "The Mozilla Corporation is a taxable subsidiary that serves the non-profit, public benefit goals of its parent, the Mozilla Foundation" yet Corporations have a duty to profit and serving the interest of its shareholders, not the public benefit. This is going to piss a lot of people off no matter what kind of spin they put on it."

The only shareholder for the corporation is the Mozilla Foundation. It is not a public corporation, but rather a wholly owned subsidiary of the Mozilla Foundation so it has no responsibilities to anyone or anything but the Mozilla Foundation.

Re:Playing With The People's Trust (1)

pizen (178182) | about 9 years ago | (#13230386)

The only shareholder for the corporation is the Mozilla Foundation. It is not a public corporation, but rather a wholly owned subsidiary of the Mozilla Foundation so it has no responsibilities to anyone or anything but the Mozilla Foundation.

Exactly correct.

meanwhile over in redmond (1)

cyclomedia (882859) | about 9 years ago | (#13230437)

some exec rubs his hands in glee thinking of yet another "if you can't beat 'em buy em" investment opportunity...

evil (1)

minus_273 (174041) | about 9 years ago | (#13230455)

but corporations are evil! oh no? what will the evil corporations do with mozilla!! aaah!

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