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Mozilla Incorporates

The Mozilla Foundation today announced its reorganization (external link) forming the Mozilla Corporation. This will operate alongside the current Mozilla Foundation. This newly incorporated business will be in charge of marketing the many Mozilla products.

From a user standpoint I don't think that anyone will be affected by this for some time. The problem with open source and a commercial business is that they're always after money. Incorporating a business, unless non-profit, is always in a venture for profit. How long will it be until Firefox is no longer free?

When a non-profit group incorporates it is usually its downfall, and usually because some power and money hungry person has made their way to the top. The Mozilla Foundation has always done an excellent job at marketing their products, there was no reason to incorporate.

I can see this becoming a Redhat situation - where they have the free Firefox that is constantly updated and used as testing grounds for a corporate product. Then they have a corporate version that usually is quite expensive, but a quality product.

How will the Mozilla Corporation receive any fundings? While they've seem to leave this unclear, the Mozilla Foundation still receives many gracious donations – a probable area for fundings.

Why the purpose of incorporating still seems extremely unclear, I'm hoping that Mozilla didn't stab themselves by reorganizing. Even though I'm not a Firefox user, I liked the product and I don't want to see a greedy corporation ruin it.

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Comments

  • It wouldn't be hard to start a fork of Firefox based on the 1.5 version for example however... and there's always K-Meleon moving towards being a better browser wink

    Posted by Frans (external link) on Wed 3 Aug 2005 at 6:18

  • How long will it be until Firefox is no longer free?

    Then they have a corporate version that usually is quite expensive, but a quality product.

    Actually, Redhat Enterprise Linux is still free, in the sense of Free/Open Source Software.

    Hence there are binary compatible clones such as CentOS, and if Mozilla tries a similiar stunt with Firefox, the same will apply.

    Posted by Eugene Wee on Thu 4 Aug 2005 at 6:04

  • I believe that it will remain free, because the market won't let it be commercial.

    Even if it takeover the web like explorer did, it would be impossible to start selling the browser.

    I suppose that they will sell merchendise like t-shirts, caps ,etc. and propably create a portal site in order to have profit

    Posted by Nikolas (external link) on Fri 5 Aug 2005 at 4:23

  • From what I've read lately the Mozilla Corporation was created for "tax" reasons. According to many columnist they say that Mozilla couldn't handle dealing with profit companies because they were non-profit. Now they can make deals for things like corporate support, which they say will go back into the foundation.

    The seem to leave a lot open in the way they write it out. It almost sounds like the ammendments we have in the US, like someone could somehow use it to their advantage.

    Posted by Ethan Poole (external link) on Fri 5 Aug 2005 at 8:52