Mozilla Goes From Non-Profit to Profit

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Mozilla, who has been a non-profit organization in the form of the Mozilla Foundation, has now changed about not taking in any profits, and has formed the Mozilla Corporation.

At first, this sounds like the classic act of “selling out”, but don’t be so quick to criticize Mozilla. They still plan to distribute their software for free, and create it under an open-source license.

Mozilla Goes From Non-Profit to Profit

“Its (the corporation’s) goal is not return on investment,” said Mozilla Foundation President Mitchell Baker. “It can generate revenue, but its primary purpose is to promote the Mozilla Project, to continue to ship great, free open-source software. . . . It’s not set up to maximize revenue.” Ingrid Marson with ZDNet UK reports:

The Foundation will predominantly focus on community-related activities, including formalising the governance structures of the open source project.

The Corporation, which will begin operations immediately, will not offer stock options to its employees and will not consider a public stock offering, according to information on the Mozilla Web site. Thirty-six of the organisation’s employees will be transferred to the commercial arm, while three employees will continue to work for the Foundation.

The Mozilla Corporation will be responsible for developing, testing, and distributing new open-source products. As a non-profit ogranization, Mozilla’s commercial presence was limited.

“It is difficult to determine what ways of generating revenue make sense for a non-profit and which ways of generating revenue are not appropriate,” Baker wrote. “The Mozilla Corporation has been created to address this. The Mozilla Corporation is a taxable entity and so is legally permitted greater freedom of action than is the Mozilla Foundation.”

Chris is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.

Mozilla Goes From Non-Profit to Profit
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