Mozilla Foundation Spins Off For Profit Mozilla Corp
The Mozilla Foundation this week went “for profit” with the launch of a commercial subsidiary which will focus on the Firefox browser. The for profit version of Mozilla (Cashzilla?) will also be responsible for the development, testing, and distribution of the organization’s open source products. Mozilla Corp’s reasons for launching seem to have been to eliminate “some of the thorny legal and tax issues that have been caused by the revenue-generating potential” of the Mozilla open source software offerings.
Mozilla Corp will be owned completely by Mozilla Foundation and revenues will be put into the Foundation (possibly by donations). Mitchell Baker, President of Mozilla Corporation, said that the new entity was important to create a commercial subsidiary, as its commercial activities were restricted through being a non-profit organization.”While the Mozilla Corp. will be a for-profit, the Mozilla Foundation is keen to stress that it is not selling out.”
Baker added “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. 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 that is the Mozilla Foundation.”
From Information Week : Chris Blizzard, who switched from a foundation director to the same position in the corporation, said people working for the for-profit entity would be paid “reasonable salaries,” but no one would become millionaires from the compensation they receive. “We’re not set up that way,” said Blizzard, who also works for Linux distributor Red Hat. Because the corporation would continue to depend on the open-source developer community, which largely works for free, Blizzard acknowledged that it would be important that company executive do not get rich at the expense of others’ labors. “No part of the community will benefit from any other part,” Blizzard said. “We don’t expect to see any jealousy in that regard.”
Besides developing Firefox and Thunderbird, the corporation would also handle all relationships with commercial companies. Income would be used to help the foundation and the for-profit entity become more self-supporting, the foundation said, adding, “Donations will still be welcome.”