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The Mozilla Foundation was announced1 on July 15, 2003, as a new, non-profit home for mozilla.org and Mozilla development. It was launched with $2 million from AOL2, the previous home of mozilla.org, as well as support from Red Hat, Sun Microsystems, and Open Source Applications Foundation chair Mitch Kapor. It will be overseen by a board of directors, which includes Mozilla developers as well as representatives from the greater open source community.

Despite only having been public for a few hours, it has already become an important development, as AOL has also dismantled Netscape3, with most of the employees being laid off, the rest of the team being dispersed, and signage being removed. In this context, the $2 million endowment to the Mozilla Foundation can be seen as a 'golden handshake' of sorts for the Netscape team. The mozilla.org drivers are assuring people that development will continue on the Mozilla application suite and that non-Netscape contributions to the project already outnumbered Netscape contributions before the layoffs. The new foundation will now seek to position Mozilla as an end-user application to replace the packaged Netscape browser. A radically revised mozilla.org home page already shows the first steps down this path.

The Mozilla Foundation accepts donations through PayPal and by cheque, and these are now tax deductable as the Foundation has been given formal non-profit status.

  1. http://mozillazine.org/articles/article3420.html
  2. http://www.mozilla.org/press/mozilla-foundation.html
  3. http://mozillazine.org/talkback.html?article=3422
  4. http://prod.mozillazine.org/talkback.html?article=3641

This writeup is copyright 2003-2004 D.G. Roberge and is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence. Details can be found at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/ .

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