Organizing the Mozilla Project — Mozilla Corporation

August 3rd, 2005

The Mozilla Foundation has created a wholly owned subsidiary known as the Mozilla Corporation to help achieve the Mozilla Foundation’s goals of promoting choice and innovation on the Internet. We’ve done this to respond to the success and growing market-share of Mozilla Firefox and the new opportunities this makes possible. Mozilla Firefox is approaching 10% market share, with figures showing usage several times higher in selected groups and countries. We’re reaching the point where Mozilla Firefox is becoming a significant element of the Internet experience and has growing influence within the Internet and software industries.

This presence brings a range of opportunities. Many of these opportunities involve working with other commercial entities. Some involve generating revenue. This is an exciting time, both because our products are so well received and because the opportunity for the Mozilla Foundation to become self-sustaining in terms of revenue makes the long term vitality of the project much greater.

The Mozilla Corporation is created to respond to these opportunities. Non-profit law is reasonably well understood for traditional non-profit organizations like museums, universities and the traditional style of charities. But organizations like the Mozilla Foundation, which develops and distributes consumer software, are new in the non-profit world and the application of nonprofit laws to their activities is a developing area. We’ve found that this uncertainty makes responding to Mozilla Firefox’s success very complex. It is difficult to know what relationships with commercial organizations make sense for a non-profit or how to structure them. It is difficult to know what activities the non-profit should and shouldn’t engage in. 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. The Mozilla Foundation will use this ability to interact with commercial entities and to generate revenue only in those cases where doing so meets the goals of the parent. In other words, its goals and mission are the same of the Mozilla Foundation, only it has greater flexibility in how to meet them. If it makes sense to generate revenue (as we currently do through search relationships) the Mozilla Corporation will look at doing so.

The Mozilla Corporation is legally a taxable, or in general terms, a “for-profit” entity. However, it is not a typical commercial entity. Its purpose is not to generate a return on investment in the financial sense. It is not an investment vehicle or an IPO candidate. It is completely owned by the Mozilla Foundation to promote an open Internet, where consumers have choice and innovation thrives.

More information about the Mozilla Foundation and the Mozilla Corporation and the relationship between them can be found at: or

The health of the Mozilla project, its long-term sustainability, and its role in maintaining diversity to the web is critical for the web. The Mozilla Foundation is extremely important in this goal, and extremely important to me personally. Many people, myself included, have worked for years to see the Mozilla Foundation come to life, the Mozilla project grow and tens of millions of people choose Mozilla products. The Mozilla Corporation is another organizational tool to bring these goals about.

9 comments for “Organizing the Mozilla Project — Mozilla Corporation”

  1. 1

    El Cau del Drac said on August 3rd, 2005 at 5:19 am:

    Mozilla Corporation

    Avui ens hem llevat amb aquesta notícia.

    De moment uns enllaços:

    Document oficial amb PMF
    Spoudaiospaizen [Serious Play] Karim R. Lakhani’s Infrequent Musings said on August 3rd, 2005 at 8:28 am:

    Organizational Innovation…The Mozilla Corporation

    As some of you may know, I have been an active student and researcher of the Free/Open Source Software movements since 1998. Ever since I first encountered Linux, Apache and Perl in a bio-informatics lab at MIT – I have been intrigued by the “effortl…

  2. 3

    Project Nothing! said on August 3rd, 2005 at 9:53 am:

    Mozilla, maker of Firefox, goes for-profit


    The Mozilla Foundation, developer of the Firefox Web browser, plans to announce Wednesday that it has created a for-profit subsidiary to pursue wider potential for the software.
    Since it was introduced in No…

  3. 4

    Technology Policy said on August 3rd, 2005 at 11:01 am:

    The Commercialization of Open Source

  4. 5

    Open Journal said on August 3rd, 2005 at 4:13 pm:

    Mozilla makes a brave hybrid move, and hopes to keep the corporation in its place.

    Today the Mozilla Foundation, previously all non-profit all the time, has announced a major spin-off called the Mozilla Corporation. Though many watchers with high hopes for open source will view this with trepidation, the actual changes being made…

  5. 6

    blog.ActiveServers said on August 3rd, 2005 at 7:45 pm:

    Mozilla Goes For-Profit Route

  6. 7

    Real Tech News – Independent Tech said on August 5th, 2005 at 6:28 am:

    Mozilla to Get Paid

    By John Tintle
    Contributing Writer, RealTechNews

    On August 3rd, 2005 the Mozilla Foundation created a for-profit subsidiary known as the Mozilla Corporation. The Mozilla Corporation will be led by Mitchell Baker. Mitchell Baker has been “Chief Li…

  7. 8

    Uutisblogi said on August 6th, 2005 at 7:32 pm:

    Mitchell Baker ja Mozilla Corporation

    Viime torstaina Mozilla-projektin p

  8. 9

    Planet Nazim said on August 9th, 2005 at 4:20 am:

    Mozilla spread commercial wings

    Mozilla Foundation has decided to go commercial. It has set up a commercial subsidiary to cash in on the popularity of its flagship Firefox browser. With its flagship Firefox emerging as a legitimate alternative to Microsoft Corp.’s dominant Int…

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