Markoff at the New York Times broke the embargo and scooped the Mozilla announcement. Markoff got a few things wrong which maybe weren't clear.

The announcement is about a subsidiary that the Mozilla Foundation is creating. He says it is a "for-profit" sub-sidiary, which I think could be misunderstood. It is a 100% subsidiary of the Foundation which is non-profit with non-profit goals. The subsidiary is a taxable entity, but has primarily the same mission as the foundation.

Also, he refers to the subsidiary "offering service and support at a fee." This is not true. You can imagine the value that the search traffic alone has. At the moment, the subsidiary is not considering offering service and support for a fee.

There is an embargo, although this scoop may have breached the dam. I'm about to leave for the aiport to go to OSCON so I don't know when I can update you again, but I'll blog more about this and my role in all of this after the embargo is officially lifted.

UPDATE: I am now on the board of the Mozilla Foundation, the parent of the new subsidiary. The reorg announcement is on the Mozilla site now. More later.

UPDATE 2: I appears that the time zone of the embargo was not clear or was lost somewhere along the chain and Markoff didn't intentionally break the embargo.

UPDATE 3: The official press release. Chris Blizzard and Tristan Nitot blog about the reorg.

3 Comments

What? John Markoff get facts wrong in an article?!

That's completely unheard of!

looks like most of the "facts" are wrong despite the embargo time confusion.

It's a shame there's so much paranoia around this. There's a tried-and-true tradition of non-profit organizations forming profit-generating partners, specifically to help fund the charitable goals of the "mothership." Many hospitals, public broadcasting entities, and homeless outreach agencies rely on this kind of revenue, especially when donations are tight.

Plenty of folks would willingly pay for services from Mozilla. That money could assure stable, secure, FREE software for years to come.

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