Thunderbird and finances

Gervase Markham gerv at mozilla.org
Wed Aug 15 14:11:21 UTC 2012


MoFo currently accepts directed donations for projects like Bugzilla and
Calendar. They have indicated a willingness to do so for Thunderbird as
long as the Thunderbird community has an active process and a plan for
deciding what happens to the money.

My view is that the Mozilla way of dealing with this would be for the
module owners of Thunderbird as a whole (currently dbienvenu and
standard8) to have the role of deciding (although they could, of course,
delegate it). Perhaps they can confirm that they would be OK with that?

I think it would be valuable for Thunderbird to have such a system.
While "I need this feature implemented" requests from 3rd parties would
probably be better handled by a direct consulting relationship (perhaps
TB also needs something like this:
http://www.bugzilla.org/support/consulting.html?), the software has
plenty of well-wishers.

I'm sure dbienvenu and standard8 would want to listen to the Thunderbird
community in terms of what the money was used for, but it seems to me
that either travel to and funding for events, or (if the amounts turn
out to be a bit larger) direct funding for key features which the person
responsible is otherwise unable to devote full time to, would both be
entirely reasonable uses. Both require judicious care to avoid the
appearance of unfairness, but Mozilla has historically managed
reasonably well at dealing with the use of money within open source
projects. And I know the TB community generally respects the judgement
of its leaders.

As far as I am aware, Thunderbird also makes a certain amount of income
from the relationship it has with email providers and file storage
websites. JB would need to chime in about what might happen to that.

Gerv



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