Donation Link: Formal Proposal

Eckard Berberich e.berberich at
Tue Dec 3 15:50:58 UTC 2013

Since a few days I noticed a message, right beyond the Google search 
bar, in the Firefox homepage of the French Firefox version which is 
asking for donations,:
"Mozilla est l'organisation à l'origine de Firefox et fonctionne grâce 
aux dons. Si chacun d'entre vous donnait seulement 2€, nous pourrions 
rendre le Web encore meilleur. Faites un don!"
The donation link leads to this page 
Personally I wouldn't be shocked by a similar message in the Thunderbird 
start page, inviting to donate for the further development of Thunderbird.

Le 03/12/13 12:43, Tanstaafl a écrit :
> On 2013-12-02 6:07 PM, Kent James <kent at> wrote:
>> We are asking the user to make a decision about donating each major
>> release. So I would agree that this proposal moves Thunderbird away from
>> being "free as in beer" software to being "free as in freedom"
>> donationware. We need to think hard whether that is what we want.
>> Obviously my personal opinion is that we should move that direction.
>> Mitchell herself claimed to me that Mozilla does not want to subsidize
>> free software for businesses. Neither do I. I am not willing to donate
>> my time to the cause of free-as-in-beer software for businesses, and
>> because of that I think that Thunderbird should try to recover costs
>> from users in ways that still promote "free as in freedom". Donations
>> are one such option, and I do not think we should be ashamed to ask for
>> them. With freedom comes responsibility, and we are providing structures
>> for our users to meet their responsibilities.
> This comment confuses me.
> Free software is free software. You cannot distinguish between
> 'subsidizing free software' for commercial and non commercial use...
> *all* use is free.
> Also - you seem to be saying that in order to combat (probably not the
> right word but couldn't think of a better one) your aversion to
> 'subsidizing free software for businesses', you are proposing a nag/beg
> screen to beg for money from NON-commercial (end) users. That makes no
> sense.
> If I was a developer, I would be *proud* if my work was so good that
> even large commercial enterprises wanted to use my software.
> This whole aversion to 'subsidizing free software for businesses' turns
> me off in a big way.
> If you (and other Mozillians) really feel this strongly, then the proper
> - imnsho - course should be to change the license to 'free for personal
> use', and charge for corporate/commercial use (note: I would be
> *strongly against* such a move).
> Of course, if you did that, you would then be in a position where you
> would *have* to listen to your (now paying) customers and implement
> features they wanted - or lose their business.
> Personally, I like the suggestions to add the Donationware information
> to the 'About' window/screen, and on the 'Welcome' screen that shows up
> for new major releases, I don't see this as being too intrusive, and
> corps can disable it easy enough (at least the welcome screen part).
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