Donation Link: Formal Proposal

Kent James kent at
Wed Dec 4 21:25:56 UTC 2013

On 12/3/2013 9:26 AM, Tanstaafl wrote:
> On 2013-12-03 11:35 AM, John Crisp <jcrisp at> wrote:
>> On 03/12/13 12:43, Tanstaafl wrote:
>>> 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
>> .......
>>> This comment confuses me.
>> Not sure why. It was pretty clear IMHO
> Yes, the comment is clear... the logic - solicit donations from 
> NON-commercial end-users to avoid 'subsidizing free software for 
> businesses' - is... well, it simply isn't (logical).

The quote about "subsidizing free software for businesses" is not really 
my quote, it was originally Mitchell, I only mentioned it to make the 
point that Mozilla itself is not really all about free-as-in-beer products.

You are correct that the main intent of the donation link proposal is to 
solicit donations from individuals, not from businesses. So I will add 
my own statement here that subsidizing free software for individuals is 
not the primary mission of Mozilla, nor something that motivates me to 
be involved. Individuals who use FOSS software have the same obligations 
as businesses to give back. To me, "free-as-in-beer" is frequently the 
enemy of "free-as-in-freedom". That is, it would be great if all 
software had freedom-style licenses without the burden of 
free-as-in-beer consequences, but that is very hard to do. Nevertheless, 
battling the misunderstanding that "Free and Open Source" means "without 
cost" is a noble undertaking in the cause of freedom, one that I take up 
proudly without any fear that I am taking the low road. I'll accept 
though, from the Mozilla Manifesto, "Magnifying the public benefit 
aspects of the Internet is an important goal, worthy of time, attention 
and commitment."

 From you comments, I expect you partially agree with me, and partially 
disagree. That's fine, I'm not asking you to accept my whole world view 
here, just trying to clarify my viewpoint. We don't have to resolve 
whether "free-as-in-beer" is good or bad in order to agree on an 
approach forward for Thunderbird.


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