Donation Link: Formal Proposal

Unicorn.Consulting at
Thu Dec 5 08:31:05 UTC 2013

On 5/12/2013 3:04 PM, The Wanderer wrote:
> Hash: SHA256
> On 12/04/2013 04:25 PM, Kent James wrote:
>> On 12/3/2013 9:26 AM, Tanstaafl wrote:
>>> 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.
> Yes, they do: none at all.
> "Giving back" to upstream may be good citizenship, but it's very much
> not an obligation; that's part of the idea of free-as-in-liberty
> software. Arguing that it *is* an obligation not only undermines the
> idea of free software, but seems likely to reduce the motivation of
> people to actually do it - or even to use the software at all.
> There's a very big difference between "you should do this" and "you are
> obligated to do this".
> For what it's worth, as a very minor contributor who'd like to become a
> bigger one if I can find the time: I don't have a particular problem
> with the idea of a donation request as a one-time-only thing, or a
> once-per-major-version thing, or even a permanent-on-the-"home"-screen
> thing... as long as presenting the request will *not* involve
> automatically opening a new tab in Thunderbird, which I think I've seen
> proposed as an alternative to using the "home" screen.
> I don't want tabs in my mail client, and I go out of my way to avoid
> having any appear, ever. Having one 'shoved in my face' as part of a
> donation request would be something I'd find highly objectionable, and
> I'd be inclined to refuse the request just on principle because of it.
> Also (and a bit closer to the previous topic of the subthread), from my
> admittedly somewhat limited experience deploying software for an
> enterprise, I can say that having officially-deployed software solicit
> funds from the end user would be seen as a Big No-No. There would need
> to be some way for administrators to override this, so that the request
> never appears to the user.
Perhaps they could buy a key to input to stop the annual donation 
drive.  That would meet everyone's desires.  Free as in beer, requesting 
donations, and getting some money from enterprise.

Unlike some others here, I do think business users are under more of a 
moral obligation to contribute, either financially or in kind. They are 
the oners saving their $XXX per seat licensing.  They are also the ones 
who are hopefully profiting most from the use of FOSS tools.

Mozilla has always pitched Thunderbird to the home users, but the 
reality is this is a shrinking market, the business market however is 
not nearly so pinched.  Enterprise features are actually the future for 
Thunderbird I think.

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