The Case for Thunderbird in Mozilla

R Kent James kent at
Tue Sep 15 20:30:15 UTC 2015

I've recently begun a major push to reach some sort of decision about 
the relationship of Thunderbird to Mozilla. Today I sent a letter to 
Mark Surman about that. Here's an excerpt:

"Thunderbird needs to be given the opportunity to make a case to the 
Mozilla leadership of why we believe Thunderbird should continue to be 
an official product under the Mozilla brand. Let's get a decision. If 
Mozilla wants us, there a few things we need - such as a financial home 
for donations, and links on key websites. The Thunderbird community does 
not want to leave Mozilla, but in case Mozilla does not want us, we have 
had serious discussions with both Software Freedom Conservancy and The 
Document Foundation (home of LibreOffice) about possibly aligning 
ourselves with them. We are also large enough to exist successfully as a 
separately registered organization."

A year ago we were in no position to have this discussion, but today the 
situation is much clearer. There are also serious threats to the 
viability of Thunderbird coming from the Mozilla platform that are going 
to take significant resources to mitigate. We have the ability to manage 
that, but we don't have a financial and legal home that provides us the 
structure to move forward. It is time to move forward with our donation 
campaign and other fund-raising initiatives, yet we have no current 
structure under Mozilla to do that.

I sincerely believe that it is in the best interest of both the 
Thunderbird Community as well as Mozilla that we continue to be part of 
the Mozilla family of products. But the decision is not up to me, it is 
up to the Mozilla leadership. We need an actual decision, and some sort 
of understanding of our official status within Mozilla that gives us the 
flexibility to operate.

What I would appreciate at this point are comments on what are the 
reasons that Mozilla should accept Thunderbird as an official project, 
presumably under the Mozilla Foundation, that provides us with the 
structure that we need to succeed. Please help me make The Case for 
Thunderbird in Mozilla.

R. Kent James
Chair, Thunderbird Council

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