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Editor’s Note: Encyclo has not been regularly updated since August 2014, so information posted here is likely to be out of date and may be no longer accurate. It’s best used as a snapshot of the media landscape at that point in time.

Mozilla is an free, open software company and community.

Mozilla grew out of software and telecom company Netscape, which was founded by Jim Clark and Marc Andreessen in 1994 and was originally called the Mosaic Communications Corporation. In 1998, Mozilla was launched as an open, global network for the collaborative creation of free software. They opened up the source code for Netscape in the same year.

Today, Mozilla is comprised of the Mozilla Corporation, which handles revenue creating products like the popular web browser Firefox, and the Mozilla Foundation, which supports the organization’s non-profit policy endeavors aimed at encouraging the growth of a free and open Internet.

The Mozilla Corporation split off from the Foundation in 2005. It relies on eight senior managers and four person board of directors for management. It released a browser called Phoenix in 2002, which would later be renamed Firebird. It was permanently renamed Firefox in 2006. As of 2012, Firefox made up 20% of the web browser market share. The current CEO of the company is Gary Kovacs, who oversees a staff of more than six hundred. The Mozilla Foundation is managed by a separate, six-person board of directors, and was originally launched in 2003 via funding from Mitch Kapor and AOL.

Mozilla reported a 33% increase in revenue in 2011, up from $123 million to $163. A significant portion of that revenue comes from Google, which pays royalties to Mozilla in order to be the browser’s default search engine. Mozilla’s stated goal is to one day allow the Foundation to control the corporation in its entirety. The foundation is also supported by dozens of small, non-profit community partners around the world.

In 2014, Mozilla announced a partnership with The New York Times and The Washington Post to create tools to improve online commenting systems. The program was funded by a $3.89 million grant from the Knight Foundation.

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Primary author: Caroline O'Donovan. Main text last updated: July 3, 2014.
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Explore: Windy Citizen
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Windy Citizen was a Chicago-based local news site that used crowd curation to determine its lead stories. It was founded in 2008 and shut down in 2012. Windy Citizen relied on user submissions for its content. It used a Digg-like mechanism for determining stories’ popularity, asking users — whose identity on the site was tied to…

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Encyclo is made possible by a grant from the Knight Foundation.
The Nieman Journalism Lab is a collaborative attempt to figure out how quality journalism can survive and thrive in the Internet age.
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