07 February 2009

Enter the Lizard

Here's an interesting post from Mitchell Baker, Mozilla's boss, commenting on the EU's decision to investigate Microsoft for its Internet Explorer. It's mostly a useful statement of history and why Firefox on its own shouldnt be regarded as the solution to the problem. But for me the most significant portion is its conclusion:

I’d like to offer Mozilla’s expertise as a resource to the EC as it considers what an effective remedy would entail. I’ll be reaching out to people I know with particular history, expertise and ideas regarding these topics. If you’ve got specific ideas or concerns please feel free to contact me. I’ll post more as the discussion develops.

At a time when Microsoft is increasing its lobbying, and seeking to hire people specifically to monitor - and presumably fight - open source, it is absolutely vital that powerful organisations like Mozilla take the initiative by engaging directly with governments and other relevant bodies.

Too often free software has suffered from its decentralised, fragmented nature (otherwise a great strength); the existence of the rather anomalous Mozilla Foundation - well funded and highly organised - is a unique opportunity to support openness in a completely new way.

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