Principle #9:

Commercial involvement in the development of the Internet brings many benefits; a balance between commercial goals and public benefit is critical.

I like this notion of balance between commercial and public goals. We should not forget that commercial approaches have been important to make the Web what it is now. The Mozilla project itself reflects this, as its roots are with Netscape and then AOL. But this should not mean in any way that we should rely solely on the commercial approach for the Internet to reach its full potential[1].

Principle #10:

Magnifying the public benefit aspects of the Internet is an important goal, worthy of time, attention and commitment.

While the beginning of the first principle was obvious for anyone (The Internet is an integral part of modern life), this is probably less true for the 10th principle. Many people tend to believe that the Internet could be a 100% pure commercial space, that could be left to commercial interests which would take care of it. Like stated earlier on, a balance between commercial goals and public benefit is critical. We, contributors to the Mozilla project, have not forgotten that the market forces have proven to be very inefficient when Microsoft was about to get a monopoly, and when that monopoly state was reached. Actually, the Mozilla project, to some extent, was created to prevent such a monopoly, and succeeded in bringing back choice and innovation on the browser market with Firefox. For now, the commercial sector on the Internet is the most visible, but it has to be balanced by organizations who put the public interest above all.

Since I'll be away, comments are closed on my blog. But readers and Mozilla contributors are invited to discuss the Mozilla Manifesto on the Mozilla.Governance mailing list / newsgroup.


[1] I know, I'm using the W3C's tag line again! But it really is very close to what I perceive as one of the top goals expressed by the Mozilla Manifesto.