Mozilla 2015 Advocacy Plan

I’ve already linked to Mozilla’s Advocacy forum in comments on related organizations. Anyone interested in pro-commons/open policy ought look in there as Mozilla is one of the most important organizations in the space; indeed I wrote that they are one of a handful of large exemplars of tends that WIFO aims to accelerate.

They’ve put up a 2015 advocacy plan for comment. I did, along the lines of making commons-based production and policy advocacy reinforce each other, hopefully in terms Mozillians might appreciate.

Copy of my comment, below, followed by a couple additional notes.

The existing plan looks great, glad to see it shared here.

As to other ways, I’d like to see a direct linkage between “great products that help people take control and explore the full potential of their online lives” and “empowering people with technology and know-how to advance the open web.”

I was inspired a couple years ago when former Mozillian Aza Raskin wrote:

Developing products that embody openness is the most powerful way to shape the policy conversation. Back those products with hundreds of millions of users and you have a game-changing social movement.

Seems to me one of the ways advocacy can back those products is to take on policy issues which directly impact development and adoption those products, positively and negatively.

On the negative side, take DRM and encumbered formats. Mozilla has been criticized by open advocates for its product choices on these. I’m not complaining much as I appreciate the calculation that Firefox needs market share for influence, and not being able to play all the videos that other browsers can may significantly harm market share. But DRM and encumbered formats can be attacked from policy even as product needs to compromise. Examples: circumvention legalization, banning DRM in some contexts, mandating open formats in some contexts, eliminating software patents.

On the positive side, take government procurement and use. There is no reason governments should trust proprietary browser and operating system vendors, and it is in Mozilla’s interest to explain why not, and why Firefox should be adopted as the default browser and FirefoxOS the default mobile OS for government uses and purchases. It’s also in the interest of other open web entities, because product is so important in shaping the ecosystem and policy discourse. Other open entities and advocates may not understand this yet; making sure they begin to should be part of empowering them.

These and other product-defending and -promoting policy issues could be added to the mix of general open web issues you’re planning to do leadership, community, and grassroots development around. Perhaps they are already there and I missed or failed to read between the lines! If so all the better. :smile:

If you have something to say to Mozilla’s advocacy community, add a comment over there.

If you say something about DRM or proprietary codecs please think carefully about whether someone who might disagree with you will feel that you are being respectful and possibly even convincing.

Meta: The Mozilla advocacy forum runs Discourse, as does this one.