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7/16/2009
06:28 PM
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Mozilla Starts Pay Program For Firefox Add-On Developers

Developers who create Firefox add-ons can now solicit payment for their work through the add-on download site.

Many of the developers who add value to the Firefox ecosystem by creating add-ons do so without any expectation of being paid.

Now, faced with the emergence of Google's Chrome browser, which can also be enhanced with add-ons, Mozilla is looking to keep its developers happy by providing them with a revenue opportunity.

On Thursday, Mozilla announced the launch of its Contributions pilot program, which aims to provide the technical tools necessary for add-on developers to request a payment for their software.

As part of the program, said Add-Ons Director Nick Nguyen in a blog post, developers will be provided with an "About the Developer" page, on which they can explain why they deserve to be paid.

"Our aim with this pilot is to help support a growing ecosystem by providing our users with the opportunity to support their favorite add-on developers," said Nguyen.

Through Mozilla's work with PayPal, developers have the option to create a PayPal ID for each of their Firefox add-ons. A "Contribute" button on Mozilla's add-on site will provide the payment mechanism.

Some developers already use PayPal for this purpose and have placed donation buttons on their own Web sites.

Mozilla is encouraging developers to provide feedback about the pilot program. For now at least, Mozilla is not demanding a portion of the contribution, through the company has not foresworn doing so in the future.

For micropayments (less than $12), PayPal charges a commission of 5% plus $0.05. Its typical commission is 2.9% plus $0.30.

During the pilot period, all contributions will be tracked in U.S. dollars. Eventually, however, users will be able to contribute in local currency through PayPal.

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on the current state of IT salaries. Download the report here (registration required).

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