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Firefox smashes funding target

The campaign to get fans of the open-source browser to pay for a full-page ad in The New York Times reaches its goal in three days.

Firefox advocates' call for donations to pay for an advertisement in The New York Times has more than reached its target, only three days into the campaign.

The campaign, run by Spread Firefox volunteers, started Tuesday to raise money to place a full-page ad for the launch of the open-source browser in The New York Times. The goal was to get 2,500 people to donate $30 or more to the marketing fund within 10 days, or before the official release of Firefox 1.0 on Nov. 9.

Bart Decrem, spokesman for the Mozilla Foundation, said on Friday that the Spread Firefox organization has already raised more than $100,000--enough for a couple of ads in The New York Times. The Mozilla Foundation, which developed the Firefox browser, is endorsing the volunteer campaign.

"We've definitely funded the ad and then some," Decrem said. "It's so impressive--the excitement around this and the numbers. People are coming out of nowhere to join in."

Supporters will get their name in an ad, with Community Champion status being awarded to anyone who signs up 10 or more extra names.

Any money left over from the ads will be used to fund other Mozilla projects, according to the Spread Firefox Web site.

Already available in a preview version, the Firefox browser passed the 5 million download mark on Monday. It blew by its initial download goal of a million downloads four weeks ago.

Ingrid Marson of ZDNet UK reported from London.