Code Rush in the Creative Commons

Last year, to commemorate the release of Firefox 3.0, I posted a heavily-annotated copy of Code Rush — the commercially-unavailable documentary from 2000 about the open-sourcing of the Netscape code base and the beginning of the Mozilla project. Shortly afterwards, I interviewed Code Rush director David Winton about the film, who asked that I take the video offline while he decided what to do with it. Last week, he made a decision.

I’m happy to say that Code Rush is now released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license. Winton and his colleague John Koten set up a dedicated homepage for the film, with links to stream or download the film in various formats.

They’re encouraging everyone to use the documentary in new ways, remixing or reusing the footage for any non-commercial use. In particular, I’d imagine the Mozilla Foundation should be very happy that they can finally use this historic footage of their origins.

Thanks to the new license, I’m able to put my annotated version of the film back up on Viddler. I’ve embedded it below. Update: Replaced with YouTube version, since Viddler is dead.

Best of all, David Winton’s announced that they’re planning on digitizing the original interview footage and making them available. “We are still working to get our hands on a digital Beta deck to digitize the original dailies, but hope to get up and running in a couple months.” If you can help them out, get in touch.

Update (August 6): I just discovered that unreleased footage from the documentary is being added to


    That is terrific news Waxy. Great documentary, really fascinating. It’s also one of the best and only depictions of working on a large software project I’ve seen on screen.

    Aside: are there any other documentaries that are about software development? has some of that, but I can’t think of others.

    Kudos to David Winton on this great decision!

    Those extra annotations are pretty useless consider they mirror exactly what’s on screen or said in the audio. There’s a button to disable them luckily, took me 10 minutes of frustration before looking for it!

    Why not use the annotation mechanism to add more personal insights?

    Alex: The annotations act like a Table of Contents, so people can skim the hour-long video for interesting parts or people/scenes they care about. It wasn’t intended to be like footnotes.

    This is great – really enjoyed watching… brought me back to round 1 of the browser wars.

    Nice to see a film that captures the technical spirit of those times (rather than just focusing on the stock prices).

    As soon as i read the words “Firefox3” you had me reading the whole post. Firefox rocks, full stop, it is the ultimate browser.

    Oh, that makes the saddest guy in the world happy again. Thank you director and that you andy!

    Another documentary that stood out for me in the late 90s was “Nerds 2.0.1: A Brief History of the Internet”. Not sure where it stands copyright-wise, but I’d sure love to see it again.

    Kudos to you and David Winton for making this available.

    Great documentary and memorable times. I wish I were there working for companies like Netscape or Sun Microsystems at that time.

    This video laid the groundwork for me to get into software dev as a profession. I’d always been a tweaker and home brew guy, but after seeing the likes of Silicon Valley and how these guys operated, I was given a goal…

    I don’t live in the Valley now, but I do have my own software company and have several products in development. And yes, alot of it is exactly like the documentary. Late nights, zarro boogs and the fear of missing critical dates… we also have a pool table 🙂

    Is It just Me? Or was “Netscape Navigator” the program Released in 1996

    1994 just seem to be early for me to believe. I think that maybe the software tools used

    in Netscape navigators creation could have been cut in 1994. It Appears that everyone

    that references this program, Has used wiki for info but has not used a lawyer.

    Thanks for making it available. I remember hearing about it and wanted to see it but couldn’t find it anywhere. I’m was a Netscape user, before I went to Mozilla, then Phoenix, Firebird, and then Firefox.

    Dear Andy,

    Just got to know about this documentary. The bad part is there does not seem to be a torrent anywhere.

    Do not see any torrents links anywhere although I can download it from (which they have sadly not included)

    What’s even sadder is the fact that does not have all of the clips as of today 07/11 🙁

    Wish could show me the date when they were added which it does not show by default 🙁

    Well,anyways cannot have my cake and eat it too.

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