A thread at Cre8asite Forums asks Which will survive the longest, Orkut or DMOZ? There is a poll up at the thread and currently DMOZ is in the lead, people believe DMOZ will outlive Orkut. I personally do not think they should be compared to each other, they are completely different organisms, but nevertheless, it still makes for a good topic.
ProjectPHP suggests, "DMOZ, with absolutely no funding, will die at some point. Servers cost money, and since AOL pulled the plug and gave 'ema bunch of $$$ to go away, AFAIK there is no revenue coming in fullstop. So, DMOZ must die in it current format. When is the question. No more than 10 years I would think." However many across the Web, including Barry Welford, who started the thread, said they barely log into Orkut anymore (same here) and it seems to him that Orkut might die soon.
Recently Google invested the time to integrate the Google Accounts login with Orkut. I am sure it wasn't an overnight process, but it is now done and you have one login across all platforms. Would Google spend the time and money with such a venture, when they feel it will just die out in a few years? I doubt it.
The question then moves over to DMOZ. I personally consider DMOZ to be a historical monument on the Web. To knock one down and let it rot, seems unethical to me. Of course, this can happen and I am not trying to kid myself. So I thought that possibly a Google or Yahoo! would buy them out or give them money to help them continue. Ammon Johns replied to that staying it would be a "class-action lawsuit of the decade" if someone would buy them out. Why?
You do remember that AOL got rid of all its initial unpaid volunteers from the early days because of the class action they faced? You see, there's this thing called minimum wage. And people in DMOZ keep referring to themselves as 'staff' ... The exact same situation that AOL faced and distanced itself from once before...
To have any real hope of escaping a legal minefield, DMOZ must clearly be indentified as a non-commercial, open, voluntary project that happens to be given support by a commercial entity. Anything that erodes such identification, be that commercialization thru ads, or a purchase rather than a donation, is like throwing stones at a hive.