Wlauzon - 4:25 pm on Dec 19, 2010 (gmt 0)
..or it can make them an open source project so that the web community will take care of it...
And end up like DMOZ, another of those forgotten stepchildren that nobody cares about anymore? Though DMOZ is still owned by AOL, it would be the same thing - without a source of revenue, you just fade away.
I can think of a very small number of open source projects from 2000 that still survive today.
This is the same kind of thinking I have seen so often in "historical buildings" - some old hotel is due to get torn down, a number of people rally to "save it", so it is taken off the chopping block - until it collapses a few years later from a total lack of money for maintenance from those same people that wanted to "preserve history".