Innovation, funding and FS (was: to git or not to git)

Bernhard E. Reiter bernhard at
Fri Sep 14 07:06:50 UTC 2018

Hi Andreas,

Am Donnerstag 13 September 2018 17:05:41 schrieb Andreas Nilsson:
> By the phrasing "leading provider" I assume that it means a company
> that won't share the software innovations with the rest of the
> community so that all can benefit. 


> If this is the case then I would suggest to seperate out the parts that
> makes Github and others to have an upper hand and then see how the

This seems the logical step to take, however it is hard to do this 
successfully as far as I can say. It takes many little things and a dedicated 
team with a lot of time on its hands, which basically means professionals.
And then we get to the question of funding and a "business" model, which of 
course could be a non-profit "business" model. It had to be stable for years.

> It's really bad that a company thrives on a thing like "open source"
> while using that income to fund "closed source". I wonder if even the
> open source camp would approve of that as a thing to further
> improvements.

Many people accept the comfort coming from innovations funded with non-free 
software or coming with non-free products. I cannot blame them in principle, 
as it is a personal decision how far out someone is willing to go from the 
mainstream. Hopefully we can point out ways where each person can support 
Free Software with little efforts and we should always offer the next steps 
for everyone, no matter where they stand.

> I could share an idea I have had about the financing and the "poor free
> software developer not getting paid". 

Most Free Software is developed by people are paid for doing it already.
The more the more releveant the FS-product is. The question is: Who paids 
those developers and makes sure the interests of the organisation is 
considered.  For the famous kernel, there are some basic statistics 4.18 4.17 4.16 4.15

where you see companies like Intel, Redhat, AMD, IBM, Google appear often.
It is major companies and their customers that drive the main lines of 
development. My conclusion is that we need funding models for IT-interest of 
small organisations or private people to be successful with Free Software.
A customer demand and funding can help a lot.
Fortunately a number of companies are trying to create product with lots of 
Free Software, so the availble number of offerings is growing. 

> The idea is to make an economical funding platform. The platform itself
> only communicates between the two parties users and developers,
> economically.

This has been tried a number of times in the past and hasn't worked out well.
What could help would be a system for micropayments that is easy and has low 
transaction costs. Another approach would be to have a organisations that 
distribute small amounts of money (e.g. GNU system distributors would be in a 
good position to do so.) A key point is peoples willingness to pay for 
something, even if they are not force to.

Best Regards,

FSFE -- Founding Member     Support our work for Free Software: | contribute
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