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The World’s Email Encryption Software Relies on One Guy, Who is Going Broke. Update, Feb. 5, 2015, 8:10 p.m.: After this article appeared, Werner Koch informed us that last week he was awarded a one-time grant of $60,000 from Linux Foundation's Core Infrastructure Initiative. Werner told us he only received permission to disclose it after our article published. Meanwhile, since our story was posted, donations flooded Werner's website donation page and he reached his funding goal of $137,000. In addition, Facebook and the online payment processor Stripe each pledged to donate $50,000 a year to Koch’s project. The man who built the free email encryption software used by whistleblower Edward Snowden, as well as hundreds of thousands of journalists, dissidents and security-minded people around the world, is running out of money to keep his project alive.

Werner Koch wrote the software, known as Gnu Privacy Guard, in 1997, and since then has been almost single-handedly keeping it alive with patches and updates from his home in Erkrath, Germany. The strange economics of open-source software - Vallified. I always use the names of economists for my machines’ hostnames. keynes, friedman, marx, fisher, ricardo. So every so often the strange economics of open-source software hits me. Today it is almost taken for granted that the source code for most software is freely available.

This is a profound and remarkable change, given how different it was only 15 years ago. From a certain point of view our industry is “giving away” its product, and yet the industry is richer and more powerful than ever. So where is the value? What are the implications? Where has all the closed-source software gone? Of course, it’s not gone. Within our industry it is becoming apparent that services — SaaS and companies such as Airbnb — are the future. The ever-increasing dominance of open-source The increasing dominance of open-source software seems particularly true with respect to infrastructure software. So where is the value? The economics of recruitment And the implications go far beyond how software is developed. Rendre aux communs le produit des communs : la quête d’une licence réciproque | Sciences communes.

Après une longue interruption, je reprends doucement une activité sur ce carnet de recherche. Pour l’occasion, je retourne son titre, Sciences communes : non la science comme bien commun, mais l’étude scientifique des communs. Le première épisode de cette nouvelle série est dédié à l’un des principaux dispositifs envisagés pour pérenniser l’économie des communs : les licences réciproques.

Comme leur nom l’indique, ces licences visent à restaurer une relation de réciprocité entre les secteur commercial et le mouvement des Communs. Elles établissent ainsi un mécanisme de réversion dès lors qu’une organisation capitalistique fait usage d’un bien commun. Nées d’un débat intellectuel international, les licences réciproques ont pris consistance au cours de l’année passée, dans le cadre du projet FLOK.

Initié en Équateur, ce projet vise à établir une société de la connaissance libre et ouverte (FLOK est l’anagramme de Free/Libre Open Knowledge). Vers une saturation des communs ? 1. 2. 3. Bountysource. Business models for open-source software. Companies whose business centers on the development of open-source software employ a variety of business models to solve the challenge of how to make money providing software that is by definition licensed free of charge. Each of these business strategies rests on the premise that users of open-source technologies are willing to purchase additional software features under proprietary licenses, or purchase other services or elements of value that complement the open-source software that is core to the business.

This additional value can be, but not limited to, enterprise-grade features and up-time guarantees (often via a service-level agreement) to satisfy business or compliance requirements, performance and efficiency gains by features not yet available in the open source version, legal protection (e.g., indemnification from copyright or patent infringement), or professional support/training/consulting that are typical of proprietary software applications.

Not selling code[edit] Problems and Strategies in Financing Voluntary Free Software Projects :: Benjamin Mako Hill. Benjamin Mako Hill This is revision 0.2.1 of this file and was published on November 20, 2012. Revision 0.2 was published on June 10, 2005. Revision 0.1 was published on May 15, 2005 and was written was presented as a talk at Linuxtag 2005 given in Karlsruhe, Germany. Revision 0 was published on May 2004 is based in part of the research and work done for a presentation on the subject given at the International Free Software Forum (FISL) given in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Abstract It's easier for a successful volunteer Free Software project to get money than it is to decide how to spend it. Introduction The love of money is the root of all evil.— New Testament St.

Using voluntary labor, free and open source software[1] projects have become massive commercial successes. This paper aims to provide a guide for voluntary projects who want to fund development as a well a guide for funders wishing to work with and support these projects. Volunteerism in Free Software Projects Conclusion. The Second Open Company — Gratipay Blog. Alexander Stigsen invented the “open company” in 2009 Gittip is a sustainable crowdfunding platform. We launched in June, 2012, and as of June, 2013 we have about 1,150 weekly active users exchanging $3,600 per week in small cash gifts. Soon after launch, I declared Gittip to be the first open company, which I defined according to three criteria: Share as much as possible.Charge as little as possible.Don’t compensate employees directly. Writing in July, 2012, I concluded: “I would be happy to learn about any existing open companies or similar entities.

To my knowledge this is the first.” Today, thanks to an email from Patrick Jefferson, I am indeed happy to acknowledge that Alexander Stigsen invented the open company in March, 2009 with his company, E Text Editor. E’s site is defunct (here’s its Wikipedia), and the original blog post articulating Alexander’s open company vision is gone. The perils of mixing open source and money (DHH)

Fundraising for open source has become trivial through venues like Kickstarter, so it's natural more projects are asking for money. "Imagine all the good I could do if I was able to work on this full time for the benefit of the community". Yes, let's imagine indeed. First of all, it's tempting to cash in on goodwill earned. Prolific open sourcerers rightfully earn the gratitude and admiration of their community.

Second, part of the reason much of open source is so good, and often so superior to closed-source commercial projects, is the natural boundary of constraints. But once there is money involved, work will expand to fill the amount raised (to paraphrase Parkinson's law). This problem is even true from the outset. But the most important issue I want to address is what happens when you change from social gratitude to market expectations in reaction to your work. External, expected rewards diminish the intrinsic motivation of the fundraising open-source contributor. Resentment — Gratipay Blog. From time to time it is suggested that Gittip is fatally flawed because it fosters resentment.

David Heinemeier Hansson posted yesterday about “[t]he perils of mixing open source and money,” in which he pointed out problems with crowdfunding open-source. “We plant the seeds of discontent by selective monetary rewards,” he wrote, and in follow-on conversation, he said of Gittip specifically, “I think that’s exactly the shit I find devaluing and dangerous about mixing market and social. Yuck.” Gittip wants an economy characterized by collaboration and trust and love, so for Gittip to foster unresolved resentment is a problem. In this post I’d like to address the problem head-on. Approaching Resentment Resentment is a negative emotion, an internalized anger at a wrong done to me. Feeling resentment is a sign that something is wrong: with a social system, with a relationship, or with myself.

This is so close to but so far from standard Internet vitriol. So what? Backwards Join a Team.