Last week, @staltz published an article looking at the funding of open source projects.

It's a long-form article full of nuance:

Tl/dr: More needs to be done to fund open development, including more pressure on companies to donate to projects they benefit from, unionising, alternative licences and more donations in general.

This made me wonder, should there be a day on the Fediverse where we promote donations to a particular project? For example a ?

I haven't checked the data, but I am curious whether a correllation can be made with permissive and copyleft licensing against income. I expect permissive licenses to draw more fame but less income.

@ashwinvis Very interesting! I'm curious to try this out in the data

@switchingsocial @staltz
Pressure companies? Is that the best suggestion?

@zudn @staltz

Well, the article suggests doing many things including pressuring companies, both as customers and employees.

@switchingsocial @staltz
I just took your summary that mentioned only that one.

@zudn @staltz

I tried to list four from the article (pressure on companies, unionising, more donations, alternative licences) but difficult to write it clearly within character limit :blobtongue:

@switchingsocial @staltz how did they treat salaries of people who are employed by companies to work on FOSS projects their employer benefits from? Did they count them towards revenue? Or did they not count those contributors towards the team size?

@Wolf480pl @staltz

Interesting point, I'm not sure, guessing they didn't count the company salaries as donations?

As far as I can tell, this article only covers income from direct donations because this is the only data visible on OpenCollective?

@switchingsocial @staltz in this case, I think they're largely missing the point.

Maybe it's just my bias, but I think most of the web technologies are designed with big corpos and their branded apps in mind, so I'd expect that most contributions to them are done on company time.

Moreover, I'm under the impression that the intended model of open-source development was that companies would contribute features they need and fixes for bugs they find.

@Wolf480pl @switchingsocial @staltz Article said he was talking to developers living on the donations. I'm not sure how closely he stuck to that premise when doing the data analysis. I also don't think he looked at how many were drawing income from multiple projects.

An interesting correlation would be average weekly hours spent on the projects by the devs.

@switchingsocial @staltz
Meet @phelion, who would like to have quarterly FLOSS Appreciation Donation campaigns. (See his toots)

@danielst @switchingsocial @staltz Thanks for the mention DanielTux! :)
As I attempted to explain in my 'toots' - the Soltices and Equinoxes are fairly arbitrary days that just happen to come with free advertising, so if we can somehow tie in those days to a campaign for people to show some appreciation for the many worthy FLOSS projects they use, then that should help encourage the folks that mean to get round to it but might not, (like myself usually) with a gentle nudge/reminder.

@switchingsocial @staltz An organized push for more donations would be cool! Using myself as an example, I use a lot of FOSS that I would like to give back to, but it's far from easy to figure out who to donate to and what donations go towards, and it's hard to pick a 'most deserving' project. Ideally, I'd pool my donations.
I know there are places like,, etc. etc. but it's still a jungle to sort out who's where, etc.

@canteen @switchingsocial @staltz Hi @canteen - partly why I thought the 'Solstinox' (quarterly) appreciation/donation campaign would be good was that you could donate a small amount to 2 or 3 different projects every 3 months - the Solstices/Equinoxes used as an easy nudge/reminder - and hopefully most of the projects you regularly use and enjoy will get a little cash boost throughout the year. Still a tricky choice but I started with 3 projects I use every day on every machine :)

@switchingsocial @staltz Nothing about government involvement? It’s the state that has built all our common infrastructure, even if a lot of it has since been privatized. As common infrastructure, Free/Libre software should be funded by usage taxes (like roads, energy transport networks, etc)

@Tryphon @switchingsocial I agree, that's one of the underexplored ways of funding OSS

@staltz @Tryphon

Maybe tax-funded public broadcasters could reinvent themselves as the makers of online infrastructure?

@cubicgarden works at BBC R&D and recently posted about a project to do with personal data storage, what if things like this were taken further, given more priority?

What if the same ethos behind public broadcasting was put to use building public internet resources? (If offline broadcast is on the way out anyway, it could be a lifeline for the public broadcasters too.)

@switchingsocial @staltz @cubicgarden interesting angle. I was thinking roads, you are thinking TV. Same public goods.

Absolutely... I can tell you more about the public service internet anytime
@staltz @Tryphon

@cubicgarden @switchingsocial @staltz Yes, please! Are there articles describing the initiative? I would love to send it lawmakers and pressure groups here.

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