Proposal: SPI as international money transfer service
Let me cite Mr. Reiser
( http://www.linux-watch.com/news/NS8278035161.html ):
"The legal costs, and the low rewards from open-source programming, had
also been upsetting Mr. Reiser. In a 2005 email conversation, he wrote,
'Free software is not a good way to make money. We as a society don't
create rewards for it. We could, but we don't. We could create a system
in which hardware was taxed and the users allocated the taxes to the
software they use, and that would fix the problem.'
'So, when I go to conferences, and people say odd things like 'It is an
honor to meet you.,' doing free software is great, but in the Alameda
County courts, if you don't have money, you are s***,' he added."
Not that taxing hardware to pay for a free source development
will work, but we should do something about it. Otherwise, open source
community will continue to lose its brightest people, burned out after
receiving no compensation for their best efforts.
What we do need, beside a good will, is a convenient, reliable,
affordable international money transfer service. PayPal and other
dot-com kids generally aren't. Postal money orders ( and Eurogiro )
ain't much better. Western Union is, by far, most competent service
available, only they'd charge me US $17+ for a single transaction,
depends on an amount being transferred. They all aren't up to a general
community benefit in long term.
Inconvenient, unreliable, expensive.
So, my question is: can we make SPI ( http://www.spi-inc.org/,
http://www.debian.org/donations ) into monetary service which accepts
from and is able to transfer money to any country in the world? Is able
to deliver money basically from door to door ( post-office/bank to
PO/B ) ? Doesn't require anything beside internet connection and local
bank / post office account? Charges only some percentage for its own
operational expenses, so there could be some sense in donating just a
few bucks, and be sure that most of it gets to intended developer ( and
yes, this is crucial ) ? Accepts donations for any developer and any
project, not just supported ones ? Provides traceable and secure
transactions, even if it doesn't deliver within minutes, days, weeks?
I have a feeling that such a service would greatly encourage
people to donate to open source developers, which in turn, would get
support they need to continue giving to the public. Most people would
like to help programmers, but they don't like the idea to spend most of
their money on a service just to get money moved around.