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Re: KickStarter for Debian packages - crowdfunding/donations for development

On 06/14/2013 07:20 AM, Paul Tagliamonte wrote:
> In particular, I have concerns on how people *collect* this money.
> In the case of a package maintainer, we don't require we know who
> they are, nor their legal name, or even where the live. Just an
> active, working email and good changes that we can upload (hell, they
> could even just get sponsorship via debdiffs without a GPG key for
> all we know). In that case, verifiying identity wouldn't be something
> we could do, nor do I think such people would give their bank numbers
>  up.

I agree, which is why the payment details live completely outside the
Debian systems. The only thing you'd need to initiate payment is an
e-mail address, or a PaySwarm financial account address, which looks
like this:


If a developer wants a payment, they can list a valid PaySwarm account,
or just provide their e-mail address. If they provide their e-mail
address, they'll get an e-mail from the PaySwarm payment processor
stating that someone has sent them some money.

It's up to the PaySwarm payment processors to verify names, addresses,
bank accounts, and credit card numbers. There are a number of legal
requirements when you process payments; know your customer (KYC) is one
of them. There are also anti-money laundering regulations that you must
ensure you follow to comply with the law. All of these things are things
that the Debian project doesn't want to (or have to) deal with wrt. the
current proposal.

> I think allowing users to 'tip' would be nice, but it creates this 
> system where now everyone wants to co-maint gcc, bash, libc, linux 
> and not really "do" anything.

Right, which is why one solution is making it up to the package
maintainers and software authors to figure out how payments should be
split up. I think we all agree that tips should be distributed based on
merit and that the maintainers have a pretty good idea of how that
should go. In the event that the maintainers and upstream can't come to
an agreement, they could always just opt to send the donation upstream
to the Debian Project.

> Payment systems in general tend to lead to "paybullying", which is 
> something I'd really (really) like to avoid. I've always loved how 
> un-corporate the Debian community is.

I agree that we really don't want that. Any suggestions about how we
might be able to avoid it?

> I'm very lukewarm about this right now, but I think with some sound 
> arguments, I'd warm up to it.

Let me know if the above makes sense. I'd be happy to answer more
questions if it would help. :)

> P.S., I do like your work on JSON-LD, Manu!

Thanks! Fun fact: We built JSON-LD because of PaySwarm. We needed to
make sure that the core financial protocol could be extensible in a
distributed way, and JSON-LD ended up being the solution for that.

You can see how JSON-LD is used for the PaySwarm financial protocol and
digital receipts here:



-- manu

Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny, G+: +Manu Sporny)
Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
blog: Meritora - Web payments commercial launch

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