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

On Sun, 2013-06-16 at 09:47 +0100, Philip Hands wrote:
> The idea that it's currently impossible to fund Free Software is
> nonsense. See IBM, HP, Canonical, my customers, anyone that's ever
> said to a DD (or anyone else for that matter): "I'll buy you a beer if
> you help me package this..."

The underlying assumption is wrong here. That only technical people,
companies with technical people, or people that engage in corrupt
bribery with alcohol are worthy of having their ideas and needs
addressed in Free Software.

It's nice to think everything is hunky-dory, but all I see is a large
sea of users completely cut off from remedy and lots of developers
complaining they don't have enough time because they need to take jobs
either doing non-free software or not-software.

Now maybe packagers don't need to be involved in handling the money, it
might not fit structurally and well funded upstreams might be able to
fill in any holes anyway. But to deny upstreams the access to their
users because it's 'advertising' just makes me sad. Yes, Of course it's
advertising! Just like sticking their package in the repository and
indexing it is advertising. Debian already seeks to have a relationship
with upstreams and enfeebling upstream development is not a good way to
have that relationship play out.

I'm happy to see more research on the psychological effects of money in
software. But I will say that if there are problems and it's impossible
to involve economics, they are problems with human psychology and
Debian's social structure, not with money itself.

Thanks for the debate.

Martin Owens

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