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Proposal #3: Upstream/Debian Project donations (was: PaySwarm-based donations)

This is a highly re-worked proposal for performing upstream donations
and donations to the Debian project. Major changes include:

* Debian developers are not allowed to receive any direct monetary
  contribution or change the upstream DONATE file in any way.
* The solution isn't specific to apt.
* The solution isn't PaySwarm specific. Upstream developers can list
  Bitcoin addresses, PaySwarm addresses, or URLs that lead to
  payment gateways like PayPal, Google Wallet, etc.

There will be a package called 'donate' that will install a program
called 'donate' on the system. If someone wants to send $5 to an
upstream project, they can do something like the following:

donate PACKAGE $5

The donate program will look for a file named:


If it finds that file, it will read entries from it to see if there are
any donation mechanisms listed. If it finds a URL, it will open a web
browser to the URL. If it finds a Bitcoin address, it will open a
Bitcoin client with the payment amount pre-filled. If it finds a
PaySwarm address, it will make the donation via the command line. The
file will support N donation targets, with the ability to split the
donation among the N targets on a percentage basis (if the payment
system supports it).

The other way that you can use the application is like so:

donate $5

In this case, the program will scan the current directory for a DONATE
file. If one is found, the same process as listed above happens. This
allows people to checkout source code and use the donate program.

If a DONATE file is not found, the default (if run from Debian) will be
to offer to send the donation to a number of Free Software / Free
Culture foundations: Debian Project, EFF, Apache Foundation, Creative
Commons, SPI, etc.

The discussion between Nikolaus Rath and Russ Allbery seemed to indicate
that this approach would work for the Debian Developer community. Many
thanks to Nikolaus for asking the right set of questions. :)

Does this sound like a workable solution?

-- 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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