[conspire] (forw) [MaraDNS list] Why I won't use Flattr or another similar scheme

Tony Godshall tony at of.net
Thu Nov 10 11:00:21 PST 2011

The payment schemes part is interesting- I'm glad
to hear a reasonable perspective on these things-
I havent been following them.

It's also good to hear that MaraDNS is mature enough for
the author to be able to use it for his needs without further
non-security modification.

Some thoughts, not to Rick so much as to the choir:

Re: asking for money

I can certainly understand wanting to be compensated for
your time, especially once it's become a chore and there's
nothing further in it for you, and if people are asking for
features beyond what the author needs and not compensating
him, he *should* stop.  I certainly would.  In fact he
should be commended for taking it this far and commended
for making the announcement about the status of his
project.  Many burn-outs just go quiet and you are left
wondering what happened to them.

Re: people who might feel abandoned or unsupported:

Nobody owes you updates or features for free.  It's open
source: scratch your own itch or pay someone to do it for

The reason so much effective software is available is that
we can all take advantage of the results of all that itch
reduction.  ((How could we fit itchiness into that famous
"I stand upon the shoulders..." quote?))

Re: free as in puppy

Someone described their open source software as "free",
in the sense of "free puppy"- it's free to acquire but it *will*
cost you time and money as you train it to do what *you*
want it to do and not do.

On Wed, Nov 9, 2011 at 11:44 AM, Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:
> Forwarding just because I find Sam's analysis interesting.  Failure to
> get the economic model right is unfortunately widespread in tech.
> Consider for example the SMTP spam deluge resulting, in part, from
> shoveling most of the expense onto the recipient, rather than the
> sender.
> Sam is author and sole maintainer of MaraDNS, one of the leading DNS
> nameserver packages.
> ----- Forwarded message from Sam Trenholme <maradns at gmail.com> -----
> Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2011 13:03:57 -0600
> From: Sam Trenholme <maradns at gmail.com>
> To: list at maradns.org
> Subject: [MaraDNS list] Why I won't use Flattr or another similar scheme
> Flattr and Kachingle are two proposed systems for giving money to
> creators of music, art, software, and other digital goods.
> Flattr was created by one of the people behind The Pirate Bay, which
> should give one an idea of the mindset behind these two schemes. The
> thinking is this: You put a small amount of money, such as five
> dollars, in a fund for compensating digital goods creators. Every time
> you see a digital good you feel is worth paying for, you click on the
> "flattr me" or whatever button.
> At the end of the month, flattr takes the monthly contribution you
> made, skims off their maintenance fee, then divides up what's left by
> the number of web sites where you clicked on.
> So, say, if someone has a $13 monthly piggy bank for flattr
> contributions, and flattr gets $1, the contributor has $12 set aside
> for donating to sites. If they click on a single site, that one site
> gets all $12. If they click on three sites, each sites gets $4. 12
> sites, and each site only gets $1.
> The problem is that flattr doesn't allow the buyer to assign a value
> to a digital good. In the real world, if someone sees 12 different
> cups they wish to buy, they will have to pay 12 times as much as they
> would if they only bought one cup. In the real world, if a buyer of
> goods becomes greedy and wants more of something, it is the greedy
> person's bank account which suffers the consequences. The greedy
> person will now have to work harder to generate more goods and
> services to pay off their debts.
> In the flattr world, on the other hand, if the buyer becomes greedy
> and wants more of something, it is the bank accounts of the creators
> of digital content that suffer. The greedy flattr user is not
> motivated to generate goods and services to compensate for the goods
> and services that they have consumed. Worse yet, the people who do
> create digital content are given less compensation for the same amount
> of work, and therefore are less motivated to produce more digital
> goods.
> Flattr is not a sustainable viable model for compensating the
> producers of digital content a fair price for their hard work.
> If people want to see MaraDNS continue to thrive and flourish, they
> will need to compensate me for my work. That means a real PayPal
> donation. Asking me to use flattr or some other unproven idea (such as
> Bitcoin) instead of making a PayPal donation doesn't cut it.
> Enough of the excuses. If I don't start getting compensated again a
> reasonable amount ($100 to $200 a month) for my work on MaraDNS, I
> will no longer be motivated to work on MaraDNS, except maybe to fix
> security and other critical bugs a couple of hours once a month.
> MaraDNS and Deadwood already nicely meet my own needs, so I no longer
> have a non-financial motivation to work on MaraDNS anymore.
> - Sam
> ----- End forwarded message -----
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Best Regards.
This is unedited.

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