[sf-lug] any opinions or thoughts on identi.ca?

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sun Sep 13 01:06:44 PDT 2009

Quoting Bill Kendrick (nbs at sonic.net):

> Some of us are greedy, and wish we could work on our open source projects
> all day long, continue to release them for free, and still somehow pay
> rent/mortgage and feed our family...

Yeah, that would certainly be nice.

OSI used to have some analysis essays -- they might still -- pointing
out that the vast majority of all software developed isn't publicly
distributed in any way, but rather is internally developed within firms,
foundations, governments, etc., to solve the needs of that group.  So,
the firms / governments / etc. keep coders on payroll to (among other
things) write and maintain that code.  OSI's point was that the
sponsoring groups could reduce costs, improve maintainability and
debugging, increase the acceptability of the programs' data structures
and interfaces as a standard to others, etc., by making the code be
under an open source / free software licence.

So, if you happen to work for such an organisation, you might end up
being paid (in effect and at least in part) to write open source code --
because your employer needs it done, and the licensing meets their

The larger point is that making a living by _selling software_ has
always been a relatively rare and somewhat freaky model for software

However, there have always been a number of standard ways for making
money in those freaky scenarios where it'd deemed desirable to try to
earn a living from software directly, e.g., the support sellers, loss
leader, widget frosting, and accessorising moderls.  See:

Often, dual proprietary / free licensing is useful for those methods.

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