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Discussion on: When will we start paying for open source modules?

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pazvanti profile image
pazvanti

I don't think this will work. Open-source projects don't make money from selling the functionality but from premium support and donations. If a project is truly useful, it will get donations from companies that use it. Many companies donate thousands of dollars per year per project. That is how big open-source projects survive. Also, many open-source projects are actually maintained by big companies that just want to make the code freely available.

Now, why won't your idea work? Let's assume that you have ProjectX open-source. But it depends on three other projects and those can also depend on others. Where do you draw the line for paying? Do you pay only to the top-most project? Do you drip-down payments to the rest? If you only pay 0.15$, there may be even less than 1 cent per project. Do you pay 15 cents per project/ the total cost can reach 10 or maybe even 20$ (or a lot more on certain frameworks). Totally not sustainable.

Also, under what circumstances will you ask for money? Will I need to pay just for commercial projects or for home projects as well? Also, at what point will an experiment turn in a commercial one? Furthermore, how will you enforce payment?

Open-source projects should remain as they are. There are projects that do offer something similar to what you described. A game engine comes in mind now. The code is freely available and you are free to use it, but once you get more than a certain amount in sales, you pay a percentage (4% I think) of the revenue.

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reggi profile image
Thomas Reggi Author

Wow, thank you Pazvanti for your wise and well worded response. I've been considering the current crypto-craze and thinking about digital commodities and the world of Non-fungible tokens (NFT's). For some reason my mind is trying to create value / worth in all things that we currently deem as free. I value your insight and I do I think you're right, this will never happen as I described, it's to cumbersome.

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pazvanti profile image
pazvanti

There are ways to monetize open-source projects. People that work on them need to get paid as well and it is a big industry. There are many licenses available or maybe even partial-openness.
The big problem, for any project/product, is not getting the money, is making something useful enough that people or companies want to pay.

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