…he risk of abuse of power from international conglomerates greatly outweighs that from foundations. And yet developers, who notoriously undervalue contributions that are not in the form of code, continue to undervalue the contributions made by foundations.
In order to make sure that everyone gets paid fairly, I see a role for organizations that have already become an important part of the open source fabric: technology foundations and trade associations. In addition to the regulations listed above, imagine if technology companies beyond a certain size and federally funded research universities were required to underwrite grants designed to fund open source development. Foundations provide a well-understood means for distributing those grants to those most in need or move deserving. Because these non-profit organizations are already funding a large portion of software development, they are best equipped to develop reasonable criteria for distribution.
…ce software, open source development is used to provide oxygen to many proprietary business models. There is no community-based model that is going to prevent this. Relying on the “free market” to push development to be more collaborative will simply not work. At best, we’ll get what we have now: open source infrastructure embedded in proprietary products and services. The human impulse to declare scarcity in order to reap monetary rewards is simply too strong to overcome with a community policing effort.
ust be able to see a world…t its aims run counter to the quarterly financial goals that these companies religiously adhere to. I greatly admire anyone who’s willing to list all the logical reasons why companies should invest in the sustainability of open source ecosystems, but I’m not hopeful that any modern company can see the utility in investing for the greater good if there’s no direct measurable relationship between that and its pursuit of higher profits. In order to invest in this sustainability, modern conglomerates must be able to see a world that’s greater than their immediate reach, and that is simply not the case in 2018. If these companies can’t even invest significant sums in combating climate change — something that *does* have a direct measurable impact on its future profits —what makes you think they will care about the sustainability of open source projects and communities?