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Ransom model for Free software development?

1 reply [Last post]
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Joined: 2007-09-10

I ran across this today:
http://www.theoretic.com/projects/ransom

Personally, I think it's a great idea.

Even if big companies don't use it, it might be interesting for small developers who want to make their projects Free/libre, but need money. Smiling

What do you think about it?

Another interesting project I discovered recently is COfundOS: http://cofundos.org/index.php

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
I think ransom is a great

I think ransom is a great model, but the article you linked describes it as different than I usually think of it. The ransom model that I like is one in which the software simply remains unreleased until a desired amount of money is pledged for it, not releasing software as proprietary and then as free.

In the latter case, which theoretic.com describes still ends up restricting people for a time with no good reason. I also don't really agree that "keeping them proprietary is the best choice for copyright authors who need a steady income to live well". It's just a common myth. Even in a proprietary world there is plenty of competition in many software and art fields, who says you'll earn a dime by making your software proprietary and for-pay?

It is also in my opinion false to say that free software model is unfair for removing opportunities for reliable income. Such claims miss the fact that at the same time it opens new opportunities (modify existing source code for pay for example - custom coding, where most money is).

So in short, I like the ransom model, but not the version of it described by theoretic.com.

As for cofundos.org, that's indeed a great project which just shows even more the existance of commercial opportunities with Free Software. It also reminds me of Fundable.org.

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