Hi SustainOSS, first new post here. I hope this message has found the right sub-category.
@Cameron_Greenburg and I’s public-benefit company FairOSS, is constructing a new model for sustainability (Our Groundwater Program) involving re-framing some fundamental norms around the use of the open source. We have established a trademark for our program to represent “fair play” principles that we hope will eventually become a widely adopted symbol for those organizations that contribute to the software that has generated value for them.
We hope to begin infusing the idea of open source as a form of investment capital into the public dialogue. We understand that this may ruffle feathers with some people, our intention is true and we don’t seek to be the only sustainability solution, just part of it. Currently, companies invest in their human capital by granting stock options, paying salaries, and benefits packages, and proprietary software through license subscriptions, we want them to invest in open source in a similar manner.
We are actively soliciting companies and have closed several equity arrangements with companies who want to contribute a percentage of their business value to their open source dependencies. We are still an early-stage company but are receiving some very promising market feedback for this idea.
To get this conversation started I wanted to see what the SustainOSS community thought of fairness as it relates to the use of open-source (maybe the use of open source can be adjusted here). We have taken the liberty of drafting some very preliminary principles in the hopes that you all could offer community insight, we don’t want to do this alone. Really excited to be part of this community and look forward to the discussion!
Draft Principles of Fairness in the Use of Open Source
- Code is free, communities are not (ie. people’s time is not a free resource)
- Open source software is capital, like investors, communities deserve a return
- Donations are great but equity is better
- Dependencies are projects too
- Financial contributions do not equal governance
- Project contributions take many forms and should be valued as such
Thanks all for reading!