Sustain Together - October Summary

Every other Friday, we host a weekly call to document, share, and respond to current events in open source sustainability.

We have two calls coming up in November:

Here is a summary of all our October calls.

October 7th, 2022

Big news this week: Securing Open Source Software Act of 2022. It calls for a federal OSPO that would have 2 years to figure out what OSS they’re using as a government. We noted that the definition of open source was not OSI’s open source definition, and it seems to refer to all of open source as a single community. We’ll be interested to see if this passes!

Faker.js hit 1.4M downloads, and collects $20K annually on open collective. This demonstrated the resilience of the ecosystem, but brought up questions on whether the original creator should get paid? We like seeing more platforms appear for funding the open source ecosystem. Stackaid came up in the forum a bit. But we can’t forget by our friends Ben & Andrew, and Back Your Stack still works.

Also reading: Amanda Brock’s book on open source policy, GSOC completed projects, and a Linux distro for the visually impaired.

October 21st, 2022

Casual chat this week where we revisited some big ideas around the Tragedy of the Commons & taxing for open source. This led to ask: are there open source economists? Should we invite economists into these conversations?



Oct 7: @abbycabs @RichardLitt @Anita_Ihuman @coni2k @brownie @Ibiam

Oct 21: @coni2k @abbycabs @Ibiam @brownie


I won’t be able to make it, =( - service that analyzes package dependencies and uses PayPal to distribute payouts to dependency tree

however, I would like to note that Sentry and Sourcegraph (who I work for) will be having a Twitter Space with the creator of @nehzata on Monday

Look forward to the notes and hopefully see you all Monday. =)

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Will this still hold today? I joined the BBB link on the summary doc: Sustain OSS, but it is lonely.

EDIT: Logged off.


Hello Osioke, it starts in a 8 minutes . You can rejoin then


Ouch, I became a victim of daylight changes :sweat_smile:

I joined the meeting at 19:00 in Istanbul (16:00 UTC), while apparently, the others joined at 20:00.

It looks like we need to fix the times in the document:
Sustain Together Discussions

I just checked the invitation for Google Calendar, which uses Eastern Time - New York (12 pm ET) as a timezone.

But 12 pm ET is 17:00 UTC + 6 pm BST now, not 16:00 UTC + 5 pm BST.

@abbycabs, should we remove the UTC and BST times from the document to avoid confusion?

And also, the Outlook invitation ends in September.

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Thanks for these summaries! :pray:

Casual chat this week where we revisited some big ideas around the Tragedy of the Commons & taxing for open source.

Let me clarify the “taxation” part since it’s a little broad term, and it’s been a while since I mentioned the “open source tax” here.

The question is how to finance the open source ecosystem if we recognize it as a new type of public good.

The idea is to introduce a dedicated tax to proprietary software sales on top of “value added tax” (or “sales tax” in the US). So, each time a consumer purchases licensed software, they also pay this extra tax on top of the sales price. Then, ideally through a transparent public fund, the collected taxes should be distributed back to the open source ecosystem to generate steady revenue.

For 1% open source tax, the invoice should look like this:

This approach makes it a two-way relationship with the actual market, where the open-source ecosystem constantly contributes. There’s nothing optional, voluntary, or random. If the market performs well, the open source ecosystem grows and vice versa.

I want to study the numbers on how much revenue open source tax could generate globally and per country, but to give us an idea, one figure I found after a quick search:

The global business software and services market size was valued at USD 429.59 billion in 2021

The purpose of introducing such a tax is to solve the investment coordination issue (a.k.a tragedy of the commons), something the individual consumers cannot achieve. And our long-term plan should be to expand the open source ecosystem as much as possible (maximize freedom and innovation), hence why we need to pull such a big gun.

In other words, we should aim to build an environment where it’s normal for any regular (software) company to contribute to the open source ecosystem/digital public goods and generate revenue from it.

There are many details to cover about this scenario, but I wanted to explain the basic structure.


Oh no! Sorry for the time zone confusion @coni2k & @osioke.

I’ve deleted the calendar invites & updated the UTC time for now (but I guess we’ll have to update it every time daylight savings changes?)

If anyone has the bandwidth figure out a better way to get this on people’s calendars, this would be great and very helpful contribution!


Thanks for adding more details – I know I put a super high level summary for that week :sweat_smile:


I’m finding this hard to join while in NZ! Planning on rejoining when I am back in US-land, if that’s alright. :slight_smile:

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