The internet runs on free open-source software. Who pays to fix it?

I’ve found this amazing article from MIT Technology Review journal, that remarks the economical aspect in the OSS development and its role in the challenges to maintain the Web infrastructure.

Some brieflines

  • “Why would tech companies pay for something they get for free? But the immense importance of open-source software means that the status quo is increasingly seen as untenable.”
  • “Volunteerism is unsustainable for critical infrastructure because volunteers are well within their rights to only work on the fun or interesting parts of the ‘job, … An open-source project also needs careful testing, release engineering, issue triage, security reviews, code review of contributions—and a maintainer may find some or none of these aspects motivating in themselves.”
  • “Fairness is a problem, There’s this weird imbalance, where you profit from something but you don’t give anything back.”
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After death of Aaron Swartz, and Jeffrey Epstein sponsoring Media Lab, MIT is hardly the voice that protects values of hackers’ community. It was hacked itself.

Volunteerism is unsustainable for critical infrastructure…

If I was Microsoft who wants to continue living off government contracts while governments realize that software for public money should be public, then I would try to discredit Open Source movement once more through “trustworty” media as MIT, to hijack the value stream. It is not enough for the company to be managing Open Source, the process should be Open Source too, like with Open Collective. Then for me personally it doesn’t even matter if it is Microsoft or not. As a maintainer I want to have the freedom to change the company, not to be deadlocked with my knowledge in the lawyers jails.

Code is alive only while it in the heads of maintainers, and I hope forcing a system that puts them in containers with NDA and non-disclosures it not how “critical infrastructure” will be managed. Not with the modern 20 century slavery. I believe it is possible to do this in open and humanistic way.