Erm - maybe he should just pay?
I think it's awesome he's NOW putting some money and ingenuity and time into open source software. If El Reg was trying to highlight that this is in fact what open source is about - not just complaining when Oracle decides to take its bat and ball away and go home - then good on 'em.
But really - 50 servers running for paying customers, and he hasn't already been factoring in $1000 per socket? Open Source Software (Free Software) is not about getting away without paying - it's about having the freedom to improve and customise the software. The guy says he was contributing previously - I guess at some significantly lower level (or else the article is hardly news is it?).
Over 6 years I've invested roughly $750K gross (errm $500K net?) into the F&OSS I run my business on. To me it seems that just because licensees don't have a legal obligation to pay/contribute they think they can get away without it - it's all "someone else will pay". I'm sorry to burst someone's utopian dream - if nobody pays then the programmers eventually get tired of being evicted from their houses, and no young programmers have success stories to inspire them to pursue this model.
Perhaps if this guy had been contributing at this level all along then Sun would still be around, or the new sponsor (Oracle) would have felt they were getting real value out of having their asset free/open - not just simply carrying a lot of freeloaders with no net benefit.