Reply to post: Re: Seems fair

FUSE for macOS: Why a popular open source library became closed source and commercially licensed

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: Seems fair

> I was always puzzled how Open Source could possibly sustain itself.

Then you lack experience in running a business.

You sell your service, not your code.

Someone wants feature X, then they should pay something for it if they want it done within X time.

Someone has found a bug that needs fixing and fast because its impacting their business, well how about £100 an hour?

Or a support contract for a few grand a year.

Its no different than invoicing someone when you go out to fix their till system or replace that faulty customer wifi access point. The could go to PC world and get the bits themselves sure, but tell them good luck when they find it broke. Or say "unsupported stuff can be supported at £150 an hour".

If you think you are going to make money charging people to download and run bytes you are wearing rose tinted specs. Those days are GONE, heck you don't even have to pay for windows 10, unless you are ignorant of the upgrade path. Most of the best and most popular games cost nothing. They are funded by some people paying money in the game itself, optionally.

"But if I charge for things like that someone will fork the code or use another fork"

Whats the matter? Afraid of competition?

You see whats happened here is software went proprietary and you could directly charge for literally nothing but electrical impulses that represent a program. The Free Software and Open Source movements naturally surfaced to combat this trend. The problem is, the idea of making it rich off bytes and bytes alone stuck, which is weird, and resulted in coders who try and scrape along doing just that. Some succeed because they are employed by a big corp, the clever ones realise that the code is not the money maker, its the enabler.

Its like having a land owner enjoy all the money made off charging the public to access his land. Then this land is reclassified as common land, access is now free. But the land owner tries to rely on donations for "upkeep" and complains loudly about not making enough money off it anymore and that common land is some crazy idea that will never work.

Who do you side with? The common people who can now use a common resource as a right, passing such rights onto their children? Or the landowner who is so stuck in the mud and inflexible as to not be able to make the money off his other skills / assets.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020