Please, stop the FLOSS donation guilt trips and begging!

Discuss how to promote using FLOSS to make music.

Moderators: khz, MattKingUSA

danboid
Established Member
Posts: 1305
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:28 am
Location: England

Please, stop the FLOSS donation guilt trips and begging!

Postby danboid » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:47 am

You'll have to excuse me - this has been bugging me for some time now and I decided it was time I got this off my chest.

First, I need to make a few things clear. I do not have any objection to people making money out of FLOSS software - even Stallman is cool with that and says its OK by his frequently cited principles. It takes huge amounts of time, patience, dedication and knowledge to produce complex software and good FLOSS authors deserve to be paid just as much as those who charge money. I am even more friendly to commercial software than RMS though in that I am also encouraging people to port non-free software (esp. those without good FLOSS equivalents) to Linux and I have also bought non-free Linux software in the past but there is an aspect to free software I DO NOT like and that is begging and trying to guilt-trip people into paying for free software. I'm hoping this message will help deter such behaviour in the future.

I have normally not announced it in public when I have done so but I have made significant donations both financially and moreso huge donations of my time to numerous open source projects (largely as a tester and bug reporter) that I shall not name. When I have paid money to an author, I have never done so because they pleaded for a donation. That would actually put me off. Its only because I felt that they deserved it for their great work and/or help offered to myself or the community.

What I'm saying is this. I'm cool and I think its fine for FLOSS authors to accept donations - they deserve it - but

please please PLEASE

don't go trying to guilt-trip people into funding or renumerating folks for FLOSS software - it's not free anymore then, is it? If you are writing software, documentation, maintaining a distro or repo or whatever it is you are doing in the world of FLOSS DO NOT do it and EXPECT to be paid! If this was the mentality of everybody, we would likely have NO free software movement!

If you demand or think your morally due payment for your every byte or minute you have contributed to a certain project then you are not thinking in a way compatible with the free software community and you should instead release you wares commercially or as shareware or donationware or whatever - forms of distribution that will not require you to go begging or trying to guilt-trip people into paying.

If financial gain is your primary objective or you think you should always be paid for your work, please think twice about getting involved in the free software communities. Most of us are not in this for the money.

Thanks for taking the time to read my rant - I feel better already!

:D
Are you new to Linux Audio? This manual explains how to install KXStudio, set up and use JACK, mimimize latency, lists the best Linux AV apps and much more all in a concise and easy to understand format.

http://wiki.linuxaudio.org/wiki/kxstudio_manual

tux99
Established Member
Posts: 344
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:42 am
Contact:

Re: Please, stop the FLOSS donation guilt trips and begging!

Postby tux99 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:55 am

danboid wrote: there is an aspect to free software I DO NOT like and that is begging and trying to guilt-trip people into paying for free software.

So what's your definition of "begging and trying to guilt-trip people"?
Are you referring to something like Ardour does, or is the mere presence of a 'donate' button on the web site already too much for you to bear?

You need to also consider that not only do FOSS devs work for free but they often also spend their own money in the process, for example for web and file hosting. For example I spend 20 USD a month for the VPS where my Centos/SL/RHEL repo is hosted.
Are we at least 'allowed' to recover our expenses?

If financial gain is your primary objective or you think you should always be paid for your work, please think twice about getting involved in the free software communities.


That is nonsense as companies like Redhat and Suse prove. Or are you saying only big corporations are allowed to make money, not the humble open source software author?

danboid
Established Member
Posts: 1305
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:28 am
Location: England

Re: Please, stop the FLOSS donation guilt trips and begging!

Postby danboid » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:11 am

Tux99:

I said already that I'm totally fine with donate buttons and authors receiving money. I'm also fine with non-free software ala Red Hat and Suse, as you mention.

To use those companies as examples, I have never seen Red Hat or Suse posting messages to forums or mailing lists saying 'please donate for Fedora or opensuse' ie please pay for our free software. They don't. They have separate distros for their non-free products because they are being open and honest about expecting payment.

I'm also fine with the method took to fund Sorcerer recently and crowdsourcing sites - again thats being upfront but releasing something for free and then crying that no-one is donating or you're not receiving enough donations is what I'd like to see less of.
Are you new to Linux Audio? This manual explains how to install KXStudio, set up and use JACK, mimimize latency, lists the best Linux AV apps and much more all in a concise and easy to understand format.

http://wiki.linuxaudio.org/wiki/kxstudio_manual

TheSafePlaces
Established Member
Posts: 200
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:50 am

Re: Please, stop the FLOSS donation guilt trips and begging!

Postby TheSafePlaces » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:47 am

Danboid...

danboid wrote: releasing something for free and then crying that no-one is donating or you're not receiving enough donations is what I'd like to see less of.

I guess I'd agree, although I suppose it could also be out of sheer frustration that a dev would say that. As most of FOSS starts off as scratching a personal itch, it is possible that devs have a vision for their software, and lack of a steady flow of donations may hold them back from achieving said vision...not hard to imagine this frustration.

danboid wrote:If financial gain is your primary objective or you think you should always be paid for your work, please think twice about getting involved in the free software communities. Most of us are not in this for the money.

This, however, I take issue with. Not with any one person though - it's this attitude that holds back FOSS in general, and this very attitude which keeps businesses from engaging in FOSS. Money is ESSENTIAL for the long term good of ANYTHING. I can't believe I'd be saying that, but FOSS is, in fact, what opened my eyes to that.

IF people like, say, falktx, were paid for their work, they could be doing a HELL lot more than they are now - not to say he isn't doing anything less than phenomenal at the moment, though, but my point stands.

We were talking about Linux apps crashing in IRC yesterday, and guess what - upgrading to new versions wouldn't be a touchy issue, and software in general would be less crashy (although it was established that Linux software crash significantly less than Windows freeware stuff; my point was that they crash at all) - IF devs had big teams of dedicated testers. What gets that? Money.

General message - If you really care about your vision for your software and about FOSS...start making money through it. Do the Sorcer-release-system, do donations-for-features/fixes, snowdrift.coop might help when it comes (I frown on things like premium versions because they involve artificial scarcity, and hence don't recommend that). Aim to profit from it, so you don't need a day job and can give your project your full attention, and to invest in your project for its betterment.
Looking for the ideal distro. NixOS?
Newbie composer, somewhat-experienced classical guitarist.
Largely known as HisaoNakai/contrapunctus on IRC and other places.

tux99
Established Member
Posts: 344
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:42 am
Contact:

Re: Please, stop the FLOSS donation guilt trips and begging!

Postby tux99 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:27 am

danboid wrote:I said already that I'm totally fine with donate buttons and authors receiving money. I'm also fine with [...] but releasing something for free and then crying that no-one is donating or you're not receiving enough donations is what I'd like to see less of.


Ok, you have listed all sorts of things that you are fine with but can you also give some concrete examples of what you mean by "crying that no-one is donating or you're not receiving enough donations"?

I have only very rarely come across such behaviour so I'm a bit baffled about what triggered your post.


Don't get me wrong, I'd much rather live in a world without money, where people freely share what they produce (be it food or products and services of any kind) and only take what they need (i.e. not abusing the fact that everything is free). This would be the ideal environment for free software to thrive because it would be on an equal footing with everything else.

Unfortunately we don't (yet) live in such a world so for now even software devs have to make money to afford such things as food and shelter and not everyone has a well-paid main job, quite a few FOSS devs are students or people that are not in regular employment for one reason or another.

User avatar
autostatic
Established Member
Posts: 1728
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:26 pm
Location: Beverwijk, The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Please, stop the FLOSS donation guilt trips and begging!

Postby autostatic » Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:13 pm

danboid wrote:If financial gain is your primary objective or you think you should always be paid for your work, please think twice about getting involved in the free software communities. Most of us are not in this for the money.
Hi Dan, the first objective could go together well with involvement in free software communities.The very company I work for is a good example. We use a lot of code of the Doubango project (http://www.doubango.org/) for instance with the primary objective to make money out of it. Do not overlook this aspect of open source, it is in fact a very important one and one that helps keeping open source alive.

danboid
Established Member
Posts: 1305
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:28 am
Location: England

Re: Please, stop the FLOSS donation guilt trips and begging!

Postby danboid » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:23 pm

Safeplaces:

I cannot argue that all FLOSS projects benefit from cash - of course they do. Money talks and I never said otherwise.

Tux99:

If devs are so dependent on income from their FLOSS project, it shouldn't be FLOSS. Otherwise, crowdsource or make it shareware or whatever but don't give something 'for free' then start saying nasty things about those who accept the gift but don't contribute back. If this is unacceptable to anyone - don't do free! Its that easy!

I could give examples of this happening but I'd rather not name names as there is no need to. I just want those who have been making people feel guilty for not paying for something that is supposedly free to think about their actions. They may have only had good intentions but I suspect they never considered the points I raised in my OP here and how people may view such behaviour and its effect on peoples view of 'free' software.

Autostatic:

Yep, I have already discussed the many valid ways people can monetize FLOSS with resorting to psycological swipes and guilt. That company seems to be a good example.

F:

Of course I have no issues with your donate button - I 've already said I don't have an issue with that and I haven't been referring to you as the beggar, although I know you have highlighted your less than ideal financial situation. I'm jobless and poor too!

I've said all I need to on this now and don't see any benefit from discussing this any further. Thanks for listening everyone!
Are you new to Linux Audio? This manual explains how to install KXStudio, set up and use JACK, mimimize latency, lists the best Linux AV apps and much more all in a concise and easy to understand format.

http://wiki.linuxaudio.org/wiki/kxstudio_manual

tux99
Established Member
Posts: 344
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:42 am
Contact:

Re: Please, stop the FLOSS donation guilt trips and begging!

Postby tux99 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:41 pm

danboid wrote:If devs are so dependent on income from their FLOSS project, it shouldn't be FLOSS. Otherwise, crowdsource or make it shareware or whatever but don't give something 'for free' then start saying nasty things about those who accept the gift


I disagree and you seem to be misunderstanding the meaning of 'free' in FLOSS, it's free as in 'libre' not necessarily free as in 'beer'!

For example I think the way Ardour does it now by charging for binaries is very clever, the only thing that I don't agree with is that Ardour even tries to get a donation from those who download the source code tarball. That is a bit extreme in my view.

FLOSS has many advantages for the developer too compared to closed-source shareware (bug fixes from the community, more publicity, more goodwill from users due to lack of lock-in, the ability to leverage other open source in their project) so it's not necessarily true that it's easier to make money from closed-source software.

danboid
Established Member
Posts: 1305
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:28 am
Location: England

Re: Please, stop the FLOSS donation guilt trips and begging!

Postby danboid » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:46 pm

I understand 'free' software very well and I have already stated I have made considerable donations to multiple free software projects but my point is that WAS NOT because they tried to guilt-trip me. Quite the opposite.
Are you new to Linux Audio? This manual explains how to install KXStudio, set up and use JACK, mimimize latency, lists the best Linux AV apps and much more all in a concise and easy to understand format.

http://wiki.linuxaudio.org/wiki/kxstudio_manual

male
Established Member
Posts: 232
Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 5:45 pm

Re: Please, stop the FLOSS donation guilt trips and begging!

Postby male » Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:49 pm

danboid wrote:I understand 'free' software very well and I have already stated I have made considerable donations to multiple free software projects but my point is that WAS NOT because they tried to guilt-trip me. Quite the opposite.


Woah there danboid. Why do you let other people's needs irritate you so much? In any case, since you refuse to name names, none of us can judge for ourselves whether or not your rant is somehow justified...

Just watch this:

http://www.ted.com/talks/amanda_palmer_the_art_of_asking.html

Wherein a successful woman explains why she is not ashamed to still ask for help or to recieve it. You might find it soothing.
Image

danboid
Established Member
Posts: 1305
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:28 am
Location: England

Re: Please, stop the FLOSS donation guilt trips and begging!

Postby danboid » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:50 pm

Thanks male!

I've already watched that video. Amanda Palmer is very lucky to have such generous fans but obviously they think she's earned it. Not every talented artist/dev/cause etc. is so lucky and she was riding the crest of the crowdsourcing wave then. Can it continue or will the crowdfunding buzz and enthusiasm die down shortly?

To try and make an more on topic comparison, I think crowdfunding and Amanda's $1M+ album could be like the RPi. There have been many superior ARM devices released since for similar amounts of money but they've failed the attract the attention the RPi got, mainly because it was the first in that price bracket. I suppose its runaway success can be explained by the RPi team being well connected too, maybe?
Are you new to Linux Audio? This manual explains how to install KXStudio, set up and use JACK, mimimize latency, lists the best Linux AV apps and much more all in a concise and easy to understand format.

http://wiki.linuxaudio.org/wiki/kxstudio_manual

male
Established Member
Posts: 232
Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 5:45 pm

Re: Please, stop the FLOSS donation guilt trips and begging!

Postby male » Wed Jul 03, 2013 6:47 pm

danboid wrote:Thanks male!

I've already watched that video. Amanda Palmer is very lucky to have such generous fans but obviously they think she's earned it. Not every talented artist/dev/cause etc. is so lucky and she was riding the crest of the crowdsourcing wave then. Can it continue or will the crowdfunding buzz and enthusiasm die down shortly?

To try and make an more on topic comparison, I think crowdfunding and Amanda's $1M+ album could be like the RPi. There have been many superior ARM devices released since for similar amounts of money but they've failed the attract the attention the RPi got, mainly because it was the first in that price bracket. I suppose its runaway success can be explained by the RPi team being well connected too, maybe?


The take away from the video is the strange psychology that makes giving you something for free and accepting a donation somehow deeply offensive while demanding payment before giving you anything is somehow not offensive at all and in fact encouraged ("get a real job!" etc. and your seeming approval of the recent Sorcer funding experiment).

There have also been studies showing that beggers make more than buskers. So someone producing free-software (which is a bit like busking) is actually likely to make less money than someone who produces nothing just asking for hand outs.

I find the fact that you are so repulsed by free software developers asking for donations to be yet another interesting anecdote on this aspect of psychology.

I'll tell you one from my perspective as a developer: I spend a lot more time improving my software and helping users than I do promoting it or asking for donations and the result is that I don't get very many. The reason is not hard to grasp. It is only the projects that beg and plead for donations and put in the time and effort to get the word out (when they could be improving the software instead) that earn any appreciable amount of donations.

Ardour gets more in donations in a week than I've got in 7 years. A recent experiment at http://lunduke.com has shown that Lunduke can generate nearly as much in donations as Ardour even though he produces only trifles. He's basically getting donations for his personality instead of any particular software product.

I don't think that giving up on the ideals of free-software is much of a solution. That's just a different way of saying "get a real job, you worthless bum!" to someone who has done nothing but good for you.
Image

nilshi
Established Member
Posts: 287
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:05 pm
Contact:

Re: Please, stop the FLOSS donation guilt trips and begging!

Postby nilshi » Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:29 pm

I need 3,5 million money-units to not produce an adventure game, err, some linux audio software now.

Nils

StudioDave
Established Member
Posts: 753
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2008 1:12 pm

Re: Please, stop the FLOSS donation guilt trips and begging!

Postby StudioDave » Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:51 pm

NilsGey wrote:I need 3,5 million money-units to not produce an adventure game, err, some linux audio software now.


Damn. Nils beat me to it. :)

User avatar
Ricardus
Established Member
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:29 pm

Re: Please, stop the FLOSS donation guilt trips and begging!

Postby Ricardus » Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:33 pm

This is one of those areas where people need to learn that what is true for you, isn't necessarily true for other people. And it seems to be the one lesson people very often don't learn.

If you don't like people "begging for donations," then don't do it. But everyone else in the world is entitled to do whatever they want to.

OK... so I don't like blue shirts. Somehow I have the right to declare I don't like blue shirts on forums, and imply because I don't like them, everyone else should not like them, too, just because I say so?

Complete and utter nonsense.

What's true for you isn't necessarily true for others.
Mastering/Mix Engineer
Available for hire


Return to “Music & FOSS Advocacy”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest