Skip site navigation (1)Skip section navigation (2)

FreeBSD Manual Pages


home | help

       fsf-funding - Funding Free Software

   Funding Free	Software
       If you want to have more	free software a	few years from now, it makes
       sense for you to	help encourage people to contribute funds for its
       development.  The most effective	approach known is to encourage
       commercial redistributors to donate.

       Users of	free software systems can boost	the pace of development	by
       encouraging for-a-fee distributors to donate part of their selling
       price to	free software developers---the Free Software Foundation, and

       The way to convince distributors	to do this is to demand	it and expect
       it from them.  So when you compare distributors,	judge them partly by
       how much	they give to free software development.	 Show distributors
       they must compete to be the one who gives the most.

       To make this approach work, you must insist on numbers that you can
       compare,	such as, "We will donate ten dollars to	the Frobnitz project
       for each	disk sold."  Don't be satisfied	with a vague promise, such as
       "A portion of the profits are donated," since it	doesn't	give a basis
       for comparison.

       Even a precise fraction "of the profits from this disk" is not very
       meaningful, since creative accounting and unrelated business decisions
       can greatly alter what fraction of the sales price counts as profit.
       If the price you	pay is $50, ten	percent	of the profit is probably less
       than a dollar; it might be a few	cents, or nothing at all.

       Some redistributors do development work themselves.  This is useful
       too; but	to keep	everyone honest, you need to inquire how much they do,
       and what	kind.  Some kinds of development make much more	long-term
       difference than others.	For example, maintaining a separate version of
       a program contributes very little; maintaining the standard version of
       a program for the whole community contributes much.  Easy new ports
       contribute little, since	someone	else would surely do them; difficult
       ports such as adding a new CPU to the GNU Compiler Collection
       contribute more;	major new features or packages contribute the most.

       By establishing the idea	that supporting	further	development is "the
       proper thing to do" when	distributing free software for a fee, we can
       assure a	steady flow of resources into making more free software.

       gpl(7), gfdl(7).

       Copyright (c) 1994 Free Software	Foundation, Inc.  Verbatim copying and
       redistribution of this section is permitted without royalty; alteration
       is not permitted.

gcc-9.1.0			  2019-05-03			FSF-FUNDING(7)


Want to link to this manual page? Use this URL:

home | help