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Sustainable Open Source - Introducing The Community Compact – Adam Jacob

The recent conversations around the difficulties in finding a sustainable
open source business model are close to my heart. I have spent the last decade
plus of my life working to build an open source company at Chef Software.

All of the ways I’ve seen suggested so far involve eliminating or curtailing the communities rights to the software as a way to stop these behaviors.

Adam instead proposes the Community Compact:

Some really great concepts in the article, including a FREELOADERS file in the repo of the software, and the ability of the community to “fork”, albeit with a new name.

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I like this. Sounds very viable, don’t you think, @boris?

Specifically I like …

What if I want to use the software commercially, but I can’t afford the price the business is asking?

Then you need to find another way to get a license — in particular, you need to contribute to the community, either with resources, money, or code. Convince the maintainers you are genuine, and they can waive the fee. What you can’t do is nothing at all, without opting out of supporting the community.

Note: contributing might not mean source code. You might answer questions in a forum, you might triage bugs, etc.

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I see a real renaissance in licensing approaches — Kyle Mitchell responded with a link to the Public Public License which is similar — as well as thinking differently about sustainable funding.

I’m looking forward to digging into multiple of these and trying to do some compare / contrast.

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