The Role of Money in Open Source

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Maintainers of Open Source projects are often not payed to do it. Therefore, the projects rely on a voluntary contribution of time from groups of people who operate under very diverse believes. Nadia Eghbal explores the role of money in open source[ @eghbal2020 Working in public: the making and maintenance of open source software ] by looking at some very specific cases:

  • Companies fund open source to increase their image or to guarantee code quality and maintenance
  • Companies pay for premium support (i.e. they pay for the attention of a developer, see: Maintenance costs of open source projects )
  • Code can be released with dual-licenses, or some key features may be missing from the free version
  • Individual donations to maintainers


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