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Linux.com: Money or Nothing? Trade-Offs in FOSS Compensation

Mar 05, 2007, 22:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Byfield)

"What happens when a free and open source software (FOSS) project attempts to introduce compensation for its developers? Because FOSS remains based largely on volunteer work, many worry that payment might demotivate both those who receive it and those who do not. However, community leaders who have observed how payment interacts with the FOSS ethos suggest a more complicated picture. Identifying four main types of payment -- bounties, payment in kind, grants, and employment -- these experts suggest that what happens depends on the type of payment, as well as on the individuals involved.

"Payment, of course, is not new to FOSS communities. Companies such as IBM, Novell, Red Hat, and Sun Microsystems have employed developers to work on FOSS for years. However, the issue has received renewed attention in recent months because of the reaction to a project called Dunc-Tank within the Debian community..."

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