[PLUG] Companies are looking at free, open software

Chetan S cshring at gmail.com
Sun Dec 7 20:53:15 PST 2008


On Sun, Dec 7, 2008 at 7:05 PM, Vijay Patil <vijay.patil at gmail.com> wrote:

> More interesting question is, how a company (especially in India)
> realizes that it benefited (saved cost) from free software, by X
> amount. If that amount it significant then they might want (should?)
> to use some fraction of it to contributing back (sponsoring a free
> software project, a conference, employee time for creating user
> documentation/tutorials etc.), to ensure that they continue to benefit
> in future or just out of good will. For same reasons a company might
> want to donate to Wikipedia.
>

Very very interesting. Please add to the possible models that can be
used by an OSS community in India to keep a project going.

Indians are generally accustomed to grab-what-you-can-free-beer only.
A model where the money/resources/time gets channelized towards the
development of the product works best.

Two models I think (would) work
1.  Lets say there's a firm A that needs a specific solution and oss community O
An intermediary foss org ( non-profit ? ) mediates and improves
transfer of resources in a cash-or-kind model from A to O.
I don't know of any community operating in such a fashion in India.
Sourceforge is
currently favoring such a model. Please correct me if am wrong.

2. A firm A that has product that requires a layer of OSS based s/w
fosters the dev
of the OS around their product.
This is a typical model of the non-evil corps that support a lot of
the development.

In effect I feel there's a lot to be done to improve smb/org
perception towards the "brand-value"
of ppl working in oss domain and about "give back".
Is there any effort currently ongoing in this direction already ?

A copyright-like model is worst at best i.e subsidizing the cost of dev
by a "development tax".

regards,
C



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