Nadia Eghbal nadiaeghbal.com

Making money with licenses  ↦

Nadia Eghbal, on the role of licenses in open source funding:

I’m skeptical that new licenses are the right approach on a systemic level, both in terms of feasibility, as well as where I think the world is going. I’ll tackle each of these concerns separately.

I tend to agree with her take on the Right Way™️ to be thinking about it:

I’m more interested in solutions that aim to capture value on the production, rather than consumption side. While everyone is focused on putting up tollbooths, opportunities to “price” maintainer attention, and access to maintainers, remain undervalued.

There are issues with this as well. For one, buying access to maintainers is a proxy for buying influence over the project’s direction. This isn’t a guarantee, but it’s definitely a concern and could negatively impact other users.

That being said, I think production-side monetization in the world of open source is a winning strategy over consumption-side monetization. What do you think?


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