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Re: [ox-en] Paid linux programmers: how do they work

thanks Stefan, I have nothing to add, as I was asking for info, and you're providing it from  your perspective,

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----- Original Message ----
From: Stefan Seefeld <seefeld>
To: list-en
Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2007 8:52:50 PM
Subject: Re: [ox-en] Paid linux programmers: how do they work

Michael Bauwens wrote:

 - open source remains mostly nonproprietary software, but is increasinly produced by paid employes, true or not true?

I'm not sure what you mean by "mostly nonproprietary". How could proprietary and open source
(which is based on Free software) fit together at all ? Or are you really mean commercial, not
proprietary ?

It was my understanding that there are some hybrid formats, whereby companies keep part of their software proprietary, that's what I meant


 - which side dominates: the corporate or the community?

I'm not sure. These two may just reach out into different directions
(markets, communities, etc.). And even if not, it may not be domination
of one over the other that describes the situation best.

This sounds like a false dichotomy. An important sector of the Free Software that is produced
(or contributed to) by commercial entities is developed in cooperation. There is no community
on one side and corporations on the other.

Hi Stefan, collaboration does not mean that one side cannot be dominant. 
Corporations could coopt the process and start dominating it. Are there 
safeguards against this, or is this NOT a problem??

Well, one such safeguard is the license of the software being developed. If people feel
threatened, they may (legally at least) fork the project and continue on their own.

Of course, in reality it's all quite a bit more complex. It's a question about project
organization, leadership, structure, hierarchy, etc. Questions like the above get discussed
regularly (e.g. Redhat's role in Fedora, etc.). However, I don't think there is a single
answer to your original question. I don't see a clear tendency. Especially not a threatening

 - if the community is still a core element of open source, what is their relation to the paid employees

In as much as "paid employees" contribute to FLOSS projects, they are part of the community.
What else could be the incentive for corporations to participate, if not to take advantage
of the synergy of this collaboration ?

to make more money out of free labour?

So what ? You seem to make a moral argument against abuse of free labour. I think that
only stands if the original contributors' incentives were moral ones, too.
What if my incentive to work on a project is to "scratch my own itch" ? Why would I
care whether someone else makes money from that ? Does he deprive me of anything in
doing so ?

 - who decides on the main strategic directions of free software development?

Note that this can take different forms, depending

Is there any place to find an overview of such arrangements?

I doubt it. The FLOSS world is way too heterogeneous to allow for such a schematic



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