Subject: Re: A software marketplace
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: Thu, 9 Jan 2003 11:29:39 -0500 (EST)

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Benjamin J. Tilly  writes:
 > Unfortunately I have trouble believing that the Street
 > Performer's Protocol is appropriate as a general model
 > for free software.  The problems that I see are manifold:
 >  o The definition of a "done project" is hard to nail
 >    down.
 >  o A well-defined project may not, upon implementation,
 >    be the right project.
 >  o Think through the incentives for the developer very,
 >    very carefully.
 >  o Unfortunate social dynamics may develop as people
 >    fight over who deserves rewards, and as people who
 >    are looking for a reward come into conflict with
 >    people who are doing things for personal reasons.

All of these problems are inescapable when you pay people to write
software.  Since that is what the Public Software Fund does, we'll
have to deal with them.  Not a one of them is particular to the SPP.

 > in which case what I pay has to cover that person's taxes,

It still has to cover their taxes.  Nonprofits still have to pay
employment(-discouragement) taxes on salaries paid to employees.
Self-employed contractors still have to pay self-employment taxes.
(If governments were serious about job creation, they'd stop taxing
employers more for every job they create!)

 > or I can use your organization as a conduit, avoid taxes,
 > and possibly get some good publicity for my charitable
 > donation.  Of course I lose some control over the
 > process and the result, but if that is acceptable...

Right, but it's *your* taxes that you're avoiding.

Thanks for your comments.

-russ nelson     | You can ignore economics,
Crynwr sells support for free software  | PGPok | but economics isn't going
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