Subject: Re: Model for FOSS financing by consortium
From: Rich Bodo <rsb@ostel.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Apr 2004 14:48:12 -0700 (PDT)


> I propose the following arrangements. The first recipient
> receive an open-source copy. Cost-sharing is rational.
> 
>  1. Distributor agrees to provide a copy of the software only
>     under contract.  For example, the distributor provides no
>     public FTP or WWW repository.

If I understand correctly, Distributor is probably a non-profit.  The
software is provided to a Customer of the Distributor.

> 
>  2. The contract covers the acts necessary to transfer a copy of
>     the software and assent to the terms of the license(s) and
>     disclaimer(s) of warranty. 
> 
>  3. The contract does not alter any rights and obligations provided
>     by the applicable software licenses.  For example, the contract
>     does not restrict owners of legitimate copies from redistributing
>     the software, nor influence fees for that.
> 
>  4. If the distributor knowingly offers or transfers substantially
>     the same item or superset thereof to a third party within 12 
>     months, the distributor owes the customer a refund equal
>     to the difference between the payment tendered and the
>     third-party's net cost if it is "substantially lower."
>     "Substantially lower" means discounted in excess of the greater
>     of 4% a month or $15 a month.

O.K. So a hypothetical.  Developer writes a widget, puts Copyright
Developer and GPL at the top, and submits to the Distributor.

Distributor advertises widget, First_Customer agrees to pay 10KUSD for
unlimited use of widget, as per terms of contract outlined in section
4, above.

First_Customer is betting that Other_Customers will agree to pay
Distributor for use of widget, therefore causing Distributor to
effectively pass on a portion of that money to First_Customer.

I think this would be interesting to me if First_Customer was viewed
as funding widget, and could earn unlimited "refunds".  This would be
"cool".

-Rich

-- 
Rich Bodo | rsb@ostel.com | 650-964-4678