Subject: Re: Model for FOSS financing by consortium
From: Rich Bodo <rsb@ostel.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Apr 2004 15:45:00 -0700 (PDT)

On 6 Apr 2004, David N. Welton wrote:

> Rich Bodo <rsb@ostel.com> writes:
> 
> > 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.
> 
> My thoughts: that's (potentially) a lot of risk, and furthermore, it
> puts First_Customer in the position of selling widgets, something they
> may not have the interest or ability to pursue.

I was proposing a model whereby Distributor (D)is the selling widget
contracts as Forrest proposed.  First_Customer (F_C) is just paying a heck
of a lot for the widget because:

1) F_C has the cash and is not risk averse.

2) F_C is betting that D will sell many more of these contracts at
market rate, thereby providing F_C with an excellent return on
investment.

3) F_C wants the developer and the widget succeed.  Lots of reasons a
company might want to see OSS they use and the developers that support
it flourish.

4) FWIW, if D were a non-profit with some noble cause, it might make
F_C feel good or give them a tax write off of some kind.  IANAL.
IANAE.

-Rich

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