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Who’s going to pay for open source software?

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This week theme has been "who's going to pay for open source?" It's shown up in a number of blogs, like Matt Asay's. In several blog posts he's said things like "Who will pay for open source in the future?" and "Someone has to pay for this stuff, and it's not going to be governments." Roberto Gallopini's post quotes Larry Augustine saying that customers need to be educated on the value of open source.

I'm sorry, it's just not the simple. The open source software development model is not a business model.

I've spent many years talking about the business of open source. The question has never been "who's going to pay for it?" Open source is not a business model. The open source model can be part of a company's business model but the open source ecosystem itself is not a business. Open source software is created because an individual or a company sees benefit in it. Although making money can be one of the benefits of open source software, rarely does anybody receive a check to write a piece of open source software, any software, as long as it's open source. They might receive a check to write some software and it might make sense to write that software under an open source license but they didn't get a check just because it's open source.

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