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Quote: Jacob Kaplan-Moss on Paying Open Source Maintainaers

·215 words·2 mins
Quotes Open Source
Daniel Andrlik
Daniel Andrlik lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia. By day he manages product teams. The rest of the time he is a podcast host and producer, writer of speculative fiction, a rabid reader, and a programmer.

Yes, the fact that people have to choose between writing open source software and affording decent healthcare is a problem deeply rooted in our current implementation of zero-sum capitalism, and not at all a problem that can be laid at the feet of the free software movement. The dream is that society and governments will recognize free software as the public good that it most certainly is and fund it appropriately. And also fix healthcare, and housing access, and public transportation, and the social safety net, and and and …

I am absolutely one million percent on board with this vision, but this shit ain’t gonna happen overnight. Indeed, I doubt it’ll happen in our lifetimes if at all.

We have to accept the world as it is – even if it’s not the world we want. This means we have to be okay with the idea that maintainers need to be paid. Far too often I see arguments like: “maintainers shouldn’t be paid by private companies because the government should be supporting them.” Sure, this sounds great – but governments aren’t doing this! So this argument reduces to “open source maintainers shouldn’t be paid”. I can’t get on board with that.

Jacob Kaplan-Moss, Paying people to work on open source is good actually


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