[okfn-discuss] New crowdfunding system in the works exclusively for Free/Libre/Open resources

Aaron Wolf wolftune at gmail.com
Sat Dec 8 01:02:50 UTC 2012

Indeed Peter!

My goal is to actively recruit proprietary projects which may be willing to
become Open if they can be assured funding. This would work via: (A) they
will be required to release Open to accept payment, thus they could let
pledges build before accepting; (B) we require transparency and payments
must go toward further development (we're not wanting to support hostage
fees where they just demand $ to become open and then do no further

Also, I agree with your concern about cash detracting from voluntary
intellectual contributions from the community. My answer is to explicitly
develop an honor system where everyone is expected to pledge to do what
they can and not to withhold work in hopes of pay. We will encourage
successful projects to hire good contributors to do more, so contributing
is good for building a reputation, but we will do everything to emphasize
the values of things over the money. The money is just something we need to
accept as a practical issue. There are good models of successful honor
systems which I hope to build from. In essence, donors should expect a
level of honorable behavior from everyone, and we would encourage the
community to withdraw their funding from projects that don't live up to the
honor standards.


Aaron Wolf

On Fri, Dec 7, 2012 at 6:28 PM, Peter Murray-Rust <pm286 at cam.ac.uk> wrote:

> I also agree this seems really interesting. I haven't seen the site yet so
> only comment briefly. I have run several zero-or-near-zero-cash open
> projects over the last two decades - some work out - others don't. There
> are cases where an injection of cash (and perhaps as important the implied
> commitment of donors) would be valuable  - others where the cash
> involvement may detract from the in-kind aspect. One important aspect could
> be the ability to "market" the results of the project. Also getting
> enlightened commercial organizations to buy into Open is often very useful.
> In general I have observed that while *software* projects with ICT goals
> often work very well with pure volunteers, those outside are often much
> harder to start and keep going.
> P.
> --
> Peter Murray-Rust
> Reader in Molecular Informatics
> Unilever Centre, Dep. Of Chemistry
> University of Cambridge
> CB2 1EW, UK
> +44-1223-763069
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