Collection of links around paid/sustainable open source development
Feel free to add links via PRs and file issues to start discussions.
Table of Contents
- Donation Sites
- Open Source Grants
- Payment Platforms
- Profit-sharing Platforms
- Open Source Software Foundations
- Example Projects
- Sponsored Projects
- Relevant Licenses
- FAQ and Key Terms
- Open Source Ain't Free by David DeSandro
- Money and Open Source by Isaac Schleuter
- Vue.js author now works on it full time thanks to donations by Evan You
- Fine Uploader attempted a FOSS-friendly commercial license by Ray Nicholus
- OptaPlanner gets picked up by Red Hat by Geoffrey De Smet
- Open Source Exploitation by SupportedSource
- Redis author sponsored by Pivotal labs by Antirez
- Charging for Open Source by Mike Perham (author of Sidekiq)
- Corporations and OSS do not mix by Ian Cordasco
- More Money for Better Open-Source Software by Marijn Haverbeke
- Marijn's Sustainable Open Source Fund by Marijn Haverbeke
- The Perils of Mixing Open Source and Money by DHH
- The Ethics of Unpaid Labor and the OSS Community by Ashe Dryden
- Commerce and Open Source by the Open Source Initiative
- Open Source Work by Ryan Bigg
- Who Pays to Keep OS Software Working? by Jen Quraishi
- Github Issues and Mental Health by Dave DeSandro
- The Path to Full-time Open Source by Mike Perham
- A handy guide to financial support for open source by Nadia Eghbal
- Elementary OS Lets Users Decide How Much To Pay. See the comments for sensitivity around messaging.
- How to Pay for Open Source: Seed Money by InfoWorld
- Ways to Earn Money Through Open Source via StackExchange
- Open Source Infrastructure by Cory Benfield
- The Unseen Labor Behind Our Digital Infrastructure by Nadia Eghbal
- The Money In Open-Source Software by Max Schireson at TechCrunch
- Who Sponsors Drupal Development? by Dries Buytaert
- Equity For Effort: Code for Open-Source, Earn Startup Shares by Parabol
Open Source Grants
Open Source Software Foundations
- jQuery Foundation
- The Apache Software Foundation
- Software Freedom Conservancy
- Linux Foundation
- Open Source Robotics Foundation
A collection of paid open source projects to use as a reference for your own efforts.
- Synergy (GPL) charges for downloads, but also provides free access.
- Sidekiq (LGPLv3) offers pro and enterprise add-ons, but offers free access for a hobbyist usage level.
- Greenkeeper (Apache-2.0) offers premium individual and organization levels of usage, but offers free usage for open source projects.
- npm (Artistic-2.0) is free to use for all projects, but offers premium individual and enterprise add-ons.
- Ember.js (MIT) is free to use for all projects, but premium consulting and training services are provided by the authors.
- Meteor.js (MIT) is free to use for all projects, but offers a premium hosting solution for meteor projects.
- Intern (New BSD) is free to use for all projects, but has premium support offered by SitePen.
- Docker (Apache 2.0) is free to use for all projects, but offers premium hosting and training support.
- Tern.js (MIT) is free to use for all projects, but releases language expansion packs via crowdfunded campaigns.
- JW Player (CC-BY-NC) charges for streaming video service and ad platform
These projects are dual-licensed. They require a paid license for commercial or closed-source use, but offer a free license for non-commercial or open-source use.
- Isotope, Flickity, Packery (GPLv3)
- Sequence.js (GPLv3)
- MixItUp (CC-BY-NC)
- Highcharts (CC-BY-NC)
- Fresco, Tipped, Strip, Lightview
These projects are/were sponsored by organizations or donation-based backers.
- Vue.js is sponsored by donations via a Patreon campaign.
- react-boilerplate is sponsored by donations via an Open Collective campaign.
- Redis was sponsored by Pivotal labs and other backers and is now sponsored by Redis Labs.
- Prosemirror was sponsored via a kickstarter-like campaign on Indiegogo.
- Tern.js was sponsored via a crowdfunded campaign on Indiegogo.
- Ghost was sponsored via a kickstarter campaign.
- Angular.js is sponsored by Google.
- React.js is sponsored by Facebook.
- Dojo is sponsored by SitePen under the Dojo Foundation.
- Fine Uploader is sponsored by Widen.
- Imageflow (APGLv3) successfully funded development effort on Kickstarter.
- Phaser (MIT) is sponsored on Patreon.
- Brunch (MIT) is sponsored by Hell Yeah.
- NeoVim (Apache 2.0) is sponsored by donations via an ongoing BountySource campaign and a successful fundraising effort.
- Coala (AGPL v3.0) is sponsored by Appveyor.
A collection of licenses that may be particularly useful for paid open source projects.
- Business Source License (BSL) is a customizable commercial license with language that defines free vs. commercial use (copy-left), with the ability to switch to a free open source license of your choice after a few years.
- MySQL dual licensing
- Wikipedia: Open source business models
- Paying the Piper by PyBee / Russell Keith-Magee
- Software Licenses in Plain English
FAQ and Key Terms
Quote from "Open Hardware Business Models"
The first license is a GPL-like license, which is free but forces users to disclose the source code of any modified version of the original design. The second is a commercial license, which has a fee but allows buyers to conceal the source code of any modified version.
Source software foundations
- About jQuery Foundation by Mike Sherov
To the extent possible under law, Joel Kemp has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this work.