IBM buys RedHat for $30 billion. This value was mostly created by the labor of volunteer, un- or underpaid developers of Free/Libre/Open Source software who will not see a dime of IBM's money. There need to be discussions of economic flaws in the FLOSS development/distribution model.

@fcr I was approached by a RH recruiter recently, but noped out when I heard that they're really handwavy re: annual pay increases and often don't do them. Sorry, but "open culture" doesn't pay my bills. Tech workers can do better.

@fcr as their price is likely to rise now, we should all have bought redhat stocks all along 😅 🤔 😔 ...

@fcr Uh, yeah, never mind the thousands of very well-paid people working for Red Hat. And never mind all the OSS that was developed at Red Hat, and that we all have as a shared value now. And never mind that a valuation of $30B doesn't actually mean anything, until people start liquidating their shares, and if enough people would do that, the price would fall as a result.

If anything, Red Hat figured out how to have a sustainable economic model around copyleft software in the first place.


First, the premise is debatable. The Linux kernel contributors survey shows that as of 2015, 80% of contributions came from paid developers.

Second, so what? When I write #foss software, or send patches to someone else's, I do so in the spirit of #foss, which squarely includes "this could make someone else rich, good for them".


Same thing is happening with Uber and their extremely high valuation ahead of a potential IPO.

The drivers that have been underpaid and are the only reason that Uber is anything will not see a dime. It’s a shame really.

@jeff @fcr Permissive licenses are the easiest to exploit, right? If this is something people worry about, shouldn't they insist on only contributing to AGPL software?

@fcr @plausocks FLOSS is beneficial in many ways, but I've been saying for a while now that it actually cannibalises the job market for senior developers, who are the ones who actually developed the major FLOSS applications and libraries. It has made it easy for businesses to just inexperienced (cheap) developers and use libraries instead of paying senior developers to do it. This is rational and efficient, but leaves more money in the hands of corporations.

@fcr @plausocks The goal of reducing inequality and increasing job security is at odds with the goal of increasing efficiency and reducing personnel costs.

@fcr Nah, you are not doing it selfishly enough, the only reason to contribute to other projects is to enhance your own well being. Don't do enough to warrant a pay back :P

@fcr I fear many projects don't want to think about this.

@fcr inb4 all the "you knew what would happen when you licensed it that way" posts

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