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From: Hans Dembinski (hans.dembinski_at_[hidden])
Date: 2019-09-18 09:04:16

> On 17. Sep 2019, at 18:35, Robert Ramey via Boost <boost_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> b) I think its time to seriously start to consider ideas about who open source authors can get compensated for their efforts are widely used. The music business was ignited when improved copyrights enforcement complemented technology (phonograph/radio) in the early 20th century. The result was an explosion of creativity in musical arts: jazz, musical theater, popularization of folk music, film music, etc.
> c) It's just crazy that the author of a pivotal piece of software which the whole world runs on (or should run on), gets no monetary recognition for these indispensable efforts.

Like others have said, the author makes the decision upfront whether to release his/her work as open source or to try to get compensated. It is contradictory to expect compensation after a library starts to become popular. An analogy: you gave away some land that you think is not worth much, and then the new owner finds a gold ore on that land. Then you cannot in hindsight demand a price. This is a fundamental principle of trade that you cannot change a completed transaction once new information comes in (if the transaction was lawful).

At the time of writing a library, it is not yet clear whether that library will prove valuable and become popular. The competition, even in open source, is tough. Success depends on the quality of the library but also how fast it can build a user base. As in economy, it is all about growth. Can you grow your user base faster than the competition?

Big companies have a huge advantage on that front. They can put money into advertising, and they can nudge or urge their existing user base to use a library. As an independent OS dev, you don't have a backing like this. Your edge is to give away your work for free. No cost is certainly an important factor for the user base.

The trend seems to be rather that even big companies release software as OSS, just to grow fast enough. Think of Qt and TensorFlow, for instance.

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