FSF-FUNDING(7)                        GNU                       FSF-FUNDING(7)

       fsf-funding - Funding Free Software

       Funding Free Software

       If you want to have more free software a few years from now, it makes
       sense for you to help encourage people to contribute funds for its de-
       velopment.  The most effective approach known is to encourage commer-
       cial redistributors to donate.

       Users of free software systems can boost the pace of development by en-
       couraging for-a-fee distributors to donate part of their selling price
       to free software developers---the Free Software Foundation, and others.

       The way to convince distributors to do this is to demand it and expect
       it from them.  So when you compare distributors, judge them partly by
       how much they give to free software development.  Show distributors
       they must compete to be the one who gives the most.

       To make this approach work, you must insist on numbers that you can
       compare, such as, ``We will donate ten dollars to the Frobnitz project
       for each disk sold.''  Don't be satisfied with a vague promise, such as
       ``A portion of the profits are donated,'' since it doesn't give a basis
       for comparison.

       Even a precise fraction ``of the profits from this disk'' is not very
       meaningful, since creative accounting and unrelated business decisions
       can greatly alter what fraction of the sales price counts as profit.
       If the price you pay is $50, ten percent of the profit is probably less
       than a dollar; it might be a few cents, or nothing at all.

       Some redistributors do development work themselves.  This is useful
       too; but to keep everyone honest, you need to inquire how much they do,
       and what kind.  Some kinds of development make much more long-term dif-
       ference than others.  For example, maintaining a separate version of a
       program contributes very little; maintaining the standard version of a
       program for the whole community contributes much.  Easy new ports con-
       tribute little, since someone else would surely do them; difficult
       ports such as adding a new CPU to the GNU Compiler Collection contrib-
       ute more; major new features or packages contribute the most.

       By establishing the idea that supporting further development is ``the
       proper thing to do'' when distributing free software for a fee, we can
       assure a steady flow of resources into making more free software.

       gpl(7), gfdl(7).

       Copyright (c) 1994 Free Software Foundation, Inc.  Verbatim copying and
       redistribution of this section is permitted without royalty; alteration
       is not permitted.

gcc-3.3                           2003-03-01                    FSF-FUNDING(7)
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