making money from open source

A hot-button topic over the past few weeks has been compensation for open source work, prompted by log4j and Xe's article Open Source is Broken. Now, I like open source software. But I also like money. So, pro bono, I have decided to lay out possible models to avoid corporations using your open source software without giving you money. These will fall into 2 categories: those that stop corporations from using your software, and those that get you money - GUARANTEED!!

The Count's Model

License your software under an open source license. AGPLv3 will work best, because corporations hate that shit, but any will do. But then, in the README, just put some utterly insane shit. Just go completely wild. Most unhinged shit you can think of. Like, "if a corporation uses this software, I will personally carry out an elaborate Count of Monte Cristo-style plan to fucking ruin your CEO's life. Oh? You think I'm joking? You know why Jeff Bezos got divorced? How about Elon Musk? Huh?". Or just an insane rant titled something like "THIS SOFTWARE CANNOT BE USED ON SPACE MISSIONS - BECAUSE THEY DON'T EXIST! YOUR MOVE, NASA!!". You think any corporation is gonna use that shit now? Imagine being the guys in the meeting where it's proposed, just sitting there in your tailored suit as some sweating sweatpants fuck of a plebeian programmer shakily surfs to "", and immediately being hit in the face by like a flashing GIF of a middle finger sliding in and out of goatse.jpeg. Never gonna happen.

The Log4j Model

Those guys that made Log4j? Working their ass off to fix a vulnerability in their software for very little pay? Absolute idiots. If you got your software in basically every pulsating enterprise 'product', why wait for someone else to discover an unintentional bug? After all, you know your software better than anyone. Why don't you insert the bug? It's real easy, and no one will notice it for around 5 years given how undoubtedly horrifying your codebase is. Then you can exploit the bug yourself! Steal people's money, steal people's computing time (probably to mine Bitcoin and hence steal their money), steal people's data (probably to sell and hence steal their money)... the sky is truly the limit!

The Bug Bounty Model

This one is related to the last one. I'm sure you, degenerate that you are, know of many .onions of ill repute. Why do you need to exploit your bug yourself, when you can get the villains and thiefs in these sites to do it for you? Simply hold an auction on one of those sites. To the winner, of course, goes the prize of knowing the vulnerability you introduce, and hence getting a head start in exploiting it for sweet sweet cash!

BONUS IDEA! Hold an auction between white hats and black hats. If the white hats win, you don't add a bug. If the black hats win, you do. In the end you'll walk away a hell of a lot richer, just for making a mistake! All you gotta do is act naturally.

The Self-Immolation Model

Just set yourself on fire. Not much to say about this one.

Toilet Cow's Recommendation

Most open source licenses require some kind of attribution in any derivative software. Simply change your name, and YOU can take full advantage of this!! Some recommendations:

You can also change the name of your product. Notably, this is the model taken by noted open source product The GIMP.

The Onlyfans Model

Give your software an Onlyfans where you sell "naked versions" of the software. Noone knows what this means.

The "Big Swindle"

  1. Write some software that seems like it solves an important problem, but is fatally flawed. Make sure that it works well enough for a demo with about 10 users but falls apart miserably at any higher load than that.
  2. Mercilessly promote it as the Next Big Thing. Sprinkle buzzwords around liberally, like "decentralised" and "blockchain". It helps if your software is written in a trendy language.
  3. Wait for some company to bite.
  4. Get hired on as a consultant when inevitably they run into problems.
  5. Build a half-assed reimplementation of a completely normal, industry-standard solution for this problem within your software for Massive Money. Make sure this is extremely hard to use, almost impossible to understand let alone modify for changing needs, and requires constant manual intervention to keep it working.
  6. You now have fame, job security, and stacks of cash. Congratulations!

The Gentleman's Model

Just write something that is of no possible use to a corporation. Like something for interfacing with Furbies, or a teledildonics solution tailored to the contours of your specific ass. And if, by some horrible twist of fate, it does end up getting used by a corporation, when they ask you to support it, just say "Fuck off."

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