Paying for software and supporting Open Source

by davidnielsen

I am getting a little tired of the accusation getting levelled at me when debating with the anti-Mono crowd that I don’t support Freedom and that I am destroying Linux. I even once got accused of taking a paycheck from Microsoft and/or Novell, but to be clear neither company has ever paid me a dime for any work, in fact no technology company has ever given me a salery. I have taken gifts in return for work, e.g. Novell kindly gave me a copy of OpenSuSE 11.1 and a t-shirt for some bug reporting.

While this types of claims are entirely baseless slanter I think now is the time to come out and say that I love freedom. I love freedom so much that not only have I used Linux for more than a decade as my sole OS but I actively donate to projects and people that benefit our ecosystem.

I am a dues paying member of the EFF, I am a dues paying Friend of GNOME. I preordered the Yo! Frankie game to support open game development even though I never actually got around to playing it but it seemed like a very important missing piece in Open Source to cover high quality open gaming and show that it cam be done with full transparency.

When Richard Hughes asked for money to buy a color calibration thingy, even though I likely have no need for the work he will be doing using it I donated. Richard has donated much of his considerable talent, time and effort to projects such as gnome-power-manager and PackageKit, work for which I am grateful every day and he deserves my gratitude in the ways I can show it and my thanks for improving Linux.

Likewise I am a customer wth Fluendo, not because I feel I have to get around software patents since they are not currently legal in Denmark. However I feel as a software tester that I should test not just the solutions that are kindly available to me but those I advocate less fortunate people to examine. That being said I have actually found the Fluendo codec pack to solve issues present in the open solutions and having a working DVD player is great. I don’t especially enjoy the proprietary nature of these products but I know that much of the money I pay Fluendo will be put directly back into GStreamer development and advocacy for Open Formats.

On the open content side I make sure to buy documentaries and movies such as Sita Sings the Blues, Good Copy Bad Copy and the Piracy Documentary. I also have just signed up for a membership with Magnatune to support their fine service (about which I have have ranted previously).

Most important to me personally though is the time I put into bug reporting and following Linux every day.

All of this can of course be documented, but really it shouldn’t have to be. The accusation that I am destroying Linux is lowbrow attack which is beneath any reasonable argument. Consider this what should be a completely unneeded rebuttal to such claims.

So I ask you, what have you done for Open Source lately. Do you merely rant and leech or do you support with actions, words and wallet when you can?