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 development.  The most effective approach known is to encourage commercial redistributors to donate.

       Users of free software systems can boost the pace of development by encouraging 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 do‐
       nated,'' 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 difference 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 contribute little, since someone else would surely do them; difficult
       ports such as adding a new CPU to the GNU Compiler Collection contribute more; major new features or packages contribute the

       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)