17 May 2010

Diaspora: The Future of Free Software Funding?

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Diaspora, a free software project to create a distributed version of Facebook that gives control back to users. Since then, of course, Facebook-bashing and Diaspora-boosting have become somewhat trendy. Indeed, Diaspora has now soared past its initial $10,000 fund-raising target: at the time of writing, it has raised over $170,000, with 15 days to go. That's amazing, but what's more interesting is the way in which Diaspora has done it.

On Open Enterprise blog.


Crosbie Fitch said...

As everyone keeps telling me, it is impossible to exchange intellectual work for the money of those who want it produced - without the incentive of a reproduction monopoly.

Without copyright, the likes of the Diaspora project team and those who want them to work on the software, will just have to stare at each other blankly, incapable of making an exchange - until the prospect of being able to sell copies at monopoly protected prices is introduced (despite the copies costing nothing to make).

The 'Humble Indie Bundle' is a similar exchange.

The trouble is, this painfully obvious business model is highly threatening to the sanctity of copyright. It's like the heresy that slaves, if freed, might voluntarily pick cotton if they were paid to - that they don't need to be coerced.

People who want software produced will VOLUNTARILY PAY for it?! Impossible! They're thieving scum that refuse to pay, on their despicable principle that 'information must be free'.

That's how dogma gets in the way of business. And that dogma includes illiberal and anachronistic 18th century privileges (from the same era that embraced slavery).

Glyn Moody said...

@Crosbie: another nice data point for you, then...

Crosbie Fitch said...

I prefer the term 'snowflake in hell'. ;-)