back to article Open source maintainer threatens to throw in the towel if companies won't ante up

Yet another developer of open source software has tired of companies utilizing the code he helps maintain without giving anything back to support the project. On Tuesday, Christofer Dutz, creator of Apache PLC4X, said he will stop providing community support for the software if corporate users fail to step up and open their …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    There's something I don't get

    You decide to contribute to a FOSS project. That is a Good ThingTM, and good on you.

    Whatever brought you to think that you should get paid for it ?

    Now, let me be clear that I am aware that there are many companies that are profiting from this, but you knew that there would be people using your code when you started. That is why you started. Why do you feel that you should be paid now ? Is it because there are companies making mint out of your work ?

    There should only be two categories of developers working on FOSS projects : the ones paid by their company to contribute code, and the ones doing it as a hobby after their day job.

    If you are contributing FOSS code as a full-time occupation, you are perverting the system and I don't see that you deserve being paid. Open your own company and go closed-source. If you're worth it, you'll make it. If you're not, you'll find another employ and go contribute on your spare time.

    1. jonathan keith

      Re: There's something I don't get

      Perhaps then it's time to change FOSS to FFNCUOSS*?

      * Free For Non-Commercial Use

      1. badflorist

        Re: There's something I don't get

        "Free For Non-Commercial Use"

        Bingo.

        It should of been changed to this the day Google released Chrome. Amazon was tinkering with it at that point too but it was Google's deception of "Do no evil" that pushed "FOSS" into main stream by controlling search engine results to make "contributing" code seem like something a good person would do, which inevitably formed a herd of sheep to start to parade of unpaid coders.

        It's also deceptive for Github to have a "sponsor" program when their entire relevancy depends on coders not being paid.

        1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

          Re: There's something I don't get

          "It's also deceptive for Github to have a "sponsor" program when their entire relevancy depends on coders not being paid."

          I don't know about deceptive, but it's definitely an intended feature. *All* the extant payment systems have one thing in common - the actual amount paid is, on average, peanuts. That's acceptance criterion number one. Anybody who comes up with a payment system that would actually result in significant payments being made is going to have a fight on their hands.

        2. DS999 Silver badge

          Back to the old days

          It should of been changed to this the day Google released Chrome

          That's how Netscape was, before IE killed it off via being bundled with Windows. When they were forced to drop the fee for commercial use it was 1) already too late since businesses were the first to switch to IE and ActiveX locked them in and 2) they suddenly had no source of revenue since it was well before the days when you could paid for a default search provider, or even to have any way to monetize personal data if you collected it.

          Had Google charged businesses for Chrome they'd have used Firefox or IE instead. Microsoft might still be developing their own browser instead of throwing in the towel and converting to a Chromium shell. Everyone would have been better off, except Google.

      2. Blackjack Silver badge

        Re: There's something I don't get

        I actually would like that.

      3. NoneSuch Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: There's something I don't get

        Corporations routinely use (or copy) free or Open Source code for their own benefit; where do you think Excel and Android came from?

        Open Source should be free to individuals, but companies who use that code for profit need to pony up some of that cash to support the people responsible for making them money. They make billions and owe nothing.

        Try using any of their software without paying and watch as they release rabid lawyers upon you.

        1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

          Re: There's something I don't get

          How would the money be divided between creators who write dud code and maintainers who fix the creators' shoddy work?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: There's something I don't get

            Well if some one came up with some money, we could actually squabble about it.

            1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

              Re: There's something I don't get

              And until they know where it's going, who's going to come up with any money? Chicken, meet egg.

        2. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

          Re: There's something I don't get

          The only reason open source is popular is because it is free for corporations.

          If, say, log4j2 had to be paid for, most of the companies would expect developers to write their own logging code and pay for it.

          By providing it for free open source developers take jobs from their fellow programmers.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: There's something I don't get

          There are already various licenses that can be used on the open source code side to facilitate this.

      4. HildyJ Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: There's something I don't get

        Creating a license that distinguishes between non-commercial use and commercial use seems to be the way to go.

        Software released under a more open license should be forked by the developer and reissued under the new license while the original software is officially abandoned.

        1. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

          Re: There's something I don't get

          And someone else will release similar software for free , it gain popularity and your piece of shit will become a history.

          Your code is popular only because you undermined someone else by giving it out for free. Remember it before demanding to get paid.

          1. TheWeetabix

            Re: There's something I don't get

            So, Linux is sh**ty, second rate software? I see.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: There's something I don't get

      Presumably the idea is not to lock people out who can't pay because they can still contribute in the form of bug reports or code themselves, and rely on good corporate practice/social responsibility to donate money to keep a project going that they themselves benefit from.

      Obviously that wasn't a green light for the likes of Amazon to copy everything wholesale and not give a cent or line of code in return. But even Amazon manage to keep the software up-to-date, there are thousands or tens of thousands of corporations who never even manage to get that far.

      Just imagine if one of the thousands of corporations had noticed the log4j bug and contributed the code to fix it.

      1. oiseau Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: There's something I don't get

        ... rely on good corporate practice/social responsibility ...

        Hmmm ....

        Seems that you have not heard the one about the frog and the scorpion.

        Or read about what the usual crowd has been spewing for ages:

        ---

        “The public be damned, I work for my stockholders.”

        William H. Vanderbilt

        ---

        “The social responsibility of business is to increase profits.”

        Milton Friedman

        ---

        There is no such thing as good corporate practice/social responsibility.

        It is, by all acounts since the advent of capitalism, an oxymoron.

        O.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Dan 55: Re: There's something I don't get

        ...good corporate practice/social responsibility...

        I haven't heard of this concept. Where did you get it ?

        1. oiseau Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: @Dan 55: There's something I don't get

          I haven't heard of this concept. Where did you get it?

          It is one of the neatest tricks in the corporate bag and the epitome of what we have come to know these days as fake news or something similar.

          ie: to have convinced most if not all hoi polloi that such an animal really does exist.

          Some of us eventually came of age and understood.

          But the rest are still metaphorically in the dark and chained* to the wall.

          * See Plato/Socrates/Cave et al.

          O.

          1. cuvtixo

            Re: @Dan 55: There's something I don't get

            Yes and no. For example Climate Change. (I know you'll ignore this is you are still a firm nonbeliever, don't bother responding) At some point our largest corporations will go "Ohhh, I get it now. If we aren't responsible in any other way than to make (short-term) profit, we'll all be f'cked!" That, in decades time the best, most profitable move, is to work collectively to solve the problem. That, the real world punishes continual Prisoner's Dilemma decisions.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @Dan 55: There's something I don't get

              Except there may come a point where something that was supposed to be done beyond the corporate horizon comes back to bite them, but by then it's already too late to get out of trouble. You could say corporate myopia could end up being their downfall.

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: @Dan 55: There's something I don't get

          I haven't heard of this concept. Where did you get it?

          Was quite a thing nearer the beginning of the industrial revolution oddly enough (companies building housing and schools for workers and families).

          1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

            Re: @Dan 55: There's something I don't get

            Only so-so.

            While there may have been an altruistic element, in most cases it was a self serving act - by building decent housing and schools, you improve the quality and availability of your workforce, that in turn improves the business, and that in turn benefits the shareholders.

            Certainly during the industrial revolution, towns were expanding rapidly and people moving in from the countryside. The lack of decent housing etc was an impediment to businesses getting all the people they needed for expanding businesses. So building housing was an investment for the benefit of the business.

            1. Dan 55 Silver badge

              Re: @Dan 55: There's something I don't get

              I realise it's enlightened self-interest. Contributing money and code to open source would also benefit the business. As the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats.

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: @Dan 55: There's something I don't get

                Problem with that idiom is that a lot of boats are "leaky", meaning the rising tide will SINK them instead...

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @Dan 55: There's something I don't get

              Whilst it may have been self-interest I believe the OP's point is that at one time companies were willing to have that foresight instead of just being what we now term "ponces".

    3. emfiliane

      Re: There's something I don't get

      It's fun to tinker and make something that's useful to you and other people. To some degree it's even fun to polish it up

      What isn't fun is realizing that your professional reputation has become yoked to it after it becomes a source of stress and impossible time sink, and if you walk away, your reputation suffers and people (who never paid or helped out) will castigate you on every corner of the internet that coders populate (all of them), as if you broke some kind of unwritten contract.

      Anyone can fork a project, and many do, but that inevitably leads to mass proliferation of dead forks with one or two tweaks, nothing that ever evolves back into a centrally maintained project.

      So, eventually, someone else out there feels like tinkering something useful together to wholesale replace the undead project, and starts the whole process over again....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There's something I don't get

        That was my experience 25 years ago. Tens of millions of people benefited from my work and a lot of companies were making money out of it (one if them told me it saved them $93million in 4 months) but it was a stressful sink of effort that cost a lot to maintain and requests for support fell on deaf ears

        Switching it off and walking away was a tremendous relief

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There's something I don't get

      This is a bit harshly put, but accurate.

      I do think companies need to do a bit more tho. A while ago at $JOB we wanted to implement a custom OAuth2 provider in python. We looked around, and there wasn't quite the open source libraries that fully encompassed the features we needed* (OIDC), so I took the best, most well maintained library and fully implemented OIDC for it, 100% test coverage, documentation, the whole 9 yards. The PR was accepted, and we had our custom project up and running in under 2 months.

      That's wonderful - company needs something, develops it in OSS library, everyone's a winner... except we contributed nothing to the support of this feature. I was quickly on to the next project, no time for ID work, and we gave them nothing financially.

      AC because this story leads to a github project, which leads to my commits, my company and my github username.

      * 0auth actually had libraries that did, but we didn't trust them. It seemed their libraries kept boiling down to "wouldn't it be nicer to just pay us $2/user/month and let us do it". No it wouldn't.

    5. Stuart Castle Silver badge

      Re: There's something I don't get

      FOSS is a good thing, but I do think any one who uses it for commercial gain should contribute to the project in some way. Not necessarily Jo Bloggs who designed a system using a couple of open source libraries that they make a few pounds a month with, but certainly the likes of Google/Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook/Meta and Apple who are likely to make millions from an open source project.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There's something I don't get

        Developer: Here's this software I wrote, you can have it for free.

        Big Company: That's really useful, I insist on paying for it.

        Never going to happen, arguably it could even be considered as financial mismanagement by the company. If the developer wants to be paid for commercial use then they should have chosen a release model which allowed for that.

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: There's something I don't get

          Developer: Here's this software I wrote, you can have it for free.

          Big Company: That's really useful. Hey guys we've got someone out there making it easy for people to use our expensive products. Perhaps we could finance them 1/2 what we pay our shit salespeople and see how that effect sales. We could do some powerful synergy here or we could just be parasitic and then discover we have to pay 10 times as much to get people to add the new products under the already successful open source contributions, or 20 times as much to do it closed source. Whadayasay?

      2. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: There's something I don't get

        Even if companies were so incentivised... the dependency tree makes it non trivial.

        Someone suggested github channel membership, which could "automatically" look at dependencies, and that doesn't seem like an awful idea.

      3. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        Re: There's something I don't get

        FOSS is a good thing, but I do think any one who uses it for commercial gain should contribute to the project in some way.

        Should anyone who uses MS Office to make a fortune donate a pile of cash to MS, on top of their licence fees, just to say "thanks". After all, small and large companies pay the same prices.

    6. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: There's something I don't get

      Whatever brought you to think that you should get paid for it ?

      I'd take one step back and ask why should you think you need to maintain it?. If I write some code to solve a problem I encounter and make it available to people in similar circumstances, it's really up to them what they do with it. It would be a fundamental mistake to give something away and then try to maintain a proprietorial interest in it.

      Even if someone wants to pay for the software to be adapted or maintained, there's no reason they should pay me. And there's no reason to pay anyone if they can find someone to do it for nothing.

      But, having given the code away, that really is no longer my concern. And people making use of it need to understand the consequences.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There's something I don't get

        "I'd take one step back and ask why should you think you need to maintain it?."

        The internets are literally awash with old projects that thought exactly that way. Dead ends, bad ideas, vanity hacks, forgotten treasures. They're out there, and haven't seen an update in years and years. There's no shortage of those one-time-use projects. But the article under discussion is about a non-dead project that's in relatively active use. Quite a different animal.

      2. spireite Silver badge

        Re: There's something I don't get

        Exactly this, if it doesn't have something you want, then fork it, or f**k off, or be quiet. Don't barrack the maintainer, because he's not your personal slave.

        I'm as guilty as the next man for raising an issue on someones github contribution to a platform if they could enhance it etc, but I won't castigate them for not doing it (quick enough or otherwise)

        However, if it's in a tech stack I don't know the nuts and bolts of, with the best will in the world I can't do the enhancement.

        I'm thinking of some of the plugins that people have created for Grafana for example.

      3. Greg 11

        Re: There's something I don't get

        imhho this is a valid posture. where it gets confusing is when devs like this who don't want to be on the hook to maintain their oss code for others are still called Maintainers. i think the industry shld rethink applying this title to everyone who creates an oss project

    7. Adair Silver badge

      Re: There's something I don't get

      I wonder if part of the problem here is simply the fact that quite a lot of FOSS starts out by scratching an itch, followed by: "Hey, this was useful to me/us, maybe others will find it useful too" ...

      IOW, no one set out to sit down and think ahead where this might actually go, and why should they, they were just solving a local problem and were good enough to share the solution.

      I suppose one solution is, as mentioned, the point at which a licence is consdered. There could be an off the peg version of the GPL or Apache licenses, etc. that contains some boilerplate usage proviso to the effect of: if this software is deployed by a commercial/government entity with annual profits/turn-over/funding in excess of xxx then a fee is payable.

      We should remember that the 'Free' in FOSS pertains more to 'freedom' rather than to absence of financial obligation.

    8. Muppet Boss

      Re: There's something I don't get

      > There's something I don't get

      >Whatever brought you to think that you should get paid for it ?

      >Now, let me be clear that I am aware that there are many companies that are profiting from this, but you knew that there would be people using your code when you started. That is why you started. Why do you feel that you should be paid now ? Is it because there are companies making mint out of your work ?

      Well, exactly, otherwise it looks like some perverted form of extreme philanthropy (where the poor sponsors the rich) or even some form of modern slavery.

      >There should only be two categories of developers working on FOSS projects : the ones paid by their company to contribute code, and the ones doing it as a hobby after their day job.

      You think so? Should all other categories starve by definition?

    9. Snake Silver badge

      Re: A bit self-righteous?

      Now, let me be clear that I am aware that there are many companies that are profiting from this, but you knew that there would be people using your code when you started. That is why you started. Why do you feel that you should be paid now?

      Because once you make a decision, but the situation changes over time, you are not allowed to reconsider your position? Is that's what you are saying?

      Is it because there are companies making mint out of your work ?

      Yes.

      There should only be two categories of developers working on FOSS projects : the ones paid by their company to contribute code, and the ones doing it as a hobby after their day job.

      Therefore your position is as follows...?

      a) That either the developers are being paid to contribute their work to the FOSS ecosystem -OR- after the developer contributes his/her code once, he/ she is responsible for maintaining and updating the code FOR ALL TIME??

      Is that what you are saying? That the developer is thereby hooked into his/her project for the rest of their lives with no possibility of compensation, EVER, no matter how much work is involved or if the work is privately used for that adopter's sole benefit?

      I said it before regarding FOSS, the only reason that FOSS software exists is due to the graciousness of the provider. When said provider sees someone else making a mint off their work, yet also expects said provider to continue to provide updates without sharing in any of that benefit? You actually expect the provider to continue without complaint??

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: A bit self-righteous?

        I don't think anyone thinks that. The people who write the software are under no obligation to maintain it or do anything to help the users, commercial or otherwise. At the same time, the company or other user is under no obligation to pay them for it. How or if they choose to do those things can depend on how they want the project to proceed.

        The attitude of the maintainer in the article makes perfect sense to me; basically, it boils down to "I won't keep working on this unless there is enough money donated for the purpose, and I know the people who would benefit from my work can do that". I support that decision and have no problems whatsoever with those who do that. The argument that makes less sense to me is "I gave this away for free, but you must pay me for it". At that point, I have to ask why they gave it away for free if they're looking for people to purchase licenses. If I write something and give it away, I don't expect the users to pay me. If they want me to do something to improve it that I wasn't already planning to do, then I could give them an estimate, but if they just take the code and use it, which is what most people including companies are doing, that's what I expected when I used a license that said so. Donations are appreciated, but they are voluntary, just as my maintenance effort will be voluntary.

        1. Snake Silver badge

          Re: "I won't keep working on this unless there is enough money donated for the purpose"

          I agree completely with your reply. I think most FOSS developers are NOT looking for a salary from their submission, otherwise they would have picked an alternative license or trial plan to begin with. But for the commercial users of the code, to ask for at least a modicum of donation support isn't unreasonable considering that the aforementioned commercial users also expect frequent patches and updates.

          Those clauses should not really be compatible.

      2. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

        Re: A bit self-righteous?

        Situation changed?

        You mean you killed your competition by providing your software for free thus undercutting everyone else and now you want to start charging?

        1. Snake Silver badge

          Re: killed the competition

          Well, there's that, too. Although I would wonder how often it truly occurs because, let's face it strongly and honestly, most FOSS software whilst powerful often lacks the UI/UX polish of a commercial product. If free put paid out of business often, Linux would indeed be a major force on the desktop.

    10. BOFH in Training Bronze badge

      Re: There's something I don't get

      Well, they decide to contribute, and they can decide not to contribute if they think their time is more valuable. It's just that in this case, they are giving a warning that they have better things to do if they don't get something in return. Someone else who can, and wants to, can step in and contribute. Nothing stops anyone else doing it.

      And if they control their own project, they can change it however they want. And it's up to someone else to fork the project if they don't like how the project is going.

      If you as the user is not happy with this, you can always stop using the opensource code / project / whatever it is you are using for free. Nobody forcing you to use it anyway.

  2. LDS Silver badge

    "government intervention"

    And what form should it take? Subsidies to FOSS developers? Paid by a tax on software? Nobody forced them to give their code away for free.

    The problem with FOSS is it is based on a communist belief, and it has ended as any communist state: those at the top exploit those at the bottom. Keep on working for the ideal, Stakanov!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "government intervention"

      My understanding of FOSS has always been development of the software and availability of it is is free, but support has to either be provided by the community or a paid for service.

      Some products survive quite well with this model, however some FOSS projects are relatively easy to learn and don't require a huge amount of support these days.

      Technically speaking, I make money out of FOSS because I build platforms using FOSS and I charge to support it (nothing extortionate though, I'm far from being "rich") but I don't maintain any FOSS projects myself. Mostly because I have no interest (a lot of FOSS Devs are hard to work with) and providing support is a full time job in and of itself.

      I do contribute backwards where I can (and where I see value, I won't contribute to a project that is slow moving for example, there's a ton of awesome projects that are mired in squabbling or have cultural issues).

    2. Binraider Silver badge

      Re: "government intervention"

      Foss writers that work for big corporates do alright out of it. Google, red hat etc.

      Maintainer of some obscure shell command out of your back bedroom? Apart from the honour of being able to say so there is basically no route to funding; and there never was. How can I put this - if you want paying for it “get a job”.

      FOSS has a lot in common with piracy in the 1990s. Everyone wants stuff for nothing, including people that write stuff.

      1. Adair Silver badge

        Re: "government intervention"

        FOSS has a lot in common with piracy in the 1990s. Everyone wants stuff for nothing, including people that write stuff.

        Only true when the only tool in the bag is called 'Everything has a price'.

        In fact a substantial part of human life takes place without any need, or desire, to impose a financial price, or any price at all---it's called 'sharing'.

    3. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: "government intervention"

      "The problem with FOSS is it is based on a communist belief, and it has ended as any communist state: those at the top exploit those at the bottom. Keep on working for the ideal, Stakanov!"

      Hmm! Sounds a lot more like capitalism to me.

      1. desht

        Re: "government intervention"

        In a capitalist system, people exploit people. In a communist system, it's the other way round.

      2. RiversideRedCat

        Re: "government intervention"

        "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs"

        Sounds like the open-source maintainer certainly has been giving of his ability. Good on 'im.

        But ol' Karl Marx and his followers haven't been keeping up their end of their bargain and giving to the maintainer's needs.

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: "government intervention"

      The problem with FOSS is it is based on a communist belief

      Not sure whether you mean FOSS to be perjorative but the origins of open source software are definitely not communist. IIRC DARPA was a big sponsor of what was to become BSD. Yes, that's the DARPA that's not famed for its communist affiliation, rather the opposite.

      Unix, and the BSD became successful because of the academic approach of providing the source code. Okay, at the time, when all the money was in the hardware, charging extra for the software made little sense. But ideologically the idea of sharing code stems from the Enlightenment.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "government intervention"

      "The problem with FOSS is it is based on a communist belief, and it has ended as any communist state: those at the top exploit those at the bottom. Keep on working for the ideal, Stakanov!"

      FFS stop it. FOSS is about not allowing someone/thing from locking away software/hardware/data/etc which you own.

      It is not a business model.

      There are plenty of FOSS projects that have perfectly good working business models. Think Mark! Think!!! A person with a good business sense will end up monitising something be it closed source or FOSS. Also these types of people normally end up hired by big business or become big business themselves.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "government intervention"

      It seems that it's the capitalists that are the problem here, comrade!

  3. sabroni Silver badge
    Boffin

    Naive

    If you learn a little bit of history it's pretty fucking clear the only way FOSS developers are going to start getting paid appropriately is collective bargaining.

    1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

      Re: Naive

      Collective? When they constantly fight holy wars over the minutiae of at least a dozen competing licences? Good luck with that?

  4. Greybearded old scrote Silver badge

    Shouldn't have to explain

    FOSS is largely a gift economy. It only makes sense to play in it after your physical needs are met. Or just possibly to share the work on the tools of your trade, in the same way that Apache httpd came about or IBM contributes to the linux kernel.

    I blame Eric Raymond, for claiming that FOSS could be a business model.

    My sympathy to anyone who didn't realise that they were choosing poverty.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Shouldn't have to explain

      I think that a lot of FOSS gets created because the writers are just trying to show other people how things should be done - it's written by programmers who are trying to be educational and get a little praise or smiles from others.

      Compare it to Free Open Source Artwork ... most people make no money but Banksy has been lucky, maybe we need to move FOSS to the Banksy world but it would be just another FOSS issue if anyone were to document how to do that.

      1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        Re: Shouldn't have to explain

        Compare it to Free Open Source Artwork ... most people make no money but Banksy has been lucky

        Banksy is closed source. If they were open source they'd make the stencils freely available to anyone.

    2. unimaginative
      Linux

      Re: Shouldn't have to explain

      FOSS is not a business mode, but many business models can be built around FOSS. Take a look at Red Hat, for example.

      If you are writing FOSS in order to generate income, you are effectively starting a business. The mistake people make is one that many people starting a business make: is your business model viable?

      1. iron Silver badge

        Re: Shouldn't have to explain

        And, if you start a company that helps design and implement a niche FOSS solution, say for programming PLCs, why would you be providing free community support? That does not sound like a profitable business model to me.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Shouldn't have to explain

          Support is the business normally with open source. That and consultancy.

      2. J. Cook Silver badge

        Re: Shouldn't have to explain

        Redhat's model is "you can download the linux distribution you want for free; you can use it for personal use, with community support; if you are using it to, say, run your business on, you need to purchase the enterprise iteration, which comes with various tiers of support offerings.

        They seem to have done pretty well for themselves with that model, at least.

        1. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

          Re: Shouldn't have to explain

          Redhat model is to use open source most of which they got for free to make money by providing extra services.

          Not different from the way, say, Amazon uses open source. The fact that Redhat itself develop some code that is open sourced does not change the fact.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Shouldn't have to explain

            This a bit misleading. Consultants don't pick FOSS products because they're free to make more money. It is possible to make more money out of the savings but it seldom happens because of healthy competition.

            My consultancy rate is the same regardless of whether my client pays for licenses or not. In some cases my consultancy rates can be cheaper because I don't have to deal with 1st party support contracts and sitting on hold etc.

            I usually suggest FOSS products because:

            a) They're the right tool for the job. Why bastardise IIS into becoming a reverse proxy when NGINX has specific features for this particular use case?

            b) FOSS saves time. Nobody has to phone around to get quotes for licenses, set up an account with a distributor etc etc etc. This saves money without anyone having to take a hit (other than the vendors). You can save weeks worth of time which translates into potentially tens of thousands of pounds worth of lost time.

            c) Better and wider choice of support. If you use. FOSS product and it's a very popular FOSS product there's an excellent chance that there are tons of organisations out there that support it, you don't have vendor lock in. Pissed off with support at one org? No problem, go and hire another. Pissed off with the support on a proprietary product? Well you're stuck, because nobody other than the vendor has the same insight into the product and therefore cannot provide the same or better levels of support.

            d) You can customise it, usually relatively easily. Want to brand the portal for your FOSS platform for extra polish? No problem, it's probably quite straight forward. Want to do it on a proprietary platform? That'll be X for the Enterprise Plus option please.

            e) It's way easier to audit. Want to use a disk encryption tool that is audited? No problem, plenty of FOSS projects are independently audited and there is transparency. Want to know if Bitlocker is secure and free of backdoors, weaknesses etc...sorry no transparency, auditing etc. you have to hope for the best. Want the source code to have it audited yourself? Sorry, that's proprietary, you can't.

            f) There is no phone home brick wall. There's a huge number of proprietary applications that won't work if they can't phone home. Especially if you purchased them through the Windows Store etc.

            g) Choice and flexibility. A lot of FOSS products have drop in replacements that you can roll out in a heartbeat. Apache not quite right? No problem, try lighthttpd, nginx etc instead. Debian too heavy? No worries, try Alpine, Arch etc instead.

            There are so many benefits outside of "it's cheaper" that I don't accept that "FOSS is used to make more money" as a reasonable argument.

            Why on earth would anyone choose vendor lock in, annual renewals, add-on packages, subscriptions etc over FOSS? The only valid reason is if s feature isn't available any other way or your hands are tied for hardware reasons...i.e. you need to use a very specific set of hardware that will only work with very specific products. These use cases are typically "niche" though, they are not the norm.

  5. Skiron Bronze badge
    FAIL

    'CFO's

    Well, I was sysadmin/network administrator the Company required an IT help-desk system and a change request logging system which we really never had.

    Among the plethora of 'solutions' out there, all costing 1000's of £ to buy, then the yearly maintenance licence, I found a FOSS system that combined both systems coded in PHP running on Apache. I installed it and messed around for a bit and as it was open source I easily fixed a few issues and adapted it to suit our exact requirements. All of which I submitted back as patches to the users/bug forums.

    After a year or so of using this, in which all Dept.'s got on well with and as stated suited our exact requirements to a tee (for audits etc.) after my tweaks and fixes, I asked my boss, the CFO, if the Company would donate £200.00 or so to the developers, as they saved up 1000's of £ for us and also I could change/fix anything to suit what we required on the functionality.

    He refused on the ground that as it was 'free' there was no Company value/assest or depreciate to record so therefore so there was naff all on the accounts sheet. No matter which way I approached it, he point blank refused.

    Luckily the my Company shut down a few years after that.

    1. Tom Chiverton 1

      Re: FEO's

      And people bothered by this should licence their stuff as, say, Creative Commons - By - Noncommercial

    2. oiseau Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: 'CFO's

      ... refused on the ground that as it was 'free' there was no Company value/assest or depreciate ...

      But there was a nice tidy sum in this CFO's pocket at year's end as a result of the "1000's of £" saved, no?

      Could not spare 200, even as a one time personal contribution?

      What a dick ...

      I've seen and experienced similar behaviour first hand.

      Unfortunately, the company did not shut down and eventually I went out the downsizing door.

      O.

      1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        Re: 'CFO's

        No company is going to shell out ways of cash to randos who don't work for them, don't have contacts with them, aren't obliged to do anything for the money and who do not go through any sort of bidding/tendering/due diligence.

        The possibilities for fraud and corruption are huge.

        1. Alistair
          Windows

          Re: 'CFO's

          @ Ian Johnston

          No company is going to shell out ways of cash to randos who don't work for them, don't have contacts with them, aren't obliged to do anything for the money and who do not go through any sort of bidding/tendering/due diligence.

          I'm gonna suggest that you look up the definition of "politician".

          1. vincent himpe

            Re: 'CFO's

            Those are government, not businesses

          2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

            Re: 'CFO's

            I did originally have a line saying that 10 Downing Street works that way, but deleted it because it's not a company. However, you are of course quite right.

    3. maffski

      Re: 'CFO's

      Hopefully someone near the core of the opensource project was smart enough to run a commercial business offering support and/or remote hosting.

      If you don't fit in with a commercial businesses way of viewing the world then you're not going to get any kind of engagement from them. Perhaps opensource projects should sell entirely optional licences, I suspect a lot of the time if techs went to their bosses with a quote for a licence it would get signed off without a problem.

    4. Snake Silver badge

      Re: 'CFO's

      But sadly, as I've constantly tried to explain to FOSS supporters, this is typical.

      Something I've learned from 13 different jobs, unless you are very lucky and have a truly great human being as a boss? That most bosses live by a coda from a song:

      "What have you done for me lately?"

      Their entire worldview is based upon this singular viewpoint. You are only worthwhile as a human as long as you grant them a benefit. Your worth is only what you can deliver today, yesterday is over. 'Loyalty' mostly only goes as far as benefits that can be measured towards them.

      And, most importantly, everything is weighed on value. Even their "friendships". They will drop you like a hot potato the moment that you no longer grant them a direct benefit in the exchange of having you around.

      It sounds cynical but sadly it as all too often been true.

      So the typical CEO donate to a FOSS program, considering that they got what they wanted up front, regardless of a donation? Not happening.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 'CFO's

      Ugh...fuck any company that requires a help desk system.

      The help desk should be independent of any executive meddling.

      Tickets should be tracked, but they should not be viewable by an exec unless there is contention or some sort of row going on.

      The minute an exec or manager has visibility over a ticketing system, the notes become vague and the techies become unmotivated which causes a negative feedback loop which drags the quality of service down.

      Moreover, if a techie has to start writing notes that have to be understood by people that are non-technical it wastes their valuable time.

      I run my own support business and I am vehemently against holding engineers to their notes submitted in a ticket. I encourage them to keep their own notes as a way to protect themselves but I will never force them to submit them to a central system. The purpose of a ticketing system is to keep the customer informed with regards to when work is being done and whether the ticket is being escalated etc plus basic information to keep them somewhat in the loop. The client doesn't need to know nor cares about whether an engineer has checked out a different version of a git repo because it was discovered in the changelog that there was a regression that is causing their network stack to become unstable. They don't understand and they don't care. They just want their problem fixed and they want to know someone is on it and in some cases they want to know who is on it.

      There are some support firms that seem to think their help desk ticketing system should act as some sort of "wiki" to help solve future problems but this is bollocks. Technology moves forward, what worked last year as a fix is highly unlikely to work now. Referring to historical tickets for fixes is dumb and a waste of time. Each ticket should be treated as a brand new instance, any fixes found should be submitted to the appropriate online platform...be it the Arch wiki, a git issues list, the Microsoft support forums etc. This not only ensures that a solution is archived for posterity, but it can be used to demonstrate that your support form can solve problems that nobody else has through public visibility. Which in turn drives customers to you, "these guys solved the problem, let's give them a call".

  6. Boy Quiet

    Seems strikingly similar to art. The original artist just needs to (e.g. paint) and may give it away for a meal. Most such art sits around gathering dust, the few reach dizzy heights of financial transactions but the artist doesn’t get any (usually dead by then)

    Licensing is not the silver bullet as enforcing it is beyond the means of many.

    And saying it’s a socialist or communist thinking is too simplistic. I often wrote code just for the intellectual exercise of solving a problem. Sometimes I gave it away somethings I deployed it in my own licences code.

    I’m not sure what I’m saying here other than ‘it’s complicated’

  7. adam.c

    Not always true

    Seems strikingly similar to art. The original artist just needs to (e.g. paint) and may give it away for a meal. Most such art sits around gathering dust, the few reach dizzy heights of financial transactions but the artist doesn’t get any (usually dead by then)

    Artist's Resale Right

  8. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Tech crash?

    > Dutz's distress call comes just days after another open source developer, Marak Squires, sabotaged two of his own projects.

    The 2008 financial crisis arose because lots of american financial products were made of a mixture of high-risk debt that nobody quite understood their exposure to. It worked for a time, until confidence ebbed and some of those debts turned bad.

    Are we now seeing the same thing in the world of FOSS? That every organisation fed at the trough of "free" (gratis) software with little or no understanding of the risks and exposure they were building in. And just like in 2008, it worked fine, until some "players" defaulted and then the whole mess turned sour.

    We have all heard of technical (or software) debt. Where past shortcuts in design, implementation or documentation lead to far more work in the future. But that at the time, those failures did not seem important.

    Are all those chickens coming home to roost?

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: Tech crash?

      An interesting argument. I'm not in a position to assess it's accuracy.

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Tech crash?

      Yes and no. We sort of already live through this right now, in that vulnerabilities in open source code cause security problems with some frequency. Reliance on open source distribution systems leaves opportunities for hijacked packages to cause problems elsewhere in the chain. However, this isn't specific to open source because the same problems exist in proprietary software as well, with similar effects.

      I think the better answer is no (yes, I'm hedging). We're always going to need code to run something, so unless we voluntarily return to the 1980s, people are going to build systems out of something. As stated, proprietary software and open source software have the same risks; either can turn out to be fatally flawed to your detriment. If people are still using the same components in similar ways, it isn't really a crash. That would imply that a radical change has occurred, and this seems unlikely. Laws intended to require security run up against the problem that it's impossible to write bug-free software, and that existing laws that regulate against more obvious deliberate abuses already get enforced laxly. Consumer choices are unlikely to provoke change because most consumers don't have a clue what the terms mean and those who do often have no clue what code got used in the products they buy, use, or interact with. Companies are unlikely to change on their own without some external reason, most often a change to their profit or costs.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Tech crash?

        And even then, many firms find it cheaper to lawyer, insure, or lobby their way out of it...

  9. Potemkine! Silver badge

    It seems some people should reread their classics.

    Workers get the labour, their masters get the dividends of it.

  10. Korev Silver badge

    I work for a very large company. It's almost impossible to get money for donations to projects, conferences etc. as it just doesn't seem to fit in with the "receive invoice, wait for ages, pay invoice" model of payments. I've tried to get small amounts of money and it is very hard. Interestingly the only people to have any kind money for this are the diversity and inclusion group, so people usually try to force some "Diversity" angle on things!

  11. tiggity Silver badge

    My admiration

    My admiration to those people who can maintain useful FOSS projects with no / little funding. Huge effort & hassle for no reward.

    I have a few friends who got involved with FOSS & I know it can be a drain on free time as they all ended up giving up FOSS contributions after a while (ironically, when they were keenly involved, did help a couple of them out with some issues they had, including a maths mega brain who was struggling with some cryptography* C software they were writing)

    * I'm no maths expert, friend was bemused when his code seemed to work OK until he tried encrypt / decrypt on PC of data from his Mac and visa versa and it all went wrong (a long time ago when Mac was big endian whereas PC little endian, not sure what endian-ness intel macs have as don't use them).

    .. Once I spotted the issues, had to explain the fun of "endian-ness" and the possible coding approaches he could use to mitigate it (lots of ways to do it). Memory hazy after all these years, can't remember if was bit shifts or whatever that was the issue, just recall it was some bit related operations making it fail.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: My admiration

      All x86, amd64, and arm64 are little endian.

      Most 32bit Arm is little endian too, though some older ones can select an endian at startup.

      Big endian is almost non existent now.

      1. Liam Proven Bronze badge

        Re: My admiration

        It might have been classic MacOS.

        68000 was big-endian:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorola_68000_series

        ... and PowerPC was switchable. Classic MacOS switched it to big-endian:

        https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21327906

      2. QuiteEvilGraham

        Re: My admiration

        Erm, network byte order and the entire IBM mainframe estate? Hardly non-existent.

        You do want your bank account updated correctly, don't you?

      3. Mike 125

        Re: My admiration

        >Big endian is almost non existent now.

        Hardly- it's only used in every single packet traversing the Internet. Try designing a little endian network header and you'll see why.

  12. J.Teodor
    Go

    No good answers

    I have quite a lot of OSS projects myself - none of these is high-profile, but few have thousands users, and from download stats I know that some of these are used by the largest corporations in the world.

    On the other hand, I never expected to be compensated for those projects - these were "I see a gap in AWS implementation of XYZ and this is only a thousand lines of code", or things I wrote for fun and personal use. I don't feel an obligation to keep them updated daily or implement any change that is requested in GH issue. As I give my time away for free, my responsibilities are also minimal beyond OCD "fix every bug"....

    This might be different if I would be a maintainer of super-duper-high-profile project, which would consume a significant portion of my day, with those corporations heavily relying and profiting from my work. I would probably want something from them.

    One option would be to hire the maintainer - Microsoft hired James Newton-King, the author of NewtonSoft.Json, with the writing on the wall being that his day job would be not only adding gRPC to .NET, but also keep his extremely popular component updated.

    I use open-source packages a lot at my $JOB, and I am fairly sure we never really compensate for them. On the other hand, many of these are not quite "leftpad", but something I could reasonably well implement within a day or few - for example, an IPv4 manipulation library.

    On personal use, I try to donate to the projects I use a lot - such as KeePass, 7Zip, Notepad++. Yearly $10 is not much, but at least the developer(s) will know that they are appreciated for their work - and perhaps if there are more users like me, they can put more time into the work on those.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: No good answers

      My own experience has been that companies are now much more both to use and contribute financially to open source projects than they were say 10 years ago, assuming they can find a way of getting through the bookkeeping!

      I have one project which has received considerable support from all kinds of companies. Not enough to work on it full time, but enough to cover the necessary work. YMMV but some times you jut need to ask.

    2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

      Re: No good answers

      On personal use, I try to donate to the projects I use a lot - such as KeePass, 7Zip, Notepad++.

      I use Musescore a lot and was all set to donate to it until it was sold to Ultimate Guitar. It will be cold day in hell before I enter into a financial relationship with a Russian software outfit. There is always Lilypad.

  13. Greg 11

    why call them maintainers?

    one obvious thing the open source community can do to help this situation is to stop referring to open source creators as "maintainers"

    is it any wondrr that there is this stubborn expectation on the part of users that the free sw they consume will be supported when the creators willingly accept the moniker of "Maintainer"?

    Developer, or Creator, or Inventor. Anything but Maintainer

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Been bubbling below the surface for a long time, seen many FOSS maintainers take their projects to a state of "free only to non-commercial use", where possible simply removed the code and locked it up as a paid service.

    FOSS is a great idea but ultimately it's like charity or social security, always going to be those who never even say thanks let alone give anything back when they can.

    Nice idea but the 1960s, radical free love and free everything hippy bollocks was stabbed in the heart by Gordon Gecko during the 1980s, it's been bleeding to death for the last 40 years. FOSS is part of that ethos and the end is getting near if someone doesn't help it along to the local A&E.

    1. jollyboyspecial Bronze badge

      The problem with charging for something rather than accepting voluntary donations is that you suddenly become liable.

      1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

        No, I don't think that's true. IT remains the only field where you can disavow that your product is fit for purpose - charging for it might make people question that, but it won't stop you doing it.

        1. jollyboyspecial Bronze badge

          I think you'll find that you can deny responsibility all you want, but that will make no difference to the courts decision should you be sued by a paying customer.

        2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

          Hard sell

          Hello, boss, I think we should donate to the people keeping this library running, because it's useful to us.

          Will that get us rights to use the library?

          Not, really, because we already have those for free.

          Will that get us updates?

          It might encourage them, but I'm afraid there's no guarantee.

          So if we find a bug we ... ?

          Report it and someone, who may or may not be the person we gave the money to, might fix it.

          Do we have any comeback if we give the money and get no fixes?

          Erm, no.

          But at least it guarantees that we can keep on using the library?

          Erm, no again. Might be pulled any time.

          And if that happens we have ... ?

          No comeback, yes.

          So basically you want me to spent company money on potential fixes to a product we already use for free, but with no guarantee that these fixes will happen, or result from our money, and no guarantee that the product we got for free and then paid for won't be withdrawn.

          Yup. But it will make us feel really good, and all our competitors will benefit too.

          Well that's an interesting idea. Call in on the Duty Torturer on your way out, will you. A little something off the ears, I think.

  15. Starace
    Devil

    Maybe the support isn't worth paying for

    Is it maybe possible that if no-one wants to pay for your support maybe it just isn't good enough? There's plenty of projects where the support is excellent and well worth it but also plenty where it's either worthless or just far too expensive for what it is. Especially when more than one person offers support.

    If you want to be a commercial operation you need to provide commercial levels of service. Not suddenly decide you want to try to take your toys home because you think your one man band can charge like Oracle on a perpetual basis and others disagree.

    You'd think all maintainers were saints from the way some of them talk. Some are. Others are bloody useless, and will leave all sorts of problems (and submitted fixes) hanging while they pursue whatever their current interest is without letting anyone else contribute.

    There are projects that are basically baseline functionality these days & embedded everywhere where the concept is good, the support (commercial & otherwise) plentiful yet you still have core maintainers who basically refuse to maintain beyond their current pet feature, and when you start poking you find that what looks superficially well designed & documented with plenty of testing is actually a mess where the features don't work and the tests don't test. And when the bugs (and fixes) go in they'll sit forever ignored...

    No one makes you do these projects and if you don't want to then fine. But don't scream because you went in trying to look altruistic and the cash you actually wanted didn't roll in. If you wanted money then choose a commercial model from the start instead of moaning that the grasping bastards aren't charitable enough.

  16. Nick Pettefar

    PuTTY?

    I always wonder about PuTTY which everyone seems to use but no-one pays for.

  17. msobkow Silver badge

    Personally I don't inted to ever try to create a "product" or "service" of my own ever again. I'm done playing games with convincing myself I have "the next big thing" despite evidence to the contrary, and letting myself be frustrated by the fact that "all my work hasn't paid off."

    Been there. Done that.

    Its not fun. And in the end, you're 99% likely to still be broke, just with everyone knowing you threw the game table over.

  18. F0ulRaven

    Free software is always worth the price you paid for it.

    If you want support, employ someone, or pay a donation with your request for a patch, but don't whine!

    FOSS was always too idealistic for its own good, the only licence I ever liked was the BSD one which at least was honest.

    Think its time for a FOSS patch subscription scheme which works like the music payment scheme for musicians.

  19. untrained_eye_of_newt

    Open source is exploitative

    Take a look at this -- exploitation has happened before in history more than once...

    The real viral GPL could solve this but we've subverted it (so we can now have GPL software deployed and connected to non-GPL software, somehow, maybe we got a waiver) (it is enforceable after all, there is careful legal language).

    My perhaps flawed understanding of GPL is that you can't have a billion dollar success story connected to software with that license. If nobody with several homes and a yacht owns all that value then there is no problem of contributors not getting a cut of royalties.

    It does seem really exploitative when you think about it. For profit companies really should form a value mesh and license each other's stuff, and provide employment.

    1. jollyboyspecial Bronze badge

      Re: Open source is exploitative

      Open source was a great idea when it began, but it went weird. There are plenty of companies (some call themselves things like "foundation" to try to avoid accusations of capitalism) making money from open source software. I don't mean companies who use the software for commercial gain, I mean companies who sell services like configuration or support all the while expecting the developers to work for free.

      That's where the model needs to change. If you want to makes money from open source software then you should be paying the developers

  20. Rick Mo

    HAR!

    See, the old adage RINGS TRUE, yet again - You get what you pay for and nothing still equals, NOTHING!

    That is precisely why my zMAINFRAME is so SHOCKINGLY still in style, today!

    Right, open source developers who make like, maybe, ¢15 cents an hour??? Might as well go work for UBER... better yet, wash dishes - you get fed!!

    zMAINFRAMER and still shockingly in love with IT!!

    ;-]

  21. coderguy

    Free in this context refers to the fact you are free to use and modify the code. Even to redistribute it. Just because you don't need a license, that doesn't absolve you of the responsibility to ensure it's fir for purpose. Just because the code is available, doesn't mean it should be used without support.

    Stop thinking these projects are vendors, they're not, at best they are the caretakers of the codebase.

    Treat any FOSS library as though it were commit from an unkown developer in Elbonia ™, that is trust. but verify.

    1. Rick Mo

      Please!

      Big Biz is ripping off "open source" - just ask any open source developer making $12 A MONTH!!

      ;-]

      Honesty and morality are GREAT - they just don't really exist in a capitalistic business world!!

      Take it from a grizzled zMAINFRAME developer, who actually gets paid a GREAT salary - that is REALITY!!

      ;-]]

  22. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    I wrote some code once

    Long time ago.... put it out there as FOSS, however , if anyone downloads it, uses it, then notices the bugs and demands I fix it, its a very robust phrase involving travel and sex.

    But actually FOSS is great for companies... download some code , use it to make money, and you dont have to pay any coders/developers/maintainers anything

    Suits them perfectly... plus the fact a private doing it in a wet sunday afternoon programmer like myself wont have to finance to sue the arse off the people using my work for commecial gain.

    right upto the point the entire internet depends on one package maintained by some guy in Indiana (see XKCD for more details)

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I tried to buy a licence

    To an extension to an open source library that added some useful performance enhancements.

    The developer never got back to me...

  24. vincent himpe

    and just like that ...

    reality struck a blow.

    What did they expect ? They flog this stuff as 'free' and then complain when you don't get paid. Like it or not the world does not work that way. Nobody will throw peeled grapes in your mouth out of the goodness of their heart. They may pay you if they need something only you can provide. If you offer it for free .. don't come crying.

    The only concept that did work (to some extent) was shareware.

    1. Binraider Silver badge

      Re: and just like that ...

      I was quite fond of the Beerware variant on Shareware...!

  25. Geez Money Bronze badge

    XKCD never told us...

    that the man in Nebraska might get mad.

    relevant https://xkcd.com/2347/

  26. TJD

    I do not have much sympathy for him. Either he believes in Free Opensource Software licensing that is available to anyone for any use, or he doesn't. He can't have it both ways.

    If he wants to be paid for his work, he should get off his fanny and go find a corporate sponsor. That's on him, and no one else.

    Otherwise, my only response to him is: "FOSS doesn't need you or your attitude. It is counterproductive and does more harm than good for other projects beyond you. Someone else will contribute to the project. He's welcome to leave and take his drama with him.

    Do not let the door hit you in the fanny on the way out. "

    1. naive

      It can feel a bit awkward when one uses AWS EC2 compute to develop stuff used by Bezos to make his billions, and get an EC2 bill as reward.

      I do not think that the issue is caused by bad intent, most are totally unaware of the role open-source in IT.

      Apple and MS are nice options in IT, without open-source, and open-source derived products, we would be back into the middle age for a long time to come.

      If companies knew their business depends on it, they perhaps would be more willing to give.

      Maybe the millenials will fix it, the current generation on power in companies still thinks 50's.

  27. HammerOn1024

    Sooooo... Shocking

    Sooo.... communism doesn't work again. This is my shocked face :-|

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