Who pulls the strings?
Summary: Commentary on funding that comes with strings attached and what this means to freedom-respecting software
Nginx, which is basically proprietary software except its very core (like OpenX  and other companies that misuse the “open” label), received some more funds  and to some — like IDG (or IDC) — the only number that ever counts is money . There is a new platform called Open Funding  and it’s said “to help speed up the development of free and open source software by financially supporting the developers.” Generally speaking, Free software should be funded by users, not outside companies, which usually seek to get money back — a “return” on their “investment”. Usually, although not always, there are user-hostile strings attached to the latter type of funding (the former has strings tied to users). This might help explain why Nginx stopped being Free software in the first place. The same type of thing happened to various other projects, some of them famous like MySQL.
It is not always a victory when a FOSS project attracts funding. It very much depends on where the funds come from. Nginx does well in terms of market share , but not in terms of freedom. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
Open-source server vendor Nginx will use the new financing to help fuel both its community and its commercial efforts.
Sale of OpenX Source Ensures Continuity of OpenX Community
Low-cost marketing, hard bargains, keeping competitors in check — profiteering abounds in the open source community
A crowd funding platform for free software projects has reached beta state and already transmits the helping requests of various FOSS development teams. The name is Open Funding and the mission is to help speed up the development of free and open source software by financially supporting the developers.