Open source sustainment and the future of Gitea - Blog

Tue Oct 25, 2022 by techknowlogick


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://blog.gitea.io/2022/10/open-source-sustainment-and-the-future-of-gitea/

Good luck with your new Red Hat ! But don’t be surprised if the bulk of people – who do not have multimillion dollar corporations – begin to look elsewhere over time :grimacing:

Especially since when you mention cryptocurrency, a large swath of people are going to put you in their burn book and never interact with you again

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I think there are two parts which are unfortunately conflated which each other:

  1. Having a company providing commercial development and support services
  2. Transferring essential assets such as trademark and domain names to a commercial entity

Conflating those two with another (as done here) unfortunately is a very bad move from the context of a collaborative open source development project.

While I always welcome companies providing professional R&D and support around FOSS projects, those companies should not hold trademarks or other assets of the open source project. There is simply too much risk of damage to the open source project by misuse of the brand, or by attempting to monopolize the FOSS project in some way. A commercial company can always change direction years or decades down the road, after management/ownership changes, etc.

The essential assets of the FOSS project should always be held by a very trusted entity - whether that’s a foundation / association / non-profit or a individual who is respected and trusted by all parties.

Furthermore, the announcement reads like there is a third change in the pipeline: A change towards an “open core” model where some features are only available in a non-FOSS version of the software. Some people also call it “crippleware”, though I wouldn’t go s far as that.

Mixing those three separate steps in one unfortunately sounds like a very sad combination indeed.

I’ve been very happy to support gitea with small monetary contributions so far. But now I think I will have to re-think that decision. Now I’m not helping an open source project but a commercial entity who wants to monopolize a FOSS project and turn it into open core :frowning:

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Some answers here https://twitter.com/giteaio/status/1585297381926793216

@lunny thanks for the link to some answers. I’ll cut & paste it here:

  1. We don’t plan on selling crypto or creating some shitcoin
  2. the DAO was mentioned as a possible way to ensure public and transparent community governance, but I believe it is possible to do that without cryptocurrency (still investigating if that is indeed possible, but…
    wanted to be upfront with areas we were exploring.)

I’m glad you’re (we’re?) not doing a crypto, unless someone has some brilliant idea I haven’t seen yet for integrating with git. But mentioning it in a post with everything else is a red flag.

A DAO can be done, and even have legal standing as a corporation in the USA state of Wyoming. This is typically tied to some blockchain, but perhaps there is a way to do one with tying in crypto madness.

As @laf0rge points out, there’s quite a few announcements mixed into one. His key question (to me) is about the trademarks, which didn’t get addressed in your “some answers” twitter post. I think if you monetize that into some company, you may run into issues with the people that built the value into that trademark. Food for thought.

Thanks,

-Jeff Moe
(cf. footer front page of gitea)

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