On the bright side, last week’s hatchet job in Techcrunch generated some great blog posts. For whatever reason they don’t show up as links on Techcrunch’s page, but here’s some of the better ones:
- Duncan Riley Supports Adversarial Value Extracting Strategies in Open Source Software from Adam of idly.org.
- The Grey Area is from Mark Jaquith, a core contributor to WordPress, makes part of the case for why Akismet is a good anti-spam plugin to bundle with WordPress.
- Techcrunch questions Matt Mullenweg’s Ethics from Amy Stephen at Open Source Community
- Making Money from Open Source talks about white, grey, and black ways of making money from OS.
- Finally Open Source: Grey and Green from Andrew has a literary objection.
To summarize some of my responses:
- I have no problem with people making money from Open Source, in fact I think some of the most successful OS projects have profit motives aligned with user motives.
- Related: I have no problem with Pligg being sold. I think it’s better than them selling links in the software.
- It is possible to make money while giving your users something they want and provides value rather than something they never asked for. (Think of selling a hosted version vs. selling paid links meant to spam search engines.)
- The fact that I made a similar mistake in the past gives me unique perspective into both sides of the issue.
- The developer blogroll links in WordPress are nothing like the links being bought and sold for the intention of spamming search engines, but regardless they have been replaced with links to WordPress resources instead of individual contributors.
- Duncan said “Money is money, no matter how you make it.” I could not disagree more.
- While anyone can do almost anything with WordPress under its license, that doesn’t mean we have an obligation to promote folks who we feel are doing so in a way which is not ethical or in the best long-term interests of the community.