Posts tagged open communities

Open communities need to be partners, not sources of free labor

In the last couple of years, we’ve seen an increasing number of organizations start to spawn products that take a largely open stack (e.g., the SciPy ecosystem) and wrap it in a thin layer of proprietary/custom interface + infrastructure. On the face of it, this isn’t a problem - I really want people to be able to make money using the open source stack - however, there is a big caveat. When you look at the work that those organizations have done over time, you often see a pretty thin trail of contributions back to those open source projects.

I’d argue that using an open community’s software without contributing back is straight-up exploitative (legal, sure, but still exploitative), and we should think about ways to suppress this kind of behavior. This post is a collection of thoughts on that topic.

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