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When will we start paying for open source modules?

February 20, 2021 (Syndicated From

Is there a world in which we pay for what we now use for free?

I would love to see a world where developers can build what they love and make a living doing it. Recent innovations like Github sponsors, and Patreon have allowed some prominent open source contributors the ability to work full time on their open source projects which I think is really cool.

If you take any project’s dependency tree it’s filled with a pyramid of hundreds of modules. I could image a payment structure that somehow divided down fees for each package perhaps based on a set of criteria perhaps module size, version count, commit count, where the price would be fractions of a cent over a period of time.

Imagine using a module and paying $0.15 per month. For a small module that gets 4,018 downloads a month thats around $600 for that one module.

I think we’ve taken for granted this era of technology where companies valued in the millions are built using hours of free labor.

As someone who loves creating open source projects, it would be nice if as a developer I could lead a different self-guided way of making money that didn’t revolve around working for a large tech company.