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Giving profits back: where and how

Our plan to give 50% of our profits back to the community has got a lot of people talking. Everyone likes the idea, but some people are wondering how it’s going to work. It’s important to note that this plan isn’t just a short term gimmick — no, it’s a crucial part of what Linux Voice will be about over the years. A thriving Linux and Free Software community is good for all of us!

Now, we won’t have huge bags of cash to throw around at the start, so we want to do this carefully. Over the first 12 months of the magazine, we’ll give coverage to communities, projects, charities and events suggested by you, Linux Voice readers. Then, at the end of the year, readers will be able to vote on which groups we support, and where the 50% of our first-year profits go to.

Perhaps you’re a big fan of the FSF or EFF and want us to get behind them, or maybe there’s a certain Free Software application or meet-up that needs financial help. You might also know of groups trying to spread Free Software in the developing world that could do with our help. In any case, let us know your ideas in the comments below, and thanks again for supporting us!

(Oh and if this is the first time you’ve heard of Linux Voice, to make this all happen we’re crowd-funding: check out our Indiegogo page for the full low-down.)

114 thoughts on “Giving profits back: where and how

    1. EFF +1
      It has to be EFF if we loose the freedom of the internet we will als likely lose our abillity to cooperate.

  1. Przemyslaw Kaminski


    My suggestion is to support some Haskell project, like xmonad, Yesod, or whatever other you find interesting :)
    Functional programming is the future :)


  2. +1 for FSF and in particular their MediaGoblin project — a software platform aiming to enable a decentralised alternative to YouTube, Flickr et al.

    1. Awesome! This was exactly my suggestion over in the Reddit post[1] for this discussion.

      As I said over there, given that Linux Voice is in the business of "documents" (magazine publication) and media (podcasts), GNU MediaGoblin seems like an obvious fit.

  3. Sorry to get political, but will funds be allocated on a FPTP system, or will we have some form of PR?

    So, if 50% of people vote for the EFF, 30% vote for FSF and 20% vote for Stallman to get some new sandals, would all the money go to the EFF, or would the money be distributed accordingly?

    1. Hmm. We want to support more than one cause, but we don't want the funds to get diluted too much. In your example, the EFF, FSF and Stallman sandal appeal would all get a share, but whether that's split 50-30-20 or 33-33-33 we haven't decided yet.
      Let us know what you'd prefer.

  4. FSF and EFF just have to be the major recipients, but there's so many worthy projects how to choose could be a real headache. Personally, as your ethos is "giving back to open source" then I'd say – perhaps controversially – that only projects should be considered, no communities, charities or events.

    Events should be self-financing (that's what sponsors are for!). Charities – I've no problem with Linux Voice encouraging it's readership to support, but should LV being giving handouts? Probably not. Communities, I'm not sure of, if we're talking about some special development group – like one trying to enable desktops for the visually impaired – then fine, but a general rule of "if you're a group then you qualify" – no.

    By the way, I admire your optimism in talking about the open source donations when you've only got just over 50% of the funding. Love to see the project make its funding – but there's only 28 days left, so I'm getting concerned.

    1. We got over half way in 14 days, with still 28 days to go, so that's a reason to be optimistic I reckon!

  5. What Linux needs is a proper equivalent to Adobe Photoshop. Gimp does a pretty gold job but I know quite a few people that stick to Windows vor Mac because Gimp lacks quite a few features that Photoshop provides.

    The big foundations get a lot oft attention anyway. So I would rather see support for software developers in areas that will attract Mord people in using Linux on the desktop.

    Just my two cent … ☺

    1. I agree as well. The big organizations are already getting funded pretty well. Its the small ones that cant get anything. Ive received one donation of $20 in year and a half Ive been developing, Im not complaining, Im just pointing out that the small projects are not well funded. People always want the glamorous projects, but there are tons of small lib's everyone uses that no one funds.

      I would love to see a real time voting system, let your subscribers add their own idea's to the poll and everyone scroll through the dozens of projects and determine where they donate their share of the proceeds. ie if it works out that you have 1000 subscribers are there is $1000 in proceeds then each subscriber gets to choose where his or her $1 goes. At the end of the year the remaining proceeds are dived up amongst the contributed projects.


  6. Make it relevant to you. What software do you need to produce a magazine? I am guessing scribus, gimp, inkscape, libreoffice etc. Maybe some of the important libraries underneath them. If you could work with developers to implement specific features, then it will be clear how you are benefiting opensource, and if you can use these tools in your production then its clear how opensource benefits you.

    1. I agree improving open source software that you would use for you magazine is a great place to start, you could hire a dev to work on improving the software in areas you need. The result would be a more useful product for everyone.

      Secondly it would be great if you allocated some money to small tasks and allowed developers to send you in proposals for small projects that your readers could then vote on. For example you might have 3 spots up for grabs. As an example of a small task I have run two crowd funding campaigns recently to improve OpenGL support in Linux: it would be great if you could support small projects like this.

    2. I agree with sam. I think that your contribution to their projects will not only be money, but also experience in the field.

  7. - The Debian Project as the core of many GNU/Linux distributions out there.
    - GNOME foundation. They are doing a great job organising accesibility campaigns, the outreach program for women, etc. GNOME is not only the desktop!

    My 2 cents.

  8. Hi,

    We have Red Hat to make sure Linux is successful in the Enterprise Market, but the Desktop is not strategic for Red Hat. So, use the money to sponsor those strategic projects that make Linux a success in the Desktop market.

  9. How about using promoting bounties, sure you could give back to some charities however wouldn't it be better if the money was used for developers trying to earn a living with foss projects.

    Perhaps drivers, features in programs…. and the readers can vote on how and what the bounty is used for.

  10. Just about any free project which will use the money to cure the bus in their code and add a bit of polish.

  11. I would prefere it, if you won't donate to political organisations. Give the Money to the devolopers. Linux needs more great programs.

  12. I think it would be amazing to promote the positive work of the EFF & FSF.

    I also wonder if you would consider contributing to some sort of diversity in tech campaign. OSS is very predominantly white and male. Google the stats if you think I'm talking rubbish. I think OSS can be improved with a more diverse group of people contributing (not to mention that it has massive potential for growth if we can make it more welcoming for all those people). I don't know of any UK-based organisations but I'll see what I can find out.

    Another thing I often think about with donations is that a small donation can have a huge impact to a smaller organisation that has had little publicity and might be just starting out. If you spot a small non-profit or charity trying to do awsome work you might be able to give them a platform from which to do great things even with a small amount of cash.

    1. "I think OSS can be improved with a more diverse group of people contributing (not to mention that it has massive potential for growth if we can make it more welcoming for all those people)."

      I don't see how Free Software is not welcoming to anyone.

      1. I don't really want to get into this conversation here, as this isn't really the place for it. I'm sure you can work google and research this yourself.

        As an example of the evidence that there is a problem, it is estimated about 3% of OSS contributions are from women. This is far below the percentage of women in tech industry in general and obviously below the percentage of women in the the general population!

        The open source community isn't perfect. I personally wouldn't expect any group made up of 97% male voices to be perfect, though. Some people are trying to be more aware of the issues and to ask what we can do to improve things. I'd like to think that people making Linux Voice were concerned about these issues as it is evedent they genuinely want to do something positive with this venture.

  13. I think you should buy copies of Windows 8, so that MS believes they are on the right way after all and keep screwing up…

    On a more serious note, the Software Freedom Conservancy does the boring legal work for a large amount of Free Software Projects, and takes donations for them as well:

    1. I agree with the above and expand:
      - FSFE
      - FSF
      - Trisquel GNU/Linux (100% free distro based on Ubuntu)
      - Mediagoblin
      - EFF
      - Software Freedom Conservancy
      - Freedombox

  14. How about having a number of categories to put votes against? For example, a FOSS distro, a FOSS application, a new FOSS development or project, something that enhances the use of FOSS in new ways or places. Readers could propose candidates for a short list, and then vote on the resulting shortlist. Grants could be given out annually or quarterly or whatever.

  15. Burgess Meredith

    Pay someone to make a logical user interface for GIMP. It's very frustrating that this powerful replacement for Photoshop will never be used by designers or artists because the gui is just a confusing mess. This program has the potential to be a crown jewel of Opensource. Seriously, this is a big stumbling block for a lot of potential converts. I HAVE to keep Windows just to do efficient design. I'm sure Effy would back this.

    1. Have you tried Single Window Mode? Makes up for a lot of failings.

      Leads on to my suggestion – how about giving money to GIMP specifically to focus on a new brand name ;)

      1. Get the GIMP guys to fork their own project, rebrand and then contribute with support available to the old tree ;0P

        PS the linux voice rebrand looks fantastic.

        Keep up the good work, can't wait til payday. It was difficult to resist the credit card!

      2. Not that keen on "GIMP" either – has negative connotations.

        How about giving them some money and let US choose a new name. I'll put up my suggestion – how about "TIPS", that standing for (just don't tell Adobe!) for "This Isn't Photo Shop".

        Yes, I know the Adobe product is "Photoshop" (no space), so I've slapped in a space to distinguish it. Take that accursed US copyright lawyers!

  16. I think umbrella organisations are an interesting idea as recipients for donations, since that means many projects can benefit. The FSF and SFC have already been mentioned, and there's also SPI which supports a number of projects including Debian, PostgreSQL, Arch Linux, Drupal, and LibreOffice.

  17. "at the end of the year, readers will be able to vote on which groups we support, and where the 50% of our first-year profits go to."

    So, do we vote separately for each year or is this vote valid for more than one year?

    1. New votes at least once a year, definitely. New projects, applications and communities will arrive in the coming years, and we want everyone to have a chance.

  18. My votes:

    1. Document Foundation
    2. Debian
    3. Xorg Foundation (Mesa)
    4. Linux Mint
    5. VLC Media Player
    6. GIMP

    Sorry if my list is a little long

  19. I vote for some of the money going to productivity sweets like ardour, gimp, blender, and audacity. Projects like this will always be more niche and i think often get overlooked on funding, but they enrich the Linux echo system and make it useable.

  20. I'd be deeply concerned about bun-fights breaking out or LV developing too narrow-a-focus on a single distro/desktop if funds were allocated too specifically. This is "Linux" not "$myDistroOfChoice" Voice. In the interests of disclosure all my work is on RedHat and it's up/down-streams. Any such approach runs the risk of alienating minorities or risking future viability just by narrowing of appeal which I could see as a very slippery slope, I almost suggested in my original pledge comment that LV should even extend it's purview as far as to edge into the Wired/Maker/2600 space (preferably without as many adverts as Wired mind).

    Organisations such as the EFF, FSF and Apache are fairly safe on the basis of cross-platform operability but I'd hazard the opinion that even someone like the Eclipse foundation would be to specialist by excluding those who prefer vim/Emacs/IDEA as their IDE etc…
    Any software actually used by LV in it's process of publishing should be very high up on the list, I can't imagine you'd saturate that pot too quickly.

    After those suggestions however I'd start getting wary, I'd even go as far as suggesting a rule such that eligible project/organisation must support at least 2 or 3 traditional Linuxes (Fedora, Ubuntu, Slackware, RedHat, Centos, Slackware) and one non-linux platform (a BSD, Android, AIX, Solaris, perhaps even that one starting with "W").

    How about a scholarship (problems with locale?), developer conference travel or open source graphic assets fund as alternatives? Perhaps best to pick 2/3 perennial donations like the FSF, EFF and then quarterly/yearly subscriber votes to dish out the remaining smaller funds.

  21. Thank you for this great initiative and for giving the community something back!

    1. FSFE
    2. ownCloud
    3. GIMP

    I think, it would not only be good to support single projects but the whole FLOSS movement worldwide. FSF and EFF are too US-focused and already have enormeous amounts of donations.

    So I suggest supporting FSFE as it is focused on whole Europe and doing great work for developers and the community on local, political and EU levels. As far as I know they don't have the funds EFF and FSF have which is a shame for the FLOSS movement in Europe – so let's not only support US organisations but also EU based ones.

  22. How about having something on the LV web-site where open source projects can pitch themselves for funding towards enabling them to deliver specific initiatives?

    The LV readers could then discuss and up or down-vote those pitches and the most deserving (based on LV readership appreciation) would naturally bubble to the top of the list.

    The top of the list can then be used to write a feature in the magazine (not unlike "distrowatch") that lists the projects that are "most deserving" in the eyes of the readership.

    At the end of the year, when the value of that 50% is known, it could be distributed amongst the top of the list. Of course, how many projects are in that "top" and how that value is divided amongst them is probably more detail than can be expessed in a post here.

  23. Nicolai Abruzzese

    Well I think you should give money to proyects that are used in our day to day linux life… but there are so many… my favorites:
    - Crunchbang linux
    - linux mint
    - eclipse foundaiton
    - vlc
    - libre/openoffice

  24. I think it should be a bounty system but linked to the software you review.

    With closed source software if you review it and find shortcomings then maybe the developer tackles it but maybe they don't.

    With free software if you reviewed something (like LibreOffice, Kde, Gnome or even a distro) and gave it 8 out of 10 because it had some issues. You could then properly document what would have to be changed for perfection and offer them up as a bounty.

    This may attract a new developer to the project or maybe just give an incentive to an existing developer.

    Linux Voice then unlike any other PC magazine can give honest reviews but also constructively give back to that software. You would probably generate a lot of bounty ideas during the year so the readers could vote and prioritise. Obviously it needs someone to step forward but it could be a bit like GSOC.

    Good luck with Linux Voice and I look forward to getting my first digital copy.

    1. I like this idea!
      I was thinking to simply donate in equal measure month by month which ever parts you wrote about.

      If you wrote a tutorial about inkscape, an interview to person X, code academy on python and report on project y.
      Then donate equal parts to inkscape, charity or choice of X, python foundation and project Y.

      If project Y has issues then offer the money as a bounty for one of the proposed fixes.

  25. Here are my 2 cents, hopefully more than that will be contributed though:)
    - FSF (software and advocacy)
    - (advocacy, not sure if they take donations tho)
    - EFF (not software per se)
    - VLC (software)
    - LibreOffice (software)
    - Hacker Public Radio (podcasts)
    - Debian and Slackware distributions

    and Groklaw if it still existed… :(

    1. + Linux Foundation, perhaps. (

      I think they already have huge sponsors, but that doesn't detract from the valuable work they're doing for us every day:)

  26. Wouldn't it be better to develop a set of criteria that would be applied to decide this rather than jumping in feet first. Criteria could refer to best value (in terms of reach to users etc), value to diversity e.g accessibility, women in floss etc, technical merit or interest. Just a random list of criteria I know, but you get the point.

    On actual projects, freedom box and 0ad spring to mind.

    1. Yes, we'll approach this with more structure as the magazine gets up and running. We just want to get some feedback from the community at this stage. Thanks!

  27. Benjamin Boudreau

    Why not rotate? Every 6 months let's revote!!!

    It always depends on projects foundations are working on that people want and care about.

    Otherwise: EFF and KDE SC

    1. Once the magazine is a big success, I'd be open to having votes more often as well! But as we get started, I think it's best to do it like this.

  28. Alan Pope ㋛ (@popey)

    I'd be inclined to donate to smaller and less well funded organisations / groups than FSF/EFF. Some smaller Free Software projects don't "need" money though, they need people to help design, develop and document their project. Not convinced throwing a bag of money (or indeed hardware or hosting) at them actually helps a lot.

    Maybe also you could set aside a little to punt on a crowdfunded campaign or two, especially given your own campaign. You could pick ones which have a Free Software angle, and follow along with them in the Magazine and on the podcast. It would give exposure to projects and would make it easier to donate as they've (hopefully) already figured out the business plan.

  29. Hello all,

    Freek from Holland here. I'm 59 years old and reading Linux Format for more than 10 years now and 'busy with Linux' for more than 15 years. I think it is very brave from all of you to leave your former employer and start for yourself and 'spread the word of Linux' in your own way. I believe nobody has done that in this way so far.
    Seen in that light i think I have a very neat project to support: The KANO project.
    It is a computer and coding kit for all ages, all over the world. Simple as Lego, powered by Pi. Make games, learn code, create the future.
    I think especially Ben will like this. They did very good work in Dev School in Nairobi, Kenya.
    You will find the KANO project in Kickstarter:

  30. I agree with suggestions characterized by:
    1. Single cause or very short list;
    2. Chance to rotate / re-vote periodically;
    3. Support specific applications people use and help attract ordinary users to desktop Linux: thus it can still be a general good cause, specific enough to make people understand where the money is going, and not overly political whatever anyone's views may be.

  31. Richard Delaney

    Perhaps one consideration would be using gittip

    If we pledged a certain percentage of the money you are donating to FOSS, you could then make a feature of the podcast be a poll for which open source github repo gets the money for that fortnight.

    This would be a nice way to give money to awesome small projects rather than the larger opensource ecosystem. It would also often start discussions and raise awareness of cool new (or older less known) projects.

  32. For the first couple of profit takings spend it on Linux Voice infrastructure so you can better make profits that will benefit all. Not sure how that will sit with some of the masses though.
    (Install a beer fridge (not to be opened before 1700))

    Then water the Linux tree from the roots – that would be:
    1) kernel development (not that they need it)
    2) GNU/FSF
    3) and my favorite, Debian

  33. Sergey "Shnatsel" Davidoff

    I'd like you to support FreeType, here's why:

    FreeType is amazingly widely used, it's what powers font rendering on nearly any Linux device that renders fonts. It's just vital for any user-facing use-cases!
    However, despite even Google and Apple using it extensively, it still isn't backed by any company at all, which is why they have to resort to crowdfunding:

  34. My opinion is that we* need to support developers and projects that make GNU/Linux useful for everyone. There are some areas that open source has to work harder, one is office suits, at work I use my personal computer with OpenSuse but I have to run a win7 virtual machine on virtual box to use the Microsoft Office suit because lets face it, it is a really good and solid piaces of software that simply works as you expect. I also use Libre office but compatibility its a big issue and it does not give you all tools one need for spread sheets and documents.

    The second area I would like to support is all about photography and design. Although my level in this area is a little bit above an average user, I manage it to let behind the Adobe suits and use GIMP, Krita, Inkscape, scribus raw therapy… etc… As all this pieces of really good software works for the semi professional user, the would not for professional work, so lets improve this area.

    The third area I would like to support is video and audio editing. Open source have already really good software like avidemux, audacity, kino , and etc, but still need to go further on rendering, video composition and so.

    I suggest the magazine needs a rotational distribution of donations so ones in a while the good mentioned projects gets access to the fonts.

    Kid regards
    Javier Ochoa

    *I say WE as I am already a subscriptor and principally liked the idea of reading and helping at the same time. Hope to see this project merge and mature in time.

  35. All social(ist) enterprises seem to come up with this 50% of profits figure. How do you define a profit ? Is it after everyone gets a £100,000 salary ? Wouldn't a more honest way to do this be to direct a small percentage of revenue into a charitable account each year e.g. 1 to 5% (you could change this each year) and put it under the control of a 3rd party ? This way at least your customers know that some of their cash will go to free software and thus you are not mis-selling. Plus when you go bankrupt (as the majority of small businesses do) the cash donated to free software is protected.

    1. "social(ist) enterprises"

      I realize languages tend to change over time, but this is impressive.

      Until recently, a private business offering charity was the OPPOSITE of "socialist".
      Is "socialist" the new "literally"?

      1. It is the opposite of 'state socialist'. Unfortunately in the modern world the Labour party and unions have brainwashed the population into thinking that Socialism IS ONLY State Socialism and real classical liberal socialism doesn't exist. Even the Co-op made itself a branch of the Labour party :(

  36. Please consider helping the ones that need help the most…
    First that comes to my mind are the people with disabilities.
    As a bonus, If understood correctly, making OS and applications accessible also introduce easier automated GUI testing (as such also bring benefit to everyone).

  37. Ultimately, I would like to see a vote-system per linux voice issue.

    Some of the billions of dollars you guys are going to donate could be reserved for projects featured in the most recent issue. A formular could be e.g. from the total sum, 50% share goes among all featured projects (whether they are in need or not is another question). 50% goes to the top or the top three votes for a certain issue. By this way you make sure that linux voice articles can directly result in fundings for the introduced projects. This creates a strong link between what linux voice writes about and who is getting donations.

    E.g. you wrote an article about emacs org-mode and the org-mode people really put themself in, give you helpful suggestions, inside views, interviews, review your article, improve it, etc. That in turn makes readers love this article because it is very well written by you as professional writers, however it features a lot of details and important apects only a community is able to contribute (I really hate those articles which rephrase the 5 sentence changelog news of a certain project into a 1000 word article without understanding anything of what is really going on).
    This tide interaction with the community makes readers want to support this project.
    A possible very interactive way:
    A reader scans the QR-code within the linux voice magazine, this would call the linux-voice-voting app and send a vote in favour for emacs org-mode to you. At the end of the month, if org-mode made it into the top 3, a share of the top3 articles fund + the feature article basic fund would go to org-mode.

    This would have a lot of benefits for you too.
    During your write-up and hard journalism work (the part outside a pub), you would face helpful and friendly people of a certin project, because they know if they help you to make a good article, you might help them to get some fundings.
    By time people and project maintainer know, being featured in linux voice means money for the project. Thus, they would start to contact you at very first to talk about great new features or big changes within the project… You end up being the first to write about, which in turn makes you famous… you earn more money…. more to give to projects…. the wheel starts rolling.

    The basic share makes sure even not that popular projects get a basic "featured article" share. E.g. a libFoo-project would have a hard time to compete against some blockbuster projects like a certain window manager, office suite, etc.

    I know that kind of system can't start from issue one. However, I would be glad to see it later on.


    1. I really like that idea. That way you can get very well informed articles, and the owner of the project, who will know the project better then anyone else, will be able to help make the articles really awesome.

      The QR code is also really nice, as very little effort would be required to enable this. Maybe you could start this at issue 10 or so?

      So, its a +1 from me for this one.

  38. unrepentant hipster

    Open Rights Group, FSF, EFF but also Jonathan Nadeau’s sonar project, the Linux distro which the focus on accessibility and assistive technology for people with physical impairement –
    Likewise, the Accessible Computing Foundation :
    Accessible Linux potentially gives a voice to millions of people throughout the world who live with physical disabilities. Such people are commonly the poorest of the poor and are ill served by the prohibitively expensive proprietry assistive technologies.

  39. I think the best used contributions would be to FreeCAD, OpenShot, LibreOffice, Ardour, GIMP and Sage. All of these could replace widespread proprietary professional applications if given a little more love.

  40. I would offer it categories…supporting the existing and vital, revitalising the dormant and encouraging the novel
    1) To people who fill serious gaps in Linux Software and Hardware…e.g. Those that offer open source video conferencing (Ekiga), or Video editing software, gPhoto, FreeCAD
    2) Those that maintain Essential Linux software (e.g. file system recovery tools Samba,)
    3) As reward for waking up useful but sleeping software (tesseract/OCR software)
    4) As bounty to create tools that meet needs.

  41. Project priorities will change with time and rather than suggest a current best project to support it might be better to decide the priorities that will be applied at the end of the 12 months.

    I would suggest any project/team which is replacing a product (or standard) that provides functionality that is currently closed-source only.

  42. I think there should be a periodic vote by the user community. I would say bi annually but I think with the emerging technology everyday it would be best to have a monthly vote.

    The vote should take the top five or 10 requested locations to donate to and distribute the funds based on a decaying curve. An example of the pay curve would be: First spot gets 50% of the total money to be donated, second place with 50% of the remainder, then the third with 50% of whats left, etc etc.

    It might be best to keep categories so that places like the EFF and the FSF could receive a better chance at receiving funds. They compete (in my payment system suggestion) against against other projects that produce more tangible services or products and therefore might have a more difficult time gaining mainstream attention and votes.

  43. Jonathan Whitaker

    I like most of the ideas put foreward, but at the same time there is potential for quite a bit of conflict. Personally, I would be happy if at least some of the money was completely in your guys hands, to donate to whatever projects appeal to YOU!. Good luck guys :)

  44. If the Foundations have an affiliation fee I would favour paying that to EFF and FSF then running some kind of bidding process where projects meeting preset criteria looking for funds up to £x state their case and we have a public vote and combine that with LV's judgment to allocate the money.

    I don't envisage more than 3 to 5 projects getting funds, to make it worth having.

  45. Why not put some of your profits into other FLOSS Indiegogo projects.
    You could also give away free copies of Linux Voice at conventions and so on.

  46. 1.FSF
    2.Trisquel [ gnu/linux distribution based on FSF philosophy with Linux Libre Kernel ( linux kernel with no blobs !!! )]
    3.Nouveau: (Accelerated Open Source driver for nVidia cards)

  47. Since you're a UK publication, I recommend supporting Open Rights Group (disclaimer: I am a director there) as they need the funding to help them grow as awesome as EFF.

    Obviously OSI (same disclaimer) would welcome your support too :-)

  48. Robert Nunnally (gurdonark)

    I like to see non-profits support software creation projects. SPI supports a lot of different projects from Debian to Arch to Drupal to Fluxbox. I also believe that encouraging diversity in open source is a way to help it grow and remain strong. I support the Ada Initiative, which encourages more participation by women in open source. Finally, I think that music, visuals and free content are part of the open culture equation, so I support Creative Commons to encourage liberal licensing.

  49. I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned it yet, but the pypy project is looking for donations. There's a proposal to add a feature called "Transactional Memory"[1] that brings a massive performance boost to modern multicore systems.


  50. There are numerous good open source causes that should be supported but as an opener I would propose (in no order of priority):

    Document Foundation/LibreOffice

  51. Each Month a new Project: Flexibility is one of the greatest pros in the Computer World. Vote (50% Staff & 50% Readers ?) in each Release a Project of the Month.

  52. I think you should definitively give to Scribus or anything that can get you out of Adobe InDesign as fast as possible.

    EFF, FSF and others are great, but I think I would prefer that you give to medium or small project where even a small amount of money can have a big impact. Here are some project that I like and that could get some love (in no particular order) :

    - Inkscape, Klayout, Geany, Gpodder, Synergy, Octave, Gwyddion, Zone Minder, Motion, Gimp, Blender, LXDE, Meld…

  53. I'd say software freedom conservancy. They do seriously valuable and important work making the freedom in free software work.

  54. More than specific functions, projects along areas that are particularly important that year. Examples: LibreOffice's creation two years ago. EFF/Tor/TrueCrypt this year. FirefoxOS last year.

    The idea is to have a rational behind the funding decision. It must mean something specific.

  55. What you do in a magazine is really publicity. What most FLOSS projects suffer from is lack of marketing. The great unwashed masses dont know of the existance of what we do and I think we have a chance to do something in this area.

    So would it not be better that you use those skills (and funds) to promote FLOSS projects. Like the Firefox add in National Newspapers. But you wont have the funds for that, but perhaps you would be able to get articles into other magazines or newspapers.

    I suspect I will be shot down in flames, but please think about this…

  56. I'm surprised no-one came up with Creatice Commons. They've just released V4 of the CC license and as always in need of money. ;)

    1. FSF
    2. CC

  57. Stephen Wheeler

    Quite rightly there has been a tremendous response to this post and all the suggestions have merit, with the FSF, EFF and GIMP proving to be very popular, and if Linux Voice funding can finally give GIMP CMYK support that would truly be a marvel.
    Some posts have pointed out that organisation like FSF and EFF already receive a lot of funding.

    This got me to thinking.

    I've noticed that the rate of donations to Indiegogo has, naturally, slowed down, and though there's no need to panic yet, I was wonder if you guys have thought about approaching organisations like FSF and EFF and asking them for financial support or a (sizeable) donation?

    The ideology of Linux Voice and these organisation align very well so I do not see any compromise is securing funding from them – you might have to say nice things about them but you do that anyway.

    I know we have to have this discussion about what to do with the profits of Linux Voice, but first and foremost I would like to get Linux Voice up and running as a viable concern.

    What do you think?

  58. In addition to the FSF and funding to improve the FLOSS tools you need to create the magazine, I'd suggest the Software Freedom Conservancy, they help a lot of community FLOSS projects to do all the boring non-development work that needs to be done (legal, collecting funds, etc). See the impressive list of member projects:

    They do really important work, but seem to be constantly under funded. They'd really need your help!

  59. 1. Education – either open source software that is educational (maths etc) or education about linux / open source software – get more people involved.

    2. It would be good to use a % of the profits for a different project each year. Maybe targeting a particular feature in an open source project. The magazine could also run some articles in tandem on how to get involved wtih the sponsored project – e.g. bugfixing, programming etc. There are loads of smaller programs that I use that I would love to see improved.

    3. FSF / EFF.

  60. I agree with Guillaume and Danny in that small to medium size would probably get my vote more often than not, because of the relative impact of the donation.

    Lindon W's point of having different categories also seems to make sense. This may give a more even spread of donations.

    Also, I'd consider voting for social ventures: having read articles in your former magazine about the inspirational and positive ways free and open source software/hardware is being used around the world, it reminds me of one of the main reasons The Community is so important.

  61. +1 on education…

    I don’t mind if it’s an organisation (ie CodeClub), or a product (ie Ras Pi), but if we can educate the young’uns into a (GNU/)Linux mindset, rather than a MS / IOS mindset, then the future’s a much better place for us all.

    After that, any cross-platform products – ie LibreOffice – for a similar reason: end users use applications, not operating systems. If there’s more open cross-platform software available, then it makes it easier for users to adopt Linux…

    And then finally – I agree that the “final” choice shouldn’t be fixed and should change … quarterly…?? You’ll never get every reader to vote during each issue, but it should be more often than yearly…

  62. Tryggvi Björgvinsson

    I would like to see a set up similar to the service Flattr provides where free and open source projects or organisations can put a button on their page that when clicked goes into a pool and then at the end of every month (or whenever profits are calculated) the pool would be tallied and the cash distributed between a few of the highest projects/organisations (based on top 10, pareto principle or whatever). Then the votes would be reset for the next period.

    This would be a great way for those organisations/projects to show support to Linux Voice and a great way for Linux Voice to see what the readers are interested in each period.

    If you want me to name a specific project, I'd like to see some love go to PoEdit. I just got news that they intend to maintain a proprietary "pro" version instead of only free and open source version, because donations didn't work for them. PoEdit is one of the software projects that helps make free and open source software accessible to the whole world by allowing people to easily translate various free and open source projects.

  63. I have been thinking about this and I think I would like to support Medium to smaller type projects. So many people said the EFF, and I get that, especially given all the security and privacy controversies. The EFF works with donation/expense numbers in the millions yearly with projects like the humble bundle giving money to them on a very regular basis and also foundation grants and corporate contributions. I'm not saying that EFF doesn't do good work or deserve money. I am just saying.. there are so many projects out there who aren't working with donations on the level of the EFF.

    I don't know what sort of donation amounts they work with but personally I would like to see The Gimp get more funding, especially if it leads to native CMYK support. ( ) … I would love to have native CMYK support!


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