Who pays the piper? The caller of the tune.

Abstract

The question is no longer "how does free and open source software make money?" That case was proven long ago by many individuals and companies. Produce and support something people love and money will follow. Of more interest and perhaps importance for our communities and future is the question - who is paying who for what? What are the models of making sure that the contributors to FOSS: conference organisers; artists; testers; documenters; security experts and even developers are able to survive and thrive not simply doing what the love, but making the world a better place. Financial models matter. I, Don Christie, am Managing Director of successful Kiwi free and open source company Catalyst IT. The last 21 years has seen Catalyst grow from a Wellington start up to a multinational group of businesses with a thriving presence across NZ, Australia and the UK. Our company exists for these reasons: https://www.catalyst.net.nz/blog/7-themes-catalyst Over these 21 years we have seen, participated in and led free software projects and ventures. We have seen financial models that promote, strengthen and enhance our communities and others that have not. We have tried different versions ourselves with varying degrees of "success", however that might be defined. This talk will focus on pure play FOSS (as defined by the OSI) based models and licensing regimes. It will have examples, bias and will challenge both Catalyst's approach to contributing to FOSS and maybe many in the audience as well. Most of all, the talk will be fun. Because life is too short for pain.

Presented by

    Don Christie

    Don is a founder and Managing Director of New Zealand and Australia's largest free and open source company, Catalyst IT. Past president of the NZ Open Source Society and co-Chair of NZRise Don has been combining the philosophies and business of FOSS for over two decades. Catalyst is a huge supporter of and contributor to the FOSS community. We are major sponsors of the New Zealand Open Source Awards (http://nzosa.org.nz/) and we have strong links to organisations such as NZRise (https://nzrise.org.nz) which represents the interests of our local tech sector. We also run the Open Source Academy (https://catalyst.net.nz/blog/catalyst-open-source-academy-2017) annually which provides an opportunity for high school students to learn about and work with open source technologies to a point where they can actively contribute to an open source project.