Open Source Collective: A New Linux Business Model

Benjamin Rossen writes “Proposal to discuss the foundation of an Open Source Collective. Motivation

Although GNU/Linux, FreeBSD and other Open Source Unix like operating systems have become leaders in the world of HTTP and DNS servers, and initiatives such as the W3C have delivered the de facto standards for the web, individual and corporate users continue to give out large sums for proprietary software. Privately owned corporations (we characterize them on this site as the Closed Predatory Community) are effectively tapping huge markets and making super profits, while the Open Source Community is represented by companies that are struggling to break even or are funded by a combination of risk capital and grants (not a good basis for a business in the long run), and individual contributors who only occasionally receive material reward for their contributions. Furthermore, the Closed Predatory Community is engaged in an undeclared war (well, if the Haloween documents are taken at face value, it must be seen as a declared war) on the Open Source Community in which the diffuse and pluralistic latter may prove to be no competition to the organized aggressive actions undertaken by the former.

On the the web site at we have posted an inventory of the problems and some possible solutions. We propose a new business model that establishes a central organization owned by and representing the Open Source Community, constituting a formal structure under which control is devolved to the individual members of the Open Source Community. We have suggested some mechanisms by which revenue streams can be established that return the the financial rewards to the individuals of that community. We have outlined an interim statute for the new organization and posted it for comment. We do not claim to have the answers; we are asking questions.

The site is an invitation to interested parties to participate in the formulation of the objectives, structure, methods and forms of this new business model, and to contribute where and how they see fit. If you are interested to know more go to