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[libreplanet-discuss] a campaign possibly? free software contributions m

From: Rudolf
Subject: [libreplanet-discuss] a campaign possibly? free software contributions made by organizations
Date: Tue, 8 Jan 2013 23:37:16 -0500

This is a call to encourage everyone to email any software development company to ask them how much they're contributing back to free/open source software.

A lot of companies are freeloading off of free/open source software and hardly contribute or hardly mention that they're using the software at all. It's time to get them to be proud of using free software and encourage them to contribute more and to donate more.

I can understand not being 100% committed to promoting the cause but when you're using 99% free/open source software to create proprietary software and hardly mentioning what you've used to create it, you should be ashamed. Using the hard work of others while never donating and never mentioning them (aside from job/career ads) is something that we need to call out.

All it takes is one blog post, one tweet, one Facebook post, one StatusNet message to say "hey, we love using free/open source software, and this is why it's awesome". All it takes is to make a few commits to the free/open source software that you use daily. All it takes is a small donation to a favourite free/open source software project. But many many companies don't do any of that.

Here's what we should do:

    1. find companies which are using free/open source software and do not provide an obvious mention that they use or produce free/open source software (job ads aren't obvious; blog posts, twitter, facebook,, etc. are obvious)

    2. email their contact email address with the following message:

        I would like to know what sorts of free/open source software contributions are being made by [COMPANY] and if it is possible to view them on the internet? I know some other companies have github, bitbucket or gitorious accounts and regularly make contributions to the software that they use (such as [SOFTWARE1] or [SOFTWARE2] )

    where SOFTWARE1 and SOFTWARE2 are examples of software that the company uses. If they're using MySQL and Ruby on Rails, then SOFTWARE1 is MySQL and SOFTWARE2 is Ruby on Rails.

    3. post the responses to the mailing list or on your own blog or paste it somewhere on the internet. Let's see what these companies have to say for themselves.

    The contact email address may be a support line and it may not go through to an actual programmer but it might get kicked around. A non-response or a negative response is still a response! Post it somewhere and let's get some kind of conversation happening.

The first step is getting a conversation started. The next step is getting them to name the software used in an obvious location (blog, twitter, facebook,, reddit) and to donate to a project (doesn't matter if it's a $25 donation to a small C++ library or $1000 to the FSF.

I'm willing to setup a website that lists companies and email conversations concerning this. I'll even be willing to list the companies that have mentioned free software or have donated to a free software project.

Any thoughts on this?
Rudolf Olah

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