[FFmpeg-devel] How to manage donations / fundings
Tue Jul 28 00:36:48 CEST 2009
On date Monday 2009-07-27 13:25:32 +0200, Michael Niedermayer encoded:
> On Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 12:56:38AM +0200, Stefano Sabatini wrote:
> > On date Sunday 2009-07-26 21:44:00 +0200, Michael Niedermayer encoded:
> > > On Sun, Jul 26, 2009 at 11:43:04AM +0200, Stefano Sabatini wrote:
> > > [...]
> > > > Also when money is involved things tend to get nasty, and that could
> > > > issue frictions between devs,
> > >
> > > yes, iam not happy about it either, and i know what you mean ... thinking
> > > of what will happen to any money obtained through the SFLC/lawsuits ...
> > >
> > > also we still dont have a way for people to donate to ffmpeg ...
> > > just think of how many google summer of code projects we could have funded
> > > over the years had we a way for people to donate, even if the money wouldnt
> > > be used for anything else ...
> > >
> > >
> > > > that's maybe a necessary evil if we
> > > > want to continue to have a dedicated person to the project.
> > >
> > > iam not sure if it is a necessary evil, i guess the world is complicated
> > > and there may be solutions that are not evil. But our minds might be too
> > > limited to see them or we might plain lack the power to realize them.
> > >
> > > For example, if we follow the simple chain of reasoning that, FOSS is
> > > helping the public tremeandously (free & outstanding software) it would only
> > > be logic to pay developers for working on it, after all teachers are also paid,
> > > so is the police and firefighters as well as scientsts doing research and
> > > advancing humans knowledge ... they all serve the public, so does FOSS
> > > development ... somewhere music & movies also fit in that, like artists and
> > > actors giving their works away for free copying should also be paid through
> > > tax money because they as well help the public ...
> > >
> > > Now, not waiting for politicans to learn what software or FOSS is ...
> > > Some random ideas (these of course need consensus amongth the ffmpeg
> > > developers to be actually done)
> > > * adding a bounty field to roundup so people can offer money, technically
> > > this should be very easy, we also added a substatus field ...
> > > * Finally seting up some way for random people to donate money to ffmpeg
> > > via credit card or simple european bank transfer, it should also be
> > > possible for people to tag their donation like ("for snow development")
> > >
> > > All in all there really are 2 ways to donate, the first that people can donate
> > > to a specific developer possibly in exchange for some work and donations to
> > > ffmpeg itself. The first always existed but AFIAK the amount from it is far
> > > below even paying for food for any devel, simply because these things are
> > > too rare also i prefer alot to work on what i like to work on and not
> > > work on a specific part that someone wants ...
> > >
> > > The second, that is donations to ffmpeg itself would be new, to do this
> > > we first would need to deal with the legal issues and we probably would
> > > need some person who at least for legal proposes is in charge of the money.
> > > The really sensitive part of course would be the question on how to decide
> > > what to do with the money, you already mentioned that this could very easily
> > > lead to frictions which we must avoid at all costs!
> > > My suggestion, thus would be and that may be unconventional simply to
> > > require a unanimous agreement of all ffmpeg developers for each use of
> > > ffmpeg money. Id guess that would prevent any frictions, at least i hope ...
> > > In practice this could be realized by the following simple rules
> > > * Any ffmpeg developer can suggest ffmpeg money to be used for any purpose,
> > > such suggestions have to be sent to ffmpeg-dev and use [FINANCE] in the
> > > subject, it is of course recommanded to discuss any such suggestion with
> > > the other developers before
> > > * Any ffmpeg developer can veto any suggested use of ffmpeg money, any single
> > > veto renders the specific suggestion void
> > > * If a suggestion does not receive any vetos in 2 weeks it is accepted and
> > > must be followed by the person in charge of the money. Similarly the person
> > > in charge of the money may not do anything else with the money than what
> > > has been trough this process without vetos.
> > >
> > > comments and flames are welcome
> > The problems with vetos is that they make very difficult to actually
> > do things and they give too much power to every single participant in
> > the choice, I would rather prefer a system based on majority (e.g. if
> > GOLDEN_RATIO of the participants agree then the decision is accepted).
> I strongly prefer the veto system, we also manage to get patches past
> it, i mean any developer can review and ask for an improvment, and we
> also de facto use a veto system for changes, that is if a single devel
> objects to a change it tends not to be done (that of course is not anything
> formal, its just what actually tends to happen, of course there are
> exceptions where we did vote and some people where ignored but these
> tended to be bikeshed issues ...)
> but with financial issues i really think we should not ignore an objection
> by any single developer, i dont think people would veto without good reason
> also if i still didnt convince you, we can always try te veto system and
> then switch to something else if it doesnt work ...
Fine to me.
> > Also there has been already a discussion on the subject:
> > http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.comp.video.ffmpeg.devel/59834/
> > The main problem is that setting / organizing such things require time
> > and expertise skills, which is what developers usually lack, that's
> > why many FLOSS projects don't work very well with managing money:
> > http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/001158.html
> > An alternative solution to direcly manage the funding and all the
> > related administration / fiscal issues would be to depend on some
> > external organisation, for example:
> > http://www.spi-inc.org/
> iam perfectly fine with spi or sflc handling these for us
SPI seems more oriented towards funding / financial administration,
while SFLC seems more focused on legal issues, so I think SPI seems
more indicated in this case.
I'd like to hear other people opinions, after all if we agree we can
ask for association.
FFmpeg = Fierce and Faithless MultiPurpose Eccentric Gorilla
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