[FFmpeg-devel] Sponsoring and generating money in general (IRC meeting follow-up)

Reimar Döffinger Reimar.Doeffinger at gmx.de
Tue Jan 14 21:44:01 CET 2014

On 14.01.2014, at 18:09, "Peter B." <pb at das-werkstatt.com> wrote:
> Quoting Stefano Sabatini <stefasab at gmail.com>:
>> Funding development is a bit more complicated. As I wrote during the
>> meeting, if one or more companies/individuals want a feature and they
>> do a donation, we can't guarantee that the expense will be approved by
>> SPI, so for such form of sponsoring maybe some different system is
>> needed, for example a crowdfunding/bounty platform.
> For individuals, I think that crowdfunding/bounty could be a good thing to try. At the "ardour" project [1] for example, I saw that the simple display of ongoing "feature requests paid-by-bounty", and the currently collected amount seemed to raise awareness among users that these things could be paid for. I guess this transparency might have encouraged users to think about paying development improvements. Maybe?
> However, there is a huge difference between individuals and companies when requesting a paid development: I've had the concrete case already that a company refused to pay ffmpeg improvements, because they wanted/had to book that as proper expense - not as donation.
> I'm not too familiar with taxation laws, but companies seem to require some legal entity to "make the deal with".

In most (all?) countries that is the only option to accept money for an individual developer without running afoul of tax laws as far is I know.
Which is why I generally do not accept money, the effort required is a higher cost than what I've been offered so far.
It's a rather sad state of things, and at the same time one of the reasons why quite a few companies have well-filled pots of money "on the side" without feeling bad about it (the problem isn't the taxes, but that there's no way of paying taxes that doesn't involve a crapload of paperwork - and that's without going into international transactions). Of course you won't see any of that money pass hands except as cash so if it's on some bounty platform even those companies will need people to jump through the tax hoops.

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