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

Robert Krüger krueger at lesspain.de
Thu Jan 16 10:38:18 CET 2014

On Wed, Jan 15, 2014 at 4:27 PM, Robert Krüger <krueger at lesspain.de> wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 14, 2014 at 6:09 PM, 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 was hoping that using a platform like bountysource would help here
> but I haven't really done any research yet, what the actual legal
> situation is. I contacted them to find out.

Their statement was this:

Q: Do you have any experience with the tax deductability of this?

A: Bountysource is not a non-profit organization. Any payments made to
us should be treated the same as hiring a contractor. As for
taxes/paperwork on the developer's side, we handle all of that.

Q: Can payments to Bountysource be made from Europe without huge transfer fees?

A: Yes. Aside from our standard 10% fee, you will not be charged any
fees beyond that. We currently accept instant payments via PayPal and
Google Wallet, but we can also set up invoicing with your company.

I think this does help. Maybe it would be good to set up a page
advising both developers and potential sponsors what the possibilities
are (sponsor creates a bounty on Bountysource, developer creates a
fundraiser for a feature on Bountysource, ...). I think that might
help people who want to do something but don't know where to start
and/or are afraid of the legal and tax aspects of all this.

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