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

Eelco Lempsink eelco at lempsink.nl
Mon Jan 20 14:52:47 CET 2014

On 16 jan. 2014, at 10:38, Robert Krüger <krueger at lesspain.de> wrote:
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.

I would very much like to see ffmpeg set something up for this.  

What also would help is maybe explain the idea behind the current ‘bounty’ tag for trac tickets better.  I did offer a bounty for a ticket (still open, btw), but I could not find any information about how that would work exactly and what would be a reasonable bounty (I was worried about offering an insultingly low amount).

A system such as bountysource would not only help with streamlining the way money could be pledged/donated/paid to ‘ffmpeg’, but also the communication about how that would work.


Eelco Lempsink

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