Please Note: We are still in the progress of developing a new OSS monetization mechanism and will be in stealth mode until approx. mid 2022.
Problems of OSS Maintainers
More and more maintainers of open source software - and especially open source libraries - are falling into the trap that the more users rely on their libraries, the more features are required, bugs need to be fixed, usage has to be explained, and issues need to be resolved. While the demand is flattering in the beginning, this causes more and more work without pay.
This situation can frustrate and discourage maintainers and lead to abandoned projects, developer burnout, or simple mistakes. Some well-known examples in the last years were:
- (March 2016): Azer Koçulu unpublished over 250 libraries (esp.
left-pad) from NPM due to a trademark infringement quarrel over the name "kik".
- (April 2020) Maintainers of the library
is-promiseddidn't adhere to the proper ES module standards causing wide-spread build errors.
- (Dec 2021): Three maintainers of a log4j feature that allowed loading of arbitrary code and was included in 2013 were expected to fix it asap (now called
- (Jan. 2022): A maintainer changed and later deleted his projects
Faker.jsafter trying to monetize them without success.
Approaches of OSS Monetization
Beside more respect for maintainers, one of the solutions for these problems would be a better financial support for open-source libraries, that could enable maintainers to work full-time on their projects. This would improve the software quality and speed up development as well as maintenance reaction time.
However, based on a recent survey on OSS Monetization from March 2022 and our research into the topic, we've found over 38 OSS Monetization approaches, that have not the potential to easily support a maintainer full-time.
Therefore, we're working on a novel approach that might bring enough money into the ecosystem to fund maintainers of well-used open-source libraries.