Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The FSF Adopts the Kickstarter Approach To Fund-raising

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the free-isn't-cheap dept.

GNU is Not Unix 35

New submitter ChronoEngineer writes "Recently the Free Software foundation launched a new fund-raising system starting with the GNU MediaGoblin project. Rewards from its new tiered donation reward system include physical objects such as a 3D print of the project's mascot as well as digital ones (Rewards List). This gives free software projects an alternative crowd-funding source where all of their contributions go to advancing free software, since the administrative cut taken from the earnings goes to the Free Software Foundation. Chris Webber, of GNU Mediagoblin, mentions this as one of the reasons he chose the FSF over Kickstarter for his project."

cancel ×

35 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I'm a fan of the FSF (-1, Offtopic)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 years ago | (#41677697)

But "MediaGoblin"???

Really?

Fuck!

Re:I'm a fan of the FSF (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41677727)

I'm a rapist. Every vagina was placed on this Earth to be fucked by me!

Ba-dum-tsh!

Re:I'm a fan of the FSF (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41678373)

RMS is autistic and everything he touches has a stupid name that only he would find clever. GNU, Hurd, MediaGoblin, Gnash. It's all terrible.

Re:I'm a fan of the FSF (2)

Inconexo (1401585) | about 2 years ago | (#41678677)

Only that the name was not set by the FSF. Indeed, they were using that name (without the GNU prefix) before they joined the GNU project.

If you knew RMS as you think you do, you'll know that name doesn't match his pattern.

sell printed documentation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41677729)

But *not* reference manuals which quickly become outdated. Instead, sell users' guides/tutorials which start from "Hello World" and then iterate through successively more advanced projects, explaining the architecture along the way.

Re:sell printed documentation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41681015)

Fuck yeah, because there's no way somebody's blog post about setting up Linux and Apache could go out of date! Much better to print stuff written by random single users, than documentation published by members of an active project!

Re:sell printed documentation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41681947)

Yeah because even if the blog post went out of date obviously the documentation will still be up to date! Good point, you are a genius!

Artist please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41677771)

I hope they don't feel attached to that goblin, because it really needs to go.

Re:Artist please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680123)

DICK SMOKERS

The perfect solution to DMCA notices (3, Insightful)

Nushio (951488) | about 2 years ago | (#41677831)

With all the stupid DMCA notices that seem to take down thousands of sites and videos at once, by mistake, the best solution seems to be self-hosted. It's much less likely that you'll receive a DMCA notice and at least you can act on it on your own decision, not some automated tool's.

If there wasn't a single "Youtube" but a thousand or a million "Youtubes"... well, the Internet might survive a bit longer.

Re:The perfect solution to DMCA notices (2, Informative)

Nushio (951488) | about 2 years ago | (#41677903)

Whoever modded me offtopic seemed to miss my point: MediaGoblin (The software being "kick-started") is an image/video self-hosting solution. The more sites there are, the harder it is to censor them all.

Re:The perfect solution to DMCA notices (1)

guises (2423402) | about 2 years ago | (#41679981)

Thanks for clarifying that. From the summary I had been under the impression that this was being set up as an alternative to Kickstarter.

Re:The perfect solution to DMCA notices (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 years ago | (#41678313)

It's much less likely that you'll receive a DMCA notice and at least you can act on it on your own decision, not some automated tool's.

Here's the tricky bit. If you're hosting it off your broadband, the DMCA notice goes to your ISP who then decides if they want to cut you off or not.

If it's on a hosted box you rent, your hosting provider gets the notice and they take it down. Like what happened to Edublogs.

And with the multiplicative power, doing it to a bunch of comcast subscribers only takes say one, notice.

Re:The perfect solution to DMCA notices (2)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 2 years ago | (#41678421)

If it's on a hosted box you rent, your hosting provider gets the notice and they take it down. Like what happened to Edublogs.

And lendink. Even though the takedown notices were not legitimate, the provider decided to intervene as they could not handle the flood of DMCA requests.

Re:The perfect solution to DMCA notices (3, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 2 years ago | (#41679279)

The difference is, if it goes to a company with whom you have a business relationship that involves you paying them, then they have an incentive to do due diligence. If it goes to a site like YouTube, which gains no direct income from you, then they have no incentive to do anything other than just take it down and let you deal with it. Allowing hosts to charge a $50 processing fee for every DMCA takedown notice would also go a little way towards helping this.

Re:The perfect solution to DMCA notices (1)

Americano (920576) | about 2 years ago | (#41681095)

Your $100/month subscription free is chump change compared to a multimillion dollar judgement and legal fees for copyright and DMCA lawsuits. They're going to take you offline first, and then review the case if you appeal, and most likely the review will say, "um yeah, just... sorry, we don't want the hassle. Your site stays offline."

Youtube has an incentive to do due diligence too: if they just take down all the videos on their site whenever somebody complains, then nobody will visit their site, and they won't get to advertise to visitors. Every time that video goes offline, there's some small set of users who will not be going to the site to watch it, and thus some non-zero number of ad impressions that won't be served, making Google some money.

Re:The perfect solution to DMCA notices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41678433)

Agreed. Youtube would never have existed if P2P was not criminalized and if Windows shipped with a decent video player.

Kickstarter approach? (0)

formfeed (703859) | about 2 years ago | (#41677861)

So FSF is going to buy MSOffice in bulk and resell it with a markup as Libreoffice Premium edition?

Every successfully completed project (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41677865)

Buys RMS a can of deodorant and a bar of soap.

Re:Every successfully completed project (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41677897)

I wish I had mod points for the parent. :-)

Re:Every successfully completed project (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41677899)

If RMS turns up on the Maine Zumba list, I promise I'll kick in fifty bucks to FSF.

NPR Did it First (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41678039)

Or maybe PBS?

Really the Kickstarter innovation is that you don't pay anything unless the goal is reached. That doesn't seem to be the case here.

Re:NPR Did it First (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41679365)

That was my thought. I remember pledge drives when I was a kid. They'd usually have some awesome programming on and promise to give me something if I gave them money.

Kickstarter is innovative, just not for the pledge system, for opening things up to anybody with an idea and only funding it if there are enough people to hit some arbitrary amount necessary to move things forward.

I gave my $35 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41678135)

The idea of an email-like federated network of servers is *really* good: a distributed Facebook. Wow.

Re:I gave my $35 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41681179)

Holy crap, it's just like disapora. Maybe we should shower them with a couple hundred thousand dollars to spend 3 years delivering insecure, buggy, unusable shit, too!

This is not the Kickstarter model. (5, Interesting)

kfogel (1041) | about 2 years ago | (#41678435)

This is not the Kickstarter model. It's just accepting directed donations toward a project (and MediaGoblin is certainly a fine cause!).

The Kickstarter model is the "Threshold Pledge" system (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threshold_pledge_system). It means you set a threshold, a minimum fundraising goal, and all the funders pledge amounts toward that goal. Until the goal is reached, the pledges are either not called in, or are held in escrow to be returned in the event the goal is not reached. That way, everyone who gives money knows that, if their money reaches the recipient, then the recipient got enough to actually accomplish what it is trying to do. If the recipient doesn't get enough pledged to reach the goal, then no one loses their money.

It is designed to solve the problem of "I'd love to donate to X, but only if I know that enough other people will donate for X to be sustainable / achievable / whatever." In economics, it's called an "assurance contract".

What the FSF is doing here is not the threshold pledge system. It's just accepting directed donations.

Re:This is not the Kickstarter model. (1)

Inconexo (1401585) | about 2 years ago | (#41678709)

You're right. But I think they meant the system in which depending on the donated amount you receive a bigger reward. Although in this case the rewards are quite symbolic.

Re:This is not the Kickstarter model. (2)

paroneayea (642895) | about 2 years ago | (#41679621)

Heya Karl,

You're right, it isn't the "threshold pledge" system, and it is directed donations in a large way. Even so, when we had the conversations with the FSF initially about the campaign, the conversation was really a "Are we going with the FSF or with Kickstarter?" type of conversation, and what we said was "we'd like to go with you, but there's a whole set of things that Kickstarter does that you don't yet." But the FSF implemented them, retooling a ton of their infrastructure specifically for this campaign: the list of rewards that you can select from, a progress bar that auto-updates as the campaign goes along, the list that you get subscribed to when donating so you can hear updates as the project goes along, and a bunch of other things: these are things that Kickstarter had that the FSF didn't, but the FSF developed those tools so that they can better support campaigns that run in this way for free software projects.

So you're right that it's not an assurance contract system, but there are other crowdfunding platforms that have been on the rise that have been (rightly) lumped together when describing the rise of project crowdfunding. And the campaign that we set out is one that fits the type of patterns that projects fundraising under those systems have been using. So while it's not an assurance contract system, I think it's also incorrect to redcuce Kickstarter and friends to just assurance contracts. And the fact that the FSF did significant retooling of its infrastructure to reflect those changes is I think quite noteworthy.

Re:This is not the Kickstarter model. (1)

kfogel (1041) | about 2 years ago | (#41683589)

That's a good point about the rewards, but note that non-profits have been using the "increasing rewards for increasing donations" system forever. It *long* predates Kickstarter and even the Internet. Think of donating to your local public radio station: give $10 and you get a thank-you card; give $50 and you get a tote bag too; give $100 and you get a tote bag plus discounts at cooperating restaurants and shops all over town; give $1000 and you get all of the above plus your name read live on the air plus maybe more. It's just fundraising 101.

While you're right that it's an important characteristic of Kickstarter, it's not a particularly defining one, because most serious fundraising operations are doing it already. Whereas the Threshold Pledge system, while not unique to Kickstarter, is much less widespread in fundraising in general.

I hope the FSF, or (say) the Software Freedom Conservancy, adds it as a feature, because I'd love to be supporting free software projects through organizations like them using Threshold Pledge.

Not a treshold pledge system (1)

Vintermann (400722) | about 2 years ago | (#41678449)

If it isn't a threshold pledge system - and there's nothing to suggest that they won't take the money even if the goal isn't reached - then it doesn't deserve to be compared to kickstarter.

Project starters would prefer that you don't think about the possibility of failure at all, and they would of course prefer to get everything raised anyway. But both these desires run contrary to backers' best interest. Sad that the FSF is too top-down to notice (or care).

Branding (1)

advance-software (1770510) | about 2 years ago | (#41679269)

Financing comes from those who sufficiently give a shit to contribute. Therefore image is important. You're trying to gain people's confidence. Hire a pro-graphic designer to give your funding portal a makeover. Sorry, programmer art does not cut it if you want this to work. Pro-designers/artists don't work for free so you'll need a budget. A bunch of them over here: http://maxforums.org/ [maxforums.org] Other sites are available. Please do this right.

Re:Branding (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41679745)

Oh god, so true. As someone who works in media production I think this is a great project. However, I have to tell you "creative types" who are most likely to appreciate and use a media hosting service like this are very design conscious and are just not going to send potential clients to check out their portfolio on a site called "mediagoblin" with a logo that looks like a doodle out of a high school kid's algebra notebook. Someone should mention to the FSF that people who work in design also tend value good design!

i would donate but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41679605)

i know how non-profit fundraising works: donate once, get harassed for life.

The FSF donation scale (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41680175)

$5 - RMS will name a beard hair after you
$10 - RMS will send you a signed copy of his next batshit insane rider. Remember, don't buy him a parrot.
$50 - RMS will join you and a group of friends for dinner and ruin the atmosphere by sniffing flowers and claiming he's having nasal sex with them
$100 - The next time RMS picks something off his foot, he'll send it to you instead of eating it on camera

Can Someone Donate Them a Web Designer (1)

adisakp (705706) | about 2 years ago | (#41688067)

Seriously... my eyes haven't hurt that much looking at a site since myspace went away.... myspace did go away, didnt it?
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?