Elsewhere in this HN thread, their acquiring of IRC networks was presented as a threat. I had not heard of the Snoonet deal so I went and looked and the announcement paints a very different picture: https://snoonet.org/updates/56-snoonet-joins-the-privateinte...
"Because I was about something more than myself, the owner, and director of marketing took a great interest in our mission. After speaking with them for a bit I came to learn that they grew up on IRC and valued it so much as it's where they started off, like many of us learning to program, network with others, and run our community live chats.
I then traveled to the owner's house with some slight expectations, and some doubt – do nice things just happen to us? To my surprise, I was blown away after playing endless rounds of Mario Kart, and witnessing them hard at work with what they believe in."
Something I answered a week or so ago when my 60 year old Mum asked me about it (she'd seen a news story about what our Dear Leader and Rudd where up to this time).
This episode, and previous ones with NumPy, Octave and other open-source projects have got me thinking: would it be worth adopting Swedish-style radical transparency and publishing a project's financial status and balance in a standardized format, so that it could become a standard item in a Github repo?
Too often projects die for lack of interest or slow down for lack of funding and it's not obvious because many people don't like asking for money, especially if making money isn't their primary goal. When they do run into a cash crunch, it's embarrassing for them and potential donors have to evaluate the project in the light of a financial failure rather than its best aspects, albeit a tiny failure of cash flow rather than the epic fails of overconfident commercial bets.
And there lies a secondary problem. Because many open source innovators aren't motivated by money, they often don't have a clear vision of how money could help them, and avoid dealing with it because the pursuit of it will take up too much of their head space and distract them from the artistic/ design/ development/ investigative/ scientific/ whatever work they are doing. There's tons of work being done without finance or monetization of any kind that could definitely benefit from both, but where the doers don't wish to be distracted by the questions that surround maximizing ROI.
Could a fully transparent non-profit or non-extractive funding model attract interest and participation from investors, patrons, and commercial sales people who understand and like financial infrastructure well enough to support the specialist producer rather than just maximizing short-term return - in other words, to share some of the structural benefits of working within a firm without the authoritarian and political pressures that normally accompany employment?
This is a great idea, particularly if there were some way for solo maintainers to flag/indicate that they're having financial problems and so close to abandoning the OS project for a better-paying job. Many widely-used OS projects are not run by not-for-profits but rather by individuals.
But I really like the idea of a standard financial report in the github repo, are there any existing standards we could use for this? Like from the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) or similar?
If this catches on, there could even be an aggregator website that publishes monthly reports of all participating open source projects' financial status, with charts, flourishing projects, projects in distress, etc, and links for potential donors to click to donate.
It does seem a bit misleading, however, to not update the top bar to include the new funding (unless it just hasn't been updated yet). I know a lot of people will see the first blog post but not the second, and I hope the intention isn't to trick them into thinking they are still in a financial emergency (not that you shouldn't still donate)
Boudewijn: Sterkte met de afwikkeling van de BTW-ellende.
It's in French but you can enable English subtitles and those seem pretty good.
As for getting better as an artist in my opinion nothing beats just practicing a bit everyday and knowing what your tools can do for you. Having some knowledge about fundamentals like composition, balance and color harmonies will also help a lot. You can find a ton of tutorials about these subjects on youtube.
Edit: I just noticed that the second part of the course doesn't have any subtitles yet. It's a shame but it's probably still worth quickly scrolling through it to get an idea about what the software can do.
What's with PIA buying out IRC networks and 'donating'/funding so many OSS projects? It's weird. On freenode other VPN services have been banned. What's their goal with krita? PIA doesn't have FOSS. Why are they sponsoring so many FOSS projects?
I have to admit, two weeks ago I (and Irina, who does the artist interviews on krita.org) got some very insistent mails from some company that promised a 20k/month income if only we'd embed their hidden tor node software in Krita. I deleted those mails, of course, but not having heard of Private Internet Access before, I initially thought they were related!
But no, not at all. And, yes -- I have to admit, do live under a stone, in a cave. I spend so much time on Krita that large parts of the world pass me by. To me, a VPN is an ssh connection...
I'm not saying the PIA thing is bad, and getting funding is amazing. I just find what PIA is doing weird. As you said you can't really attach strings to krita so it's fine.
What do you mean by that? I'm in Russia and using PIA with no issues.
Do you have proof of PIA "required the projects [they] fund to what [they] request?" Do you have proof that the takeover of Freenode is related to that?
I'll agree that the takeover of Freenode is troubling, but you are making unsubstantiated claims, stating them as fact, and mixing in things that are actually facts (as if they somehow make your claims more true).
> Freenode is registered as a "private company limited by guarantee without share capital" performing "activities of other membership organisations not elsewhere classified", with Christel and Andrew Lee (PIA's founder) as officers, and Andrew Lee having the majority of voting rights. Any profits are not to be distributed under their articles of association, making it a not-for-profit company.
This means that Andrew Lee has lone control over freenode, holding the majority of voting rights. That's all I need to know to see that this is not him just funding projects, but actually about getting power in them.
If it was just about funding them, he wouldn't have to hold majority voting rights, and could just drop funding if they start doing something he disagrees with.
In general, this is a single person buying up power over major parts of the FLOSS scene, and that's not a behaviour that we should condone, or support.
> that's not a behaviour that we should condone, or support
but you're extrapolating from limited data to form this opinion:
> That's all I need to know to see that this is not him just funding projects, but actually about getting power in them.
Freenode is registered as a "private company limited by guarantee without share capital" performing "activities of other membership organisations not elsewhere classified", with Christel and Andrew Lee (PIA's founder) as officers, and Andrew Lee having the majority of voting rights. Any profits are not to be distributed under their articles of association, making it a not-for-profit company.
Frankly speaking... I suspect that Andrew Lee is a techie who came into a pile of money and actually, legitimately wants to prevent IRC from dying.
That I protest against a single person buying up control over major parts of the FLOSS community, and centralizing power?
Or that I use editing as a workaround for a bug in HN, where in some situations deleting comments becomes impossible?
No intention of stirring up troubles in this thread and congrats on having your problem solved!, but large gifts of unknown / foreign origin can get a lot of attention. Especially if it goes across many countries. So it seems wise to have the sponsor checked out. Your bank and accountant will probably ask the same question at a certain point in time.
The idea that Accepting an donation from PIA could be even remotely considered money laundering or terrorism financing is beyond insane to me
An example: a financial firm is to check the UBO (ultimate benificiary owner, i.e. the real person involved) at the other end of the deal, for all counterparties. You also should check for PEPs (politically exposed persons), which can be all kinds of things (think family members of notorious regimes). The thing is, for terrorism governments supply watchlists, for PEPs they don't. So most institutions use PEP-lists that they procure elsewhere, but don't really manage. So that's where funny things happen. These are laws where compliance is pretty hard to do guarantee.
In this case you getting a €20k financing from a UK-firm, with a (his responses are now downmodded, but that part was probably true) UBO that is pretty mindfull of his privacy and the whereabouts of his money you can't follow. You use that money to finance a particular Russian contractor, via a Dutch foundation. I don't think being compliant should be awefully hard, although it would entail some work. Note that the compliancy should fall on the bank, accountant and perhaps notary involved. I just added the reply to give Boudewijn a heads-up to be mindful.
All of this doesn't stop Dutch banks from financing coffeeshops with their roots massively in the locally illegal growing of cannabis. So go figure about the impact of these laws...
Now, let's consider this another person helpfully mentioned
Meaning that Andrew Lee alone has control over Freenode. And, looking by it, also Snoonet. And also indirect control over many open source projects. A single person having influence over major parts of the open source world and infrastructure.
I'm not sure if you consider this bad, but I do consider it bad if a single person starts buying up everything I use daily. And I will try to prevent this centralization of power. (For the same reason I dislike Google, which also concentrates far too much power in the hands of just two people).
Do tou really want to give this power to a single person?
Present us with evidence of money being donated with strings attached, not of PIA buying out projects that they have donated to in the past.
You pay a one-time fee $99 to download the app with all available features and new features for one year (365 days). After 365 days, when the Bohemian Coding team builds new features you have to pay $99 again to get those features... etcetera.
It's a great business model because you get the best of both worlds (one-time, and subscription model). This gives you capital to get started, and bootstraps your company as the software matures.
However, in practice, you can actually sell the application because quite a few people don't care if they can get it for free. For an example check out TOME . It's a GPL game that's also available on Steam. It has a kind of online mode and the author has stated that something like 70% of the people who play online have paid.
What I find even more interesting is that he has exclusive DLC for paying customers and it is also licensed under the GPL. You can only get the content from the author and only if you have paid. Now, nothing is legally stopping others from distributing that content, but nobody does as far as I can tell.
One other interesting thing is that while you can't stop people from undercutting your price, you can stop them from selling under your trademark. So if you were Krita, you could specify that only officially licensed versions could be called Krita, and you are free to distribute the code under a different name. Branding is worth something (strangely) and this can keep your customers.
Like I said, I don't think it's a good idea for Krita, but it's far from impossible.
 - https://te4.org/