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Krita Foundation: Update (krita.org)
322 points by ridgewell on Aug 2, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 65 comments

Very nice, they actually sponsor some really big things like EFF, Gnome. https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/pages/companies-we-spo... . Thank you privateinternetaccess!

Recently they started sponsoring Kiwi IRC development: https://kiwiirc.com/blog/Kiwi_IRC_gets_sponsored_by_PrivateI...

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."

Avoiding the use of the word 'synergy' it makes sense for them to do that, I'd imagine that the techy market makes up a good chunk of their market and more importantly is the part that answers questions like 'I'm worried about my privacy how do I protect it?'

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).

Wow, go PIA. I've been a member for years now with no problems (being able to select different locations helped a lot back in the day where League of Legends would actually give half the ping if I routed through Toronto). Their dedication to supporting OSS projects just reinforces my support.

Very good of PIA to sponsor this worthy project.

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 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?

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.

This is great to hear, glad to see good FOSS projects get the help they need. I only have a little bit of experience with Krita, but it's always been in my mind as a go-to if I ever need those tools.

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)

The top bar only takes data from paypal, not bank transfers :-(

Would probably be pretty easy to manually mix in bank transfer data.

The donation page didn't say anything about a reference to include with an IBAN-transfer (aside from the Krita foundation name), but I guess most of the incoming funds will be donations anyhow.

Boudewijn: Sterkte met de afwikkeling van de BTW-ellende.

Dank je -- vandaag kwam het sponsorgeld van Private Internet Access binnen, en ik heb gelijk betaald. Closure! Ik ben nu wel een uitgerekt elastiekje...

Honest question, why so much negativity towards someone who wants to donate 20k to a good cause?

Huh, I just made an account with the the PIA folks. Glad to know that my very reasonable monthly fee is helping to support great projects.

This is great! I'm not a user but, with all this hubub I am feeling like I should try it over the weekend or lunch (I do abstract art). Everyone that seems to use the software has given glowing reviews.

I think you are going to love it. I also do a little abstract work and man there is nothing that really touches Krita for doing my kind of paintings. Just if you are coming from a non-painting program its going to give you a few fits at first.

Any tips on how to get better or any good resources/communities to learn from? I've been messing with gimp and use to do abstract art on Photoshop, but haven't for a long time because I got disheartened

If you're looking for Krita-specific resources I can recommend this course by David Revoy. It goes over pretty much everything there is to know about Krita and has been a huge help to me.


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.

Warning: conspiracy below

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?

Well... The team member who contacted me told me he had got Krita on his arch laptop and loved it. And since it's impossible to attach strings to something like Krita...

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...

Thanks for the information, that's very interesting... Glad that offer was turned down :)

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.


Advertising to FOSS nerds who are more likely to become their customers. There are a lot of VPN services out there and it probably helps them stand out from the crowd as legitimate and not creepy or fly-by-night.

Yes, smart advertising. I use PIA every now and then when I go on trips. Seeing this donation made me feel really good about choosing PIA.

It would be nice if this kind of philanthropy were more common so that it would no longer be weird. I've found PIA to be more of a company of principles than profits. They were booted out of Russia due to their refusal to compromise on their logging practices. Not every company has to be so money obsessed, especially those who don't have to face the pressure of outside investors. Hogging money can only bring so much happiness. There's also a ton of positive PR involved with the tech-savvy community (their consumer base) when donating to foundations / projects like this.

> They were booted out of Russia

What do you mean by that? I'm in Russia and using PIA with no issues.

I just asked on #freenode. There is no such VPN ban.

It's good marketing for them. And it helps FOSS projects. Win win.

Customer trust is one of the most valuable metrics for a VPN provider, so this is extremely good PR for them.

I think people are just a bit paranoid given what happened with Kite over the past week.


> I mean, funding projects is nice, but doing so while requiring the projects you fund to do what you request (see Freenode/Snoonet and other VPNs)

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).

As someone else helpfully mentioned,

> 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.

You're right about this:

> 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.

PIA took over freenode? That's really bizarre and worrysome. I had not heard this, and was somehow under the impression that freenode must have been run by a non-profit foundation, not a for-profit entity.

Freenode in its original form was slowly dying - running in partnership with Private Internet Access means they don't have to stress out quite so much about stretching every penny and the behind-the-scenes of running a non-profit, and can focus on the longer-term projects they've been trying to implement.

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.

This is extremely worrisome. What is their endgame? Who are the people behind PIA, and what is their motivation? Sure, freenode is an important network to keep alive, but PIA seems to be spreading it's influence in a lot of places.

the announcement: https://freenode.net/news/pia-fn (from April)

By owner you mean Andrew Lee? Wikipedia also mentions some "Ted Kim", but the citation does not support that claim.

This made me switch to PIA. Thank you!

Glad to see FOSS in trouble got a good Samaritan on time. Need more people like this.

This warmed my tiny little black heart. I am glad to see the results were positive!


Please stop doing this or we'll ban the account. We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14911436 and marked it off-topic.

What part do you consider bannable?

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?

There are no strings attached. I was really surprised when they contacted me on IRC, but they already sponsor other orgs, like the Gnome Foundation or Freenode, as you can see on their frontpage: https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/ .

You should Google and read up on 'Wwft' (Dutch law). You wouldn't want to go from VAT troubles to terrorism financing or money laundering troubles with that same tax office.

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.

When ever I think the US Legal System has to be the most insane system ever, I simply look up EU Laws and cases and then realize how much better the US system is even with all its screwed up flaws...

The idea that Accepting an donation from PIA could be even remotely considered money laundering or terrorism financing is beyond insane to me

I would agree that the laws surrounding money laundering and terrorism financing in the EU are pretty heavy handed.

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...


You have many comments in this thread complaining about... something, but I'm yet to see proof of a single bad thing that PIA has done to projects they sponsor.

First, I consider centralization of power bad. I consider it generally a good thing if there's independent projects, and not single people get control over many major projects.

Now, let's consider this another person helpfully mentioned

> 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.

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).

And rather have those systems disappear as each runs out of money?

But that's the problematic part. You're now completely dependent on a single person for funding, and if they demand you add something to your software (or they'll end funding), you're fucked.

Do tou really want to give this power to a single person?

dude wtf, you have a magic ball that can see the future actions of others? geez, your comment made me sick

Surely you are not just going to throw out such an inflammatory statement without substantiating it, right?


I'm sorry, but "taking over snoonet and freenode" is a lot more than "I donated some money with strings attached." It's like being afraid of (any) people investing in your company because they might try to execute a hostile takeover.

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.

"Took over" meaning, in substantial terms?


Thank you for sharing this info.

Never waste a good crisis, or why you should sometimes be foolish to harvest your accumulated merit.

You guys should use the business model that the makers of Sketch use (Bohemian Coding).

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.

Krita is free and open source, deliberately so. How do you see that model working while retaining those 2 aspects?

It's not like this would work for project like Krita, but there are free and open source projects that sell binaries and updates. E.g Synergy: https://symless.com/synergy

Krita does have a paid app in the Windows App store plus they have a one on Steam called Gemini. But I'd guess they don't make a lot on this. Something like Synergy primarily makes money because it gets sold to business which are more willing to spend.

That's a bit hard when all the code is licensed as GPLv2+ and there are about 600 copyright holders :)

I don't think it's a terribly good idea for Krita, but you can make it work. GPL does not stop anyone from selling either the binaries or the source (you just have to supply the source if you supply the binaries). What theoretically brings the price to zero is that you don't have exclusive right to sell -- other people can undercut you.

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 [0]. 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.

[0] - https://te4.org/

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