For example, the currently highest-voted comment on /r/bitcoin for the story  says "I disagree with him [mitsuhiko]".
I think there are a lot of broken things about how currency works, but there are also quite a number of good things, and setting the whole thing on fire without understanding which parts are good and why is a recipe for hurting people and also failing to get your idea to succeed.
Which concepts in particular are you referring to?
That is fair. Do you think this is an insurmountable disadvantage?
>and transaction volume.
I don't know about that. Bitcoiners have been very vocal about the regularly increasing transaction volume since its inception. See https://blockchain.info/charts/n-transactions-excluding-popu...
In other words, whenever you use Bitcoin you take on FX risk. This means, that Bitcoin is something you wouldn't want to store value in for the long-term.
Hedging that risk will also prove a major headache, since there aren't that many Bitcoin contracts out there, and the ones that are, carry some major credit risk with them.
I can think of a reason you would want to. Bitcoin is strictly supply-limited, and all fiat currencies are not. One might decide that, despite Bitcoin's volatility, the expected change in unit value over time is higher than that of any (inflationary) fiat currency.
I wonder if tip4commit have even considered whether any of the unsolicited donations they're collecting for are intended for residents in any of the non-green countries here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legality_of_Bitcoin_by_country ? If you're a contributor to an open source project and you live in Bangladesh, this is about as welcome as receiving illegal drugs in the post in return for your open source project commits. (Yeah, a bit of hyperbole there, but still...)
So we've gone from "it's volatile" to "it's maybe, potentially, illegal at some point in the future"?
Well, there are a few reasons I wouldn't be worried about this. A) It's not likely that Bitcoin will be banned outright in most countries. B) If it were to be banned outright, you'd likely have plenty of notice and be able to sell it before the laws took effect.
Also, it is not as if the project is actually sending Bitcoin to the developers; it is simply making it available for them to claim. A more comparable analogy would be if a sweepstakes in Colorado told me I had won some free marijuana; even though marijuana is illegal in my state, I am not legally culpable unless I actually claim the winnings.
I still think the "potentially illegal at some point in the future" is a real consideration in the discussion about using Bitcoin "to store value in for the long-term".
As for the difference between "sending Bitcoin to developers" vs "making it available for them to claim" - think about how you'd feel if someone in Colorado was running a website saying "Donate marijuana to wyager for each of his upvoted HN comments!", then had your local police come round to your place asking you about"your" 7oz of illegal drugs? However "in the right" you are, being put in that position without being asked, and having "that guy" argue about whether he needs to stop doing it when you complain... I personally wouldn't want to be involved in those arguments, nor would I be at all happy about other people supporting :that guy"'s rights to keep doing it.
Ah, but who would want to buy Bitcoin in that scenario?
(I see Bitcoin advocates pushing people to stop using altcoins. It's unclear to me what force they can put behind this admonition.)
P. S. I like how you went "...or even EUR" ;)
It requires (electrical) power. I don't think this could reasonably be called "friction". When I think "friction", I think of burdens imposed on users. Bitcoin has relatively few of those.
Haha, I have no idea what that chart is talking about. It might be in cents. Even then, it seems expensive.
My phone client uses a ~$0.05 fee, I think.
All fees are optional. Your transaction might just take longer without one.
BitCoin is faux money and will likely be recorded as the "Dutch Tulip Bubble"  of our times.
Intentions and wishful thinking alone are not enough to create revolutions. Crises are invariably required to change such fundamental concepts as value of currency in the public's mind, and it has to happen on a massive scale in a tiny span of time. BitCoin will be no more than the butt of jokes in another decade unless it finds it's destiny in a crisis made for it to shine.
>BitCoin is faux money
Could you expand on this? How do you define "faux" money?
And really, linking to the wikipedia page of tulip mania, as if we haven't heard that trope 10,000 times?
I mean, there truly is quite a lot things that one can disagree with about the "old" world, maybe even somewhat forcefully, in "Gandhi's way" rather than "Kant's way". So when somebody associated with the "new" world behaves stupid he causes much more harm for the supporters of all kind of "cultural revolutions", because makes them look like a bunch of idiots no matter how different from each other their actual beliefs and reasoning may be.
A currency only works if people use it. A good way to support bitcoin is to expand adoption. It seems to me that the creators of tip4commit have blinders on and only view the project through bitcoin colored glasses.
The issue as I see it is that the bitcoin movement mirrors the technology's decentralized nature. There is a general optimism and push towards adoption, but no real methods or direction towards that goal. It's a rather organic, evolving system. Things that have helped adoption have been repeated and things that cause a backlash are squashed and learned from. The latter is what I would say is happening here.
Is there already something like this?
Not true (anymore?). The top 3 comments are now:
- "I think [mitsuhiko] complaint is 120% fair..."
- "It seems like tip4commit is trying to ram a Bitcoin service down peoples throats..."
- "This has nothing to do with Bitcoin at all. It's people being jerks..."
> "Please remove mitsuhiko/* (This guy is complaining about tip4commit, please help educate about Bitcoin)"
and the mod writes:
> "You are not allowed to incite brigading. Please resubmit using the original source - the github link. You are part of the problem of why people hate our community"
Seems like the mod is reprimanding the submitter of the story for the "please help educate about Bitcoin" part of the submission (which is inciting brigading).
Seriously, what is the big deal with this? The developers are more than able to simply ignore the donations. Anyone who wasted time complaining in that Github thread could have clicked "mark as spam" in a fraction of the time and been done with it.
Everyone who used this tipping mechanism would have at least a cursory idea of how it works, and that's all it takes to understand that project maintainers have zero involvement with it.
The Bitcoin community is made up of predominately radical libertarians; I say that with the utmost respect, as I consider myself part of that very group. The culture is very different from that of the Python community - and one of those ways is that it is often acceptable to alienate a portion of your potential userbase.
and that comment agrees with mitsuhiko
I'd push complaints further up to GitHub, since I'm sure something in the way this works violates their ToS, but ultimately that wouldn't do anything except cause them to self-host their code and keep running the "service".
The only way there could be tax is if you receive the money, and that can only happen by you deliberately becoming involved.
* In some countries it is illegal to opt someone into services they didn't ask for.
* In some countries it is illegal to send unsolicited emails about services.
* In some countries it is illegal to accept or solicit donations without registering first with tax authorities.
* In some countries it is illegal to suggest a financial relationship between yourself and another person/entity when no such relationship exists.
* In some countries it is illegal to pay out to people without also filing tax documents to track the payment and provide the recipient with records they legally are required to keep.
Their track record when confronted by people who have issues with some/all of the above is not encouraging. They appear to me to be putting far too much faith in "we're doing BitCoin on the internet" as a magic shield against laws, and they do not appear to have ever talked to anyone who knows even the tax or service laws of even major countries in which the developers they solicit on "behalf" of live (evidenced by comments from them that they are too small to afford lawyers).
They sound like lots of issues the tip4commit people have to fix/solve/etc, but not the opted-in repo maintainers, which was the point of the GP.
> In some countries it is illegal to opt someone into services they didn't ask for.
> In some countries it is illegal to send unsolicited emails about services.
> In some countries it is illegal to accept or solicit donations without registering first with tax authorities.
> In some countries it is illegal to suggest a financial relationship between yourself and another person/entity when no such relationship exists.
> In some countries it is illegal to pay out to people without also filing tax documents to track the payment and provide the recipient with records they legally are required to keep.
If those are really problems - you have problem with your gov and your laws, not bitcoin or tip4commit.
This is a staggeringly arrogant position to take. "Go change your laws, not this bitcoin service." Really?
Protip: close the /r/bitcoin tab, close the mises.org tab, and learn to be a decent human being.
"In some countries it is illegal to send unsolicited emails about services."
No, that sounds like a damn sensible law that I do not want to see changed, thanks.
See IRS publication 525, page 2, "constructively received income": http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p525.pdf
There's some fuzziness and legal room here but the safe thing would be to declare it as income.
the checking account offer isn't compensation for something you've already done. I think that makes it clearly distinguishable. But I'm not a lawyer; get competent legal advice before deciding you can pretend a tip-for-commit payment didn't happen.
But again, lawyers haven't finished discussing all the legal ramifications of crypto-currencies or for that matter the internet in general.
First, the money isn't available since it hasn't even been sent to you. Until you sign-up for the service, and provide a bitcoin address for the funds to be sent to your private key, they are not available. But more importantly, since you have no business relationship with the person giving the money, I would think the best characterization for the income is a tax-free gift (up to $14,000 per giver). But IANAL, and this isn't tax advice.
I don't believe that's correct. A check which is never cashed is not income, as the funds are never transferred there is no income, there is no income tax. The point of the IRS regulation is that tax period in which the check is received is the applicable one, rather than the tax period when it is cashed.
Tax? Perhaps not, but the OP was talking about tax and other legal consequences. These can vary wildly from country to country.
My local legislation requires applying for a permit before asking for donations. If a 3rd party would add my projects to this website, I could face criminal charges and the proof of burden would be on me.
Some project on github is not even remotely your biggest problem here.
Some unfortunate medical issues put me on disability, which means living off of SSDI for a while. For various reasons the social security programs in this country are run with a focus on "stopping fraud" instead of "helping people", regardless of little shrinkage and waste actually exists.
A consequence of this is that you are required to be "in need" which is usually defined as not having more than like $30 in cash to your name. This includes all possible recoverable sources modulo a few enumerated items (such as one cheap car). As part of the application process, I had to liquidate stuff like the $70 i had in a "mandatory contribution" retirement account from a short-lived tech support job I had when I was an undergrad. Of course, as this was WAY before you were supposed to withdraw that money, it came with penalties that made that ~$70 worth only about $10. That was still considered "recoverable".
I have some stuff up on github. At the moment, none of it is very interesting or worthy of any tip. I suspect that for now the IRS/H&HS hasn't even heard of this kind of income. They certainly are not currently looking at potential income sources this new and unusual. That could change in time.
Regardless of the probably-low actual risk, I would be required to liquidate this kind of tip right now if any existed. Failure to do so could cause cancel my SSDI. That loss could even be retroactive back to the date the tip was sent.
I have no idea how this would play out in practice. It might not be as problematic as I described. What I do know is that social security moves by the whim of politicians and bureaucrats, making the entire topic very hard to predict. So yes, someone using my name in a fund-raiser can not only cause "tax issues", it also caries a (probably-)small but very real risk of removing my only source of income (aka "rent", "food").
No, these rules are not sane (or useful). Yes, this is a big problem, that is much larger than github. Unfortunately, the potential risk to anybody in a situation like mine is still very real.
It's extremely unlikely that I could get convicted because of it, very unlikely that they'd even start the case either. But it would at least mean significant paperwork and other nuisance.
It's not like I'd get sent to Siberia but yeah, my country is full of stupid laws. And so are many other countries.
Actually I do think the intent of this law is good and it's to protect individuals from scams. But the practice should be updated to better work with crowdfunding and other Internet fundraisers.
Here's a similar example from earlier this year, the local police demanded that local Wikimedia foundation chapter explain their fundraising campaign.
The local Wikimedia chapter had no part to play in it, were not charged in the end, but had to spend time and effort explaining that it's the California-based US entity asking for the donations.
The point is that, because there isn't a way to opt-out of the project, it is the responsibility of the tip4commit developers to do their due diligence and make sure they aren't putting anyone in hot waters with their project.
Not only have they not done that, they're also being indignant assholes about it.
If they changed it to opt-in, I would think the whole problem would go away.
I think that people who set Web services up really need to think about what territory the service is designed to operate in and which legal system(s) they have the time and resources to examine.
"How does it work?
People donate bitcoins to projects. When someone's commit is accepted into the project repository, we automatically tip the author."
from here - https://tip4commit.com/
Yes you are.
The rest of the folks in the thread and on the Github issue are exploring what those terms mean. I'm not seeing you provide much insight or rationale into your interpretations beyond a simple "No, we are not."
But as much as I try to contort it, I can't see how you aren't accepting a contribution on someone's behalf.
How are we failing to make clear the various suggestions for making your work actually useful instead of potentially harmful to the projects you claim to be trying to help?
Even if they oblige in accepting BTC and just convert it to their preferred currency, they'd be forced to go through the process of signing up and verifying with some sort of exchange. What if they don't want to do business with those institutions, or share their financial details to yet another third-party? Cryptocurrencies will succeed, thankfully, but some people don't want to put their toes in those legal waters yet. They will also have to spend more time administering to local laws and taxes regarding donations, which eats away the time they have for other much more fun things.
I suggest you pull your site before this PR gets even further out of hand, then reboot. If you continue to pursue your project, partner with a couple projects that opt-in (free publicity for you both) and work to their needs. Once you have things in order, then you can think about something more automated.
Meanwhile you insult us by simply saying "fork it." That doesn't get money donated on my behalf out of your Bitcoin wallet. I suggest y'all stop bickering and actually start helping. The burden to clean up your oversights is on no one but yourself.
We know you built the project in good faith, but it needs serious tweaks. At this point you're being a nuisance, at best, to the very creators of projects your site is deployed upon! If they were in your situation they would have fixed this, shipped it, and have written a detailed postmortem by now.
The "It's a tip!" nature of this seems irrelevant to taxes: either you accept it or you don't, and if you do, you may or may not be required to pay taxes on it, depending on laws that are applied to you.
The proper thing to do in your hypothetical case (where you didn't see the message until well into the next tax year) would be to file an amended return for the previous year declaring the recently discovered income.
It is simply not cool to use a project's name to collect money from its fans without their permission. And without any promise that the money will make it to the intended recipient. And certainly without any indication of what happens to the money that doesn't make it to the recipient.
Emailing someone in Canada now requires consent (various legal ways) or close personal relationship. It doesn't cost anything to report them https://services.crtc.gc.ca/pub/rapidsccm/Default-Defaut.asp... .
But if you really wanted to pursue them, you would have to hire a lawyer, a complaint doesn't have the same weight or speed of a legal filing.
This just goes to show you has clueless the developers are with regards to international policy and law.
Drupal trademark policy http://drupal.com/trademark
Apache trademark policy http://www.apache.org/foundation/marks/
Eclipse trademark policy https://www.eclipse.org/legal/logo_guidelines.php
KDE® and the K Desktop Environment® logo are registered trademarks of KDE e.V. can't find the policy right now.
If you want to support Django and its community and development (which includes more than just commits to a git repository), there is also a mechanism to donate to the DSF:
If I was denied the chance to receive a donation for a contribution I made to an open source project essentially because the "project owner" doesn't agree then I'd be very annoyed.
This is completely wrong.
> If there are purposes that you don't want your project to be used for then forbid it in the license.
This is completely inapplicable.
> If I was denied the chance to receive a donation for a contribution I made to an open source project essentially because the "project owner" doesn't agree then I'd be very annoyed.
Start your own project.
Edit: Yes thanks for that downvote, encouraging people to have an intelligent conversation through constructive arguments rather than making pointless remarks seems to be frowned upon by some people
Isn't this really all there is to say on this subject?
The use of the name, by itself, is not and cannot be protected by a license. This is the domain of trademarks, which few of these projects would have, because trademarks must be registered and paid for. But that's probably not the issue here. The real issue is that the site seems to imply a business relationship with various projects and contributors that does not actually exist. Likely, this is enough to bring action if it comes to that.
Also, to address a point of confusion in this discussion: The no-promotion provisions in the BSD license and similar only applies to derivative software, which would be use under the license. The author can place restrictions on promotion of derivative works only because the licensee is actually copying and distributing the code under license and the license is the only thing that would give him the right to do so.
As much as the project seems to have good intentions, insisting that It's BitCoin, BitCoin is different doesn't mean your product is actually exempt from rules and law. Or that Bitcoin is all that different.
There is no reason someone couldn't build a similar project using traditional currency. But then they would run afoul of the many laws designed to protect depositors, investors, and the financial system writ-large. As someone remarks in TFA, holding the amount of currency on ones balance sheets this project would, if successful, is a terrible idea. It's ripe for fraud and abuse. There is a reason services like Gittip assist in transferring fund, and act as the debiter and depositor.
This whole thing is emblematic of the problems with Bitcoin culture, which seems to think it doesn't have to follow any of the rules. Sorry lads, if Bitcoin is currency, you have to behave like banks and investment firms if you are going to act like banks and investment firms.
That means they are independent and third party and in no way necessarily affiliated with the project. I understood that right from the start, but I only have a 3rd person perspective on this, are the private messages different?
Could you go into more detail on your position?
> Contribute to Open Source
> Donate bitcoins to open source projects or make commits and get tips for it.
The language used is "donate to projects". If you click the "See projects" button, you get to a page with the header "Supported projects", which suggests some kind of agreement between the project and Tip4Commit.
If you click a project, you get to a page with text like "Project sponsors", and even "No sponsors yet. Be the first to support this project.". The implied "... on Tip4Commit" part is not obvious.
The only thing suggesting that Tip4Commit is not affiliated with the projects is a low-contrast message at the bottom of each page, which was added after this blew up.
To me it just looks like a badly implemented concept that happens to use Bitcoin. I'm not seeing any Bitcoin exceptionalism here.
arsenische - Do I need to learn all the laws of all the countries before publishing anything online or may I just use the common sense and conscience please?
mitsuhiko - To be honest: when it comes to handling money I would assume so. If this website would be dealing with a real world currency you would have a bunch of problems on yourself at this point. Most people would avoid holding funds on their books for an unlimited amount of time.
Don't build software you have to opt-out of and you have a lot less problems on your hand. Right now, this is dangerously close to being sued by someone.
arsenische - That's why this kind of project is hardly possible with traditional money. This project was created during a 48 hour rails rumble competition. The beauty of Bitcoin is that everybody can use it to create something during a weekend.
This is not a commercial project, we don't have resources to hire lawyers and accountants.
From this it seems that not only do they think it avoids legal issues, but they do not consider publicly raising bitcoin to be a commercial project that needs lawyers or accountants.
Though it seems more like they're saying "We have no resources but were able to this because it uses Bitcoin" than "We're immune to laws because we're using Bitcoin".
Although this situation points out that there is a fundamental conflict with Bitcoin and the established systems that's going to require an adjustment period.
While it's certainly true that laws governing money, accounting, finance, etc. can, will, and do apply to Bitcoin, the fact still remains that it's really easy to move money around electronically outside of institutional controls. Previously, the laws controlling electronic transfer have been enforced via the institutions, and that's no longer entirely possible.
Some things will have to change, it will be interesting to see how it shakes out.
edit - Also, if they are actually someone else's wares and you haven't yet asked anyone for their permission, buy several lawyers and some duct tape and apply them as full-body protective padding.
Of course the laws still apply, but the enforcement mechanisms (which have thus far been administered via institutions) can now be circumvented to a certain extent.
It is a fundamental conflict and adjustment will be required.
edit - If fleshed out a bit, the premise behind this project might actually make quite a good 21st century sequel episode. Del Boy would love bitcoin.
I sell a service online. I know that I do not need to transfer VAT to the US government when selling to American citizens. I know I need to transfer VAT to my EU government for any sale to a citizen of an EU country. So far so good. Do you honestly think I know what to do when a Kenyan or Vietnamese citizen makes a purchase? Do you think most small US-based companies transfer VAT to the EU? Do you think anyone bars citizens from countries they don't want to deal with from purchasing their services?
The internet is still the wild west for many things, because governments of the world still haven't caught up with internet commerce. Nobody, except for the larges companies, can reasonably be expected to be able to deal with the laws of a few hundred countries.
> What happens to unclaimed tips (if recipient doesn't sign in and specify his/her bitcoin address)?
Funds that are not claimed during 30 days get returned back to the project.
(Or is "the project" a mistake and should read "the donor"?)
I can see how "the project" could also be interpreted as tip4commit though and if that's the case, that's pretty lousy.
This interpretation is correct
Why is it a bad idea?
Maybe people have already stated the reasons. And you (wrongly) think you have effectively refuted them. You are being, to choose a mild word, dense.
Sometimes it's best to just look at how mad you are making people, and draw your conclusions from that.
You are making something people don't want.
I've being reading through this whole debacal myself, and I haven't seen any good reasons so far.
Sorry if sounds ambiguous, English is not my native language.
E. g. if you donate to reward contributors of https://tip4commit.com/github/bitcoin/bitcoin and some contributor doesn't specify bitcoin address to claim tips within 30 days then his or her tips will be returned back to bitcoin/bitcoin's balance (see this logic at https://github.com/tip4commit/tip4commit/blob/master/app/mod...)
I'd get a few different signs from random organisations like doctor's without borders, red cross and some other popular ones and then I'll setup on the town square. Big ass signs and maybe a little pamphlet with the details. I'll let everyone know what a fantastic contribution to world peace I'm doing and that I will hand over all their donations as soon as the organisation they donated to gets in touch with me.
I'll just send the organisations a mail informing them that they now have a business relationship with me that I refuse to let them opt-out of. They probably won't mind...
Stop being stupid. Clear your database and implement opt-in.
Could you provide an estimate of the amount of tips actually sent to people with regards to the amount donated ? Could you also provide an estimate of how much funds are being withheld because the tips amount is below the withdrawal threshold ?
1. If you take a donation from A on behalf of B, you are now a trustee. That means you're bound by fiduciary duty, which is a very strict standard of behaviour.
2. If you can't find B, or if B refuses to accept the donation, you must return it to A. It cannot be repurposed for other beneficiaries.
3. If you repurpose the funds for yourself, you have breached fiduciary duty and are legally in deep, deep shit.
The exceptions are, of course, if you explicitly formed a trust with explicit terms allowing you to select other beneficiaries.
Of course, the laws vary according to jurisdiction. Trusts caselaw has evolved slightly differently in different common law countries. And legislatures are typically suspicious of trusts because they get used a lot to reduce tax burdens, so there tends to be a lot of local tinkering with the trusts laws.
I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice.
I also wonder if tip4commit has looked into whether there is a legal requirement for them to escheat the funds to the state to hold for the individual if the individual doesn't claim it.
No, it is not. We just came with this idea for rails rumble competition, it was pretty spontaneous.
Sorry if "to the project" sounds ambiguous, I meant "to the funded project" (not to tip4commit unless we are talking about tips to https://tip4commit.com/github/tip4commit/tip4commit contributors).
<whisper>And if the Django project doesn't come get the donations within 30 days, we don't tell you what happens to the donations. What happens to the money, if its not claimed, may (or may not) go against the wishes of yourself or the Django developers (that we're collecting money on behalf of, without permission). Also, sending these donations exposes the developers to serious legal consequences.</whisper>
Don't sign in or register or you may have more to worry about than undesired tax liabilities.
EDIT: It's fixed now.
EDIT: I did https://github.com/tip4commit/tip4commit/issues/147
- 4 months ago Bitcoin Core was happy to raise 1.8BTC in two days using tip4commit , but today's comment  signals they are not happy with tip4commit, because it encourages submitting large number of small commits
- an IT World article about 40% donations being unclaimed  (1.384BTC)
- "we discovered a security breach" 
- OpenBazaar, a fork of Dark Market, a market for drugs, encourages to make donations using tip4commit 
- "Tip4Coin donations look like they are stolen" 
Unfortunately it looks like a typical Bitcoin project - naivety of the authors, in terms of technical and legal matters, plus douchebag attitude (ignoring others, even if they are owners of things they profit from), plus shady entities benefiting from them.
I temporary disabled ALL the email notifications (even though I don't think they were a real problem) and added a warning that we are not affiliated with project owners. When my teammate is online he will probably also some of the other issues.
I see a lot of misinformation about tip4commit and our intentions. I can't quickly respond to everybody, but I'll try to keep basic answers here: https://github.com/tip4commit/tip4commit/wiki/FAQ
Perhaps some people just misunderstand the project and hate it.
Also I think that it is normal that developers try to understand the motivation of users and ask questions in order to find a better solution, please don't take it as offence or reluctance to change.
We are going to resolve every issue or close the project.
Btw, if you think this project shouldn't exist - welcome to https://github.com/tip4commit/tip4commit/issues/157 - that could be the easiest solution for all of us.
If you believe the project can be improved - welcome to leave your feedback on the desired improvements, such as
Thanks for reading this and please accept apologies if we offended you (never wanted to).
Providing monetary incentives gamifies the development process, which is not a good thing. It has been shown that providing monetary incentives below a threshold decreases both the quality and quantity of contributions. For more information about this I suggest reading Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink.
Tip4commit was started for the bitcoin project. I'm a bitcoin developer. We don't like tip4commit. What results in practice is that we end up with ill-formed, poorly thought out, excessively large, trivial, time wasting pull requests to review, which takes time away from beneficial development.
Your service is not helping open source software. It is hurting it. You are paying people to provide distractions which slow down development. Please stop.
The project should be opt-in or shouldn't exist at all.
I wouldn't be opposed to implementing opt-out at a project level... but it's not my project.
The point being, setting the thing up behind their back brings a lot of risk of poisoning the relationship between the contributor and the project.
Maybe it's stupid for a project to act like that, but once it turns into a hair splitting exercise, you might as well split all of them.
You can't blame someone else for not having a responsible (e.g. opt-in) growth engine...
You have to work with the community rather than against it. If there are maintainers out there that really want this, collaborate with them and grow from there.
Project maintainers have decided not to notify new
contributors about tips and they probably don't like
this way of funding.
Funds that are not claimed during 30 days get returned
back to the donation pool of the project
I think sticking with opt-out is ok since it will be the difference in having a million projects or 3 projects. But, it means you have to be more considerate of the project owners requests. Thinking that the emails "weren't that bad" is more evidence that you aren't listening very well.
There is a difference between "right" and "convenient for tip4commit". Assuming that no project maintainer wants to be part of tip4commit, should they all be made to opt-out? I'd argue that it is tip4commit that have to make a case for themselves and convince stakeholders of their benefits. Avoiding marketing by choosing defaults that are convenient for you but possibly a nuisance to your stakeholders is a very arrogant and short-sighted position to take.
"We are not affiliated with most of the projects, their owners may be unaware of or actively against using tip4commit."
Opt-in or opt-out would allow everybody using your service to win which is much nicer and more sustainable than lying to donors and developers.
OTOH, still negative infinite points for even arguing when a maintainer comes in and asks to opt out.
> This project has been disabled. It doesn't accept donation and it will not distribute tips.
> Reason: Project author request: https://github.com/sigmike/peer4commit/issues/110
On the other hand, Tip4Comment has only this notice :
> Project maintainers have decided not to notify new contributors about tips and they probably don't like this way of funding.
"you can't just start collecting money for me without some kind of deal."
Kachingle was an extreme case, gathering "donations" for sites like Wikipedia, Google News, and also small sites like Mike Krahulik's. Using this approach on Github is just a new variation on an old scam. As someone else said in that same thread:
"that is the weirdest creepiest business model ever."
Not all of the time, anyway.
It makes it seem like they want to capitalize on well-known oss projects, and more or less trick people into giving money, when there's no clear entity behind the service and no clear rules about what happens with "unclaimed" money.
The two obvious explanations here are "scam" and "thoughtless developers". In either case, I wouldn't want any project I was associated with, listed on their page.
Historically they spammed committers of force-opted-in repositories with an email on every commit to tell them what their new BTC donation balance was after the commit. And they insist that once a repository has been added to their system, they do not have the ability to remove it.
This has legal and tax consequences they seem to be blissfully unaware of, and the best they'll offer is to stop sending you an email every time you make a commit.
We (meaning the Django project) went a few rounds with them a while back and ultimately had to resort to threatening spam complaints against their ISP just to get the damn emails turned off. We still have been unable to get removed from the list of projects they "helpfully" collect donations for:
The link in this thread is another major developer also attempting to get his repositories removed from their "service", and being stonewalled just as we were.
To make matters worse, they have no idea about or no will to learn about foreign laws.
If they listed any of my projects on their website, I, personally would be considered to be participating in illegal activities in my home country. Regardless of whether I would have ever received any money, asking for donations requires a permit ahead of time here. The police could come knocking on my door demanding for an explanation (they'd probably send a letter, though).
It would be extremely unlikely that I would ever get convicted, but I'd have to spend a lot of effort proving my innocence in something I played no part in.
Besides, looking at this project and the number of similar projects (all using cryptocurrencies), it seems like there are no noble intentions behind this. A lot of the funds donated might never get claimed, which means that the intermediate party could usurp the money because no transparency is involved.
That doesn't make it OK for someone to run a dodgy "donations/tip/contribution" service, asking for money on my behalf. This could potentially cause problems for lots of people around the world (seems like UK has similar laws too).
Stupid foreign laws don't go away by ignoring them. Running an international service requires you to understand the legislations you operate in.
Are you serious? I can't expect to avoid consequences for the crazy laws that get passed in other countries?
I won't stand in front of any judges of your backwards country, I have enough with my own.
People cannot opt out of the tip4commit service, it automatically opts you in.
Like, I create an account for you without your knowledge and I send you to jail? Sounds like a useful app, but scary in the wrong hands.
also, people who downvoting here - make sure to read HN rules about what downvotes are for. They are not to downvote different ideas, but to remove useless posts.
That takes time, and costs money.
exDM69 can avoid spending that time and money by asking you to stop collecting money for them.
And so now you have a choice: offer to give timy amounts of money to someone who will never accept it; or you could respect that person's wishes by not accepting donations for them. (And that's the honest thing to do for the people giving you the money! If Bob tells you he's never going to accept the money it's dishonest to keep accepting donations for Bob).
No, you would not be able to put me in jail. At worst, the penalty would be a fine. But that would not happen in practice.
What would happen is that I receive a letter from the local authorities, demanding me to explain why there are donations being asked for under my name. Responding might need me to get legal advice and perhaps contacting the hosting behind the service to find out who is asking for donations and why.
In other words, that would mean a lengthy paperwork process and perhaps some fees for legal advice. That would be a nuisance.
Can you show me where it says that in the rules or guidelines or FAQ?
Does it really matter, it is a problem for the project owners. This third party claim to have an altruistic purpose yet they end up being a problem. And now you are suggesting to sovle the problem it is somehow more rational for the project owner to either 1) pack up and move to another countr or 2) start lobbying their local legislature to change laws to accomodate whatever this third party (tip4commit) thinks is a more rational approach.
Would be interested to hear from someone with a legal background about this.
Best I can tell as a non-attorney acting on advice from others, the way in which they advertise their services could be easily confused as implying a financial relationship with organizations or individuals with whom they do not have a (consenting) financial relationship. Where to go from there is an open question.
The bigger question, as always with such things, is whether they cause enough annoyance to be worth lawyering them, and whether playing whack-a-mole -- since they're not the only "service" which does this -- would be a prudent way to spend time and money.
Deal with the issue some other way. There are unethical people out there who want to make money in crafty ways.
The tax thing is a good point, but I think it would be entirely reasonable and ethical to simply ignore any donations you got if you didn't want them, and not declare them. Perhaps Tip4Commit could auto forward any unclaimed tips to a charity if they are not claimed in a month.
Email spam is another good point, but if it was simply reduced to a one time email when you had accumulated $25 USD I don't see it as unreasonable.
If they implemented the above I'd probably defend them. Right now not so much perhaps, micro cents of tips and lots of emails are understandably pretty annoying.
I've considered a few times figuring out what it would cost to give them a good once-over with an attorney, just because it seems historically that existential threats to their "service" are the only way they ever give even the minimal response to complaints.
Unfortunately can't seem to access their site, but if you're right and they are intentionally creating confusion then that is obviously a bad thing.
I have a large problem with forcibly opting me and projects I work on into this, especially since some of those projects have donation mechanisms already, and an even bigger problem with no way to opt out once in. And I have a huge problem with the implication that I or those projects have any sort of relationship with tip4commit other than one of saying "please stop this" and getting back "no" over and over.
Having a balance on this site, even if it's zero, can have severe implications for the maintainer(s).
In this case the person would have to prove that they're not involved with tip4commit. Quite likely the prosecutor would simply say that you're cheating and are trying to circumvent the law this way. Because how improbable it is that someone would collect money for you even if you wouldn't want to?
So yeah. In some countries it might become a big problem.
Recently an exhibition called "Beer and Whiskey expo" was under threat due to it's name. Mention of Whiskey can be said to be an advertisement of strong alcohol. So they changed the name and it become just the Beer expo. After that they were informed that they will be denied permits unless individual bloggers with no connection to them would also remove mentions of Whiskey in their posts about the expo.
In the end the individual bloggers removed the mentions to allow the exhibition to continue. Short description of what happened https://thriftyfinn.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/the-grand-whisk... for those who don't speak Finnish.
So yeah. Actions of individuals whom you have no connection with can count against you here. Especially if the regulators think that you might be benefiting of them in some way, thus basically trying to cheat the system.
Remember this. Not every country follows the "innocent until proven guilty" principle.
As to punishing somebody for actions of others, that is perhaps not typical (although I think some countries actually do punish women for the actions of men, finding examples left as an excercise for the reader). However, you can cause considerable trouble for sending items (say, by international mail) which are legal in your jurisdiction to someone in whose jurisdiction they are not allowed. I'm living in a relatively modern western society, but would still prefer you did not send me cash, drugs or weapons to me with or without my knowledge.