Lodahl's blog: Open source is not always free (of charge)

22 February 2011

Open source is not always free (of charge)

The Document Foundation, the organization behind LibreOffice is asking for financial help to establish a foundation. The base capital must be at least € 50,000 - it is the requirements in Germany, where the foundation is to be established.

The reason for establishing a solid foundation is that users, volunteers and commercial stakeholders most want to do business with an organization that has a solid financial foundation. If a large organization faces to choose office suite, then arises the doubt itself: Dare we trust that their existence in one or two years ahead? If there is no money in the bank, they might doubt the viability of the project long term.

And further more there are several expenses that can't be covered by volunteers work and there will always be a requirement for some cash. The Document Foundation has, among other somethings, requested trademark registrations in Europe and the U.S. The foundation has also purchased internet domains. Furthermore, there is need for legal services and advise.

A contribution to The Foundation Document shall not be considered as a price for using LibreOffice. LibreOffice is free to use! But a contribution is to be considered as a recognition of the many volunteer hours that are being used around the world.

In Magenta we use LibreOffice, and we make money by providing service to our customers. Were it not for open source software - including OpenOffice and LibreOffice - we could not lift the tasks for our customers as we do. We have therefore chosen to donate an amount of money to The Document Foundation. Also because we think that LibreOffice is a healthy and reliable project.

If you would like to help The Foundation Document, you can find contact and account information at: http://challenge.documentfoundation.org/

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