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Did you know that the acquisition of by is the largest software acquisition ever? And now tell me again that Free Software doesn't work from a economic point of view.

@bjoern It doesn't. Distros and cloud providers ship tons of software they didn't develop, and very little of their revenue goes to the people who actually wrote the software.

After the $34,000,000,000 gets paid, approximately nothing is going to go to the very long tail of authors of the software.

@federicomena I think it depends. Afaik Red Hat employs a lot of Free Software developers and fund a lot of Free Software development. So yes, I would say a lot of the money goes to Free Software developers, be it their monthly salaries, donations to Free Software organizations/events, etc.

But of course non of the money goes to the hackers which develop Free Software in their spare time. But that's the same for proprietary software done in your spare time or any other hobby.

@federicomena Further, as far as I know, everything Red Hat does is released as Free Software, they even bought proprietary software in the past and released it as Free Software. Therefore I think Red Hat is a good example of a "Free Software company" and if you can build a Free Software company, worth $34 billion and nobody ever spend more on any other software company (proprietary or free) then I think this is a sign that Free Software can work quite well economically.

@bjoern Red Hat is an excellent free software company.

What I'm trying to say is that the profits of people who sell products based on free software, don't trickle down to the authors of the software.

E.g. Red Hat gives probably less than USD 100K every year to the GNOME foundation, as part of advisory board fees and as conference sponsorship. That does not pay anyone's salary.

How many people use GNU coreutils or GNU tar from distros? GPG? Unzip? Do the authors get paid at all?

Take Red Hat Enterprise Linux as example. It is released Open Source and the base for CentOS and even the base for another commercial product: Oracle Linux.

From an Open Source Enthusiasts point of view they are doing everything correctly.
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