• For-profit Freedom Forges

last modified July 20, 2016 by strypey


A few years ago, Loom.io was established to develop web-based, free code, decision-making software. Instead of following the for-benefit "Foundation" model that has been standard in free code development since the GNU Project and the Free Software Foundation, they set up as a worker-owned cooperative, employing paid staff who supervise and support each others' work in radically democratic way. Since then, I've become curious about how many software businesses are out there paying staff to develop code in the public interest, how they earn revenue, and how sustainable the different business models seem to be. There may be detailed lists out there already, but a web search didn't find them straight away, so I'm going to scratch this itch and see where it leads.

- Strypey

  • Loom.io (AGPLv3) - web-based, decision-making platform. Pricing is based on ability to pay, with one-on-one helpdesk and hosting extras offered for user organisations which can afford to pay.
  • OpenGroups/ GroupServer (ZPLv2.1) - web-based email group hosting platform. Enterprise is sustained by commercial hosting, although selected not-for-profit projects are given gratis hosting, including the NZ Open Source Society, and CreativeCommons Aotearoa/ NZ