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Is there a fine line of working for free in Amiga world?

Subject: Is there a fine line of working for free in Amiga world?
by walkero on 2021/5/7 15:06:31

Back in 2005 I bought my first AmigaOS 4 machine, and before that I had a few Amiga computes in my possession and a lot of years in this community in my back.

Early enough I got involved voluntarily in many projects to move that platform forward. Got involved in OS translation through the Greek ATO, and funded with donations a lot of projects. Yeap, even the Timberwolf. Became one of the first X1000 beta testers and the beta tester of AmigaOS 4, X5000, A1222 and Enhancer Package.

All these years worked tirelessly not only on finding problems, reporting them and test back, but also on pushing the platform a bit further with participating or organizing events, promoting AmigaOS 4 and related products, etc..

I am sure a lot of the members of this forum did the same thing, putting a lot of time on this platform, because it is not just a hobby, but also a passion.

On the other hand we see companies fighting each other on courts, others apply bad practices on customer's computers and we are witnessing a war happening in the community. And I feel that this war is taking place on our shoulders.

Companies are using beta testers and developers, working for free (not all of them though) to help on moving things forward. This work is sold by the same companies and they earn a significant amount of money. And have in mind that the beta testers pay for the hardware and the software they beta test. They get nothing for free.

So I wonder, where is the fine line on working for free to help things move forward, when others gain money by your work, closing the source and do whatever they like? What would happen if no beta tester or developer accept to work for free, unless what they develop is going to be freely available and open sourced? What would happen to this community? Would those companies survive?

At the end, if those companies want to create their own products doing whatever they like, the way they like, shouldn't the work behind these products get paid?

Am I still so naive to work for free for this platform? What is your opinion?

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