The gifts of programmers

Since 2001, whole industries have grown out of the gifts of programmers, and these industries are dependent upon free software, without which they would not be profitable. Many of the programmers thought they were giving gifts to mankind, not to Google. Others had no such illusions: they were competing for positions in an industry where performing free labor of professional quality was an implied prerequisite for being hired. The current state of open source — inevitable from the beginning — is the exploitation of the expectation of free labor for the sake of propping up unprofitable businesses.

Source: Free software and the revolt against transactionality by John Ohno (2018).

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