The MUTE project is experimenting with a new fund-raising model based on project milestones. To read more about how creators can make a living post-copyright, read my essay, Free Distribution.
Here is how it works: I propose the next project milestone and set a corresponding fund-raising goal. The fund-raising goal is based on my estimate of the amount of money I will need to support myself and my family during the time it will take me to program the proposed features (we spend roughly $187 per week as part of our $10,000 yearly budget). If you think the features are worth it, you can donate a dollar to support my efforts. Once the fund-raising goal has been met, I will start work on the proposed features. As always, the results of my work will be released for free under the GNU GPL.
The first milestone was intended as a small-scale test, and the amazing success of the fund-raising effort (meeting the goal in only 9 days) demonstrated that this model can work. The next proposed milestone is more involved.
Nice bit here on another page:
Sure, I need to make a living, but I am idealistic enough to believe that there is more to life than just making a living. I feel that the means of making a living should be productive and helpful to society. There are many different ways to “make money.” Some of these methods focus just on making money (for example, playing the stock market), while others focus on helping people in exchange for money (for example, building houses). If everyone chose to work strictly at making money (for example, we all made our livings by playing the stock market), our entire society would collapse, since all true productivity would halt. On the other hand, if we all made our livings in productive ways, and none of us worked strictly at making money, our society would continue running smoothly and perhaps even flourish. Thus, all of those pure “money makers” are not necessary players in society—in fact, they are a parasitic burden.
UPDATE: Doh! I said “Tim Rohrer” instead of “Jason Rohrer.” Tim Rohrer worked on metaphor studies with philosopher Mark Johnson, and maintained metaphor.uoregon.edu for a while (maybe still does). Different Rohrer.