Re: Linking to non-free websites from

First, there's a lot of talk (here and the earlier thread) that loosely equivocates fundraising with crowdfunding.  They're not the same.  To tell a project that it should simply accept donations rather than use a crowdfunding platform is a false equivocation.  Crowdfunding's mixture of elements -- the presentation, the pitch of the vision, the element of a deadline, staggered donation levels and gifts -- is not replicated by publishing a "Donate!" banner.

#NotAllFundraising huh? :D

I apologise in advance but if pedantry needs to be done, it needs to be done right and I feel compelled to correct this: Whilst not all fundraising is crowdfunding, it is true that all crowdfunding is fundraising #YesAllCrowdfunding. So, whilst they are not the same, it seems totally reasonable that people might loosely refer to crowdfunding as fundraising in this sort of context. If you were confused, then you only needed to ask for specifics. :D

With that said, I can't really speak for anyone else so the reason I personally chose to liken GNOME's recent fundraiser campaign to a crowdfunding campaign (on indigogo et al) was because overall, it was organised in a similar way to how a crowdfunding campaign would be done and it is fair to consider that particular effort turned out to be great success. It should be easy to concede that the donation levels were not staggered in that case. Granted gnome's groupon campaign was a lot more "primitive" in various ways than if they had chosen to use a "proper" crowdfunding platform but there is no question what they came up with was fit for purpose, because it managed to do very well in raising plenty of money over a very short space of time to assist GNOME in dealing with a very specific issue under severe time constraints. 

The point about that really is that the recent campaign seems to have demonstrated that in principle, GNOME already has the infrastructure which could allow them to accept money for any given crowdfunding campaign on behalf of community driven projects (and any general fundraising too, of course). Assuming that this infrastructure is based on free software and that it comes without the same kinds of fees as all the crowdfunding sites do.

Second, linking to a web site is not an automatic endorsement of its script licensing or the practices of its operator.  Lacking semantic operators for hyperlinks, context is everything.  Personally, I trust my readers to understand this.

I think I would have to agree with you when it comes to arbitrary links. If for no other reason than that it would be practically impossible to regulate. See my most recent for discussion on that though. In particular the comment on banners. I do think it is fair to concede that a banner is an endorsement. If it wasn't, then banner advertisement would not have become the billion dollar market that it undeniably is.


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