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The “patronage model” for free software freelancers

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Boone Gorges explains his method for taking freelance work that also allows him to contribute his code back to the community:

To combat the conflict, so that I can contribute more, I’ve moved increasingly toward what I think of as a “patronage” model. Broadly, the idea is that clients fund the process of turning the custom-developed features (that they were already going to pay for) into something that can be contributed back to the free software community; in exchange, they get certain benefits, like prestige and publicity.

If you aren’t following Boone’s blog yet you really, really should.