Fate has made me the “money guy” for OpenSSL so I’m going to talk about that for a bit.
As has been well reported in the news of late, the OpenSSL Software Foundation (OSF) is a legal entity created to hustle money in support of OpenSSL. By “hustle” I mean exactly that: raising revenue by any and all means. OSF typically receives about US$2000 a year in outright donations and sells commercial software support contracts and does both hourly rate and fixed price “work-for-hire” consulting as shown on the OSF web site. The media have noted that in the five years since it was created OSF has never taken in over $1 million in gross revenues annually.
Thanks to that publicity there has been an outpouring of grassroots support from the OpenSSL user community, roughly two hundred donations this past week along with many messages of support and encouragement. Most were for $5 or $10 and, judging from the E-mail addresses and names, were from all around the world. I haven’t finished entering all of them to get an exact total, but all those donations together come to about US$9,000.
OpenSSL uses a “give away code and charge for consulting” model that FSMLabs began with in 1999. We couldn’t make it work either.