Would you pay for Open Source Software

Recently Peter Toft wrote a blog entry (in Danish) entitled Hånden på hjertet: Vil du betale for Open Source?, which roughly translates into
Honestly, would you pay for Open Source?

The blog post and the associated comments are all in Danish, but those who answered yes can be split into three groups (I’m generalizing a bit here, read the comments, if you want the details)

  • Yes, and I do occasionally. Either through one-time donations or buying merchandise.
  • Yes, and I have some sort of monthly subscription/membership, like jointhegame.kde.org/ or FSF.
  • Yes, but I don’t know where to throw my money.
    If I had to support the development of all the (open source) software I use, it would ruin me, because I use so many open source programs. If there was a central place I could pay, and have my money distributed, that would work for me.

I myself belong in the first category, mainly through merchandise purchases.
But I must admit that I do share some of the thoughts of the people in the last category. If I want to donate my money to pay for developer hours and I don’t want the hassle of shopping around, to locate and distribute money to all the many projects deserving support, where do I go?

So I would like to bring Peters question to the wider audience of Planet Ubuntu. (If you found this blog post through some other means, feel free to share your thoughts as well).

Would you pay for Open Source Software?

If yes, what would/do you pay for?
A specific product, monthly subscriptions, merchandise or something else?

If no, why not?
Is free the most important aspect of Free Software?
Are there to many places to throw your money, so you choose not to at all?

Would you be interested in donating to some sort of foundation, whose sole purpose it was to pay Open Source developers to work full time on what ever project they were working on?
Photo by: Philip Taylor