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Originally Posted by pichlo View Post
The crucial word that you seem to keep latching on is can. Yes, open source has the potential to be improved by someone other than the creator, but how often does it happen in reality?
Actually, it can happen and on many cases it continuosly does.
I'm not talking about fartapps here, I mean the serious software that is used more and more to build up the world. Skilled people contribute all the time to worthy projects.

Originally Posted by pichlo View Post
With commercial software, you have the same thing that you have with any commercial product: accountability. The product creator has an obligation to you, the buyer. With open source, you may consider yourself lucky if you get a response like this. Or like this, if less lucky.
Ahh, but here you now show up the mindslip! You subconsiously assume that when SW is FOSS it means it is non-commercial, smalltime, insignificant, hobbyist-driven!

As it happens, I work on FOSS in a commercial company. In reality I work exclusively on open source software and have been doing that for several years now. The company makes profit, so I have heard and I suppose it is true as they afford to pay me several thousand euros every month

As for FOSS small-hobbyist-apps that I use, I make it a habit of donating to the devs for the applications I use. And I donate more than the silly few dollars usually asked for in applicaton stores.
(But I also compile the sources myself, as a case in point; I could not use closed-source applications even if I wanted... it is a matter of principle.)

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