Internet Companies Fund OpenSSL

Many studies of the quality of source code shows that Open Source is better quality than closed source. It is however no gaurantee of quality. While Open Source has allowed companies to leverage a community and common resources it has also meant that many projects have been taken for granted. An example is OpenSSL, which recently was found to have a vulnerability which has been dubbed HeartBleed.

Major Internet companies such as Microsoft, Google, Intel and Cisco have committed funding to help maintain Open Source software that is critical to the infrastructure of the Internet. This is not exactly a new model. The Apache Foundation was established by a group of companies that wanted to pool resources into a single effort rather than duplicating effort.

Open Source is not free. It is the product of the efforts of thousands of skilled software developers. Some do their work for enjoyment, but much of the software we use is not glamourous. There are many companies who are directly benefiting from using Open Source without contributing back. Perhaps we need to be encouraging users to contribute just a small portion of what they would have paid in license fees to support the great Open Source projects that make the Internet and computing so rich today?