Money Is Just In The Way?

The tech-news sphere has been abuzz for the last few days with stories and speculation about Open Source projects swimming in cash that they can't use. While it's all based on a real story, it seems the details have been changed to protect the fanciful.

So where did it all start? With Jeff Atwood and a project called ScrewTurn. Back in April, feeling generous, Jeff donated $5,000 from his blog profits to ScrewTurn, with the express purpose of being used for whatever would benefit the project. Then this month, being the curious sort, he followed up to find out what his cold hard cash had gone for and learned that it was still sitting, quite contentedly, in the bank. According to the project lead, the project just doesn't have any unmet expenses, and it's a big challenge to use the money for anything else. Understandably, Jeff's a bit miffed that his generosity is gelatinizing in the banca.

Just a cursory look at the reports circulating on the web shows everything from sympathy for Jeff to understanding for ScrewTurn to suggestions that Open Source projects — in general, not just this one — have no need of funding. While we're not going to lean one way or another, as we can see both sides — but not that last one — we are going to take a little detour from the usual Breaking News format and ask

Share your thoughts on the situation, ideas for utilizing the funds, and other thoughts in the comments — though if you have a particularly good idea, be sure to share it with ScrewTurn as well.

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