FairShare Program


Fair Share Give Back Program Information

In the ever changing and rapidly moving world of Open Source it has become apparent that a tool is needed to help Open Source businesses who are trying to redistribute funds generated from the sale of Open Source products.

Open Source distribution businesses are an important part of the Open Source community.  These businesses are helpful in providing accessibility to cutting edge tools & technology to anyone who has the passion, imagination, and the desire to expand the limits of what is possible.

So many Open Source projects are emerging and remixing parts and pieces from each other.  The true path of a project’s origin is becoming increasingly diluted and at times the last author is the only one getting the credit for an overall project comprised of many Open Source author’s contributions.

From an Open Source distribution businesses’ point of view, it has become difficult to maintain records and to give credit to the original authors of a particular project and every part and piece of that project.  It is inevitable and we have already begun to see that as Open Source Hardware becomes increasingly popular more and more Open Source designs are being replicated and sold without any contribution back to the Open Source Community.

The Fair Share Give Back Program foresees the trees of origin becoming extremely complicated and logistically impossible to keep track of.  If we are honest with ourselves, we will admit that there are very few original ideas and that everything , whether hardware or software, is based off of something else before it.  This is true whether the idea was initially from closed or open sources.

While everyone deserves the credit for the contributions made, no one could know the exact author tree of each and every Open Source design project many times filled with multiple Open Source ideas.  As new projects and ideas emerge utilizing existing Open Source technologies, this is only going to become more difficult.

One thing that we can all be certain of is that the exact origin of all Open Source Projects leads back to the Open Source Community.

So, in good faith and in the spirit of giving back to all who contribute in the Open Source community, the Fair Share Program was launched.

Whether you donate or shop from an organization that supports and promotes the Fair Share Program, you can be certain that they have pledged to keep things simple and fair by donating 5% back to the Open Source Community as well as give known authors credit as required by the Open Source licensing.

“It has been said compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe and for good reason.  If all Open Source distributor businesses adopt the Fair Share Program concept, the Open Source Community will exponentially grow and thrive beyond the scope of any one individual’s success. We’re all part of the open source eco-system, so let’s keep things going by giving back to its community.”

Fair Share Program FAQ’s

What is Open Source Hardware (OSHW)?

There are a lot of definitions of Open Source Hardware floating around these days. We choose to follow the original Freedom Defined’s Open Source Hardware (OSHW) Statement of Principles 1.0:

“Open source hardware is hardware whose design is made publicly available so that anyone can study, modify, distribute, make, and sell the design or hardware based on that design. The hardware’s source, the design from which it is made, is available in the preferred format for making modifications to it. Ideally, open source hardware uses readily-available components and materials, standard processes, open infrastructure, unrestricted content, and open-source design tools to maximize the ability of individuals to make and use hardware. Open source hardware gives people the freedom to control their technology while sharing knowledge and encouraging commerce through the open exchange of designs”

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What is the Fair Share Program?

The Fair Share Program is a method of giving back to the Open Source Community in a simple, uncomplicated fashion. The idea is to voluntarily give 5% of the profits back to the community as a whole.  Fair Share is based on the honor system that gives the choice of how to give back to the community.  Find a worthy Open Source organization or just help move a project along through a financial contribution.  The choice is yours.

When you see the Fair Share Program Logo on websites and literature, you will know that they are a contributor to the success of the Open Source Community through voluntary financial contributions to the Open Source Projects of their choice.


What makes the Fair Share program fair?

We believe that everything is a remix of something else or at the very least utilizes parts that are a mix or change from other ideas which predate the ‘original’ design in some form or another.
Over time core Open Source ideas being remixed and re-authored will become diluted enough to be called closed sourced.
We believe that addition to  individualism credit from ideas whose origin is based on others. Simply give back to the community that the base core ideas always come from.
This is where the Fair Share Giving back Program shines, by giving back to the open Source community we help to establish a future of an ever growing and stronger base system for newer and greater ideas to come. The donation back to the community is a personal commitment not a requirement. This is designed so that you give from the heart.
Over all we find this to be the fair and unselfish path to truly helping Open Source not only to succeed but to thrive!

How can I help spread the word about the Fair Share Program?

That would be great and we hope you do! If you decide to use the Fair Share program on your own site be sure to have the logos and the mission statement, you can download hi-res versions of the logos below as well as the Fair Share Giving Back Programs mission statement  Make T-shirts, stickers, hats, etc…!
Do you have talents that you feel would be beneficial to the Fair Share Program? Please feel free to let us know.
Let’s all help and give back to the community that has brought us this far and with it an exciting new future!

Who is eligible to receive a Fair Share Give Back?

Anyone individual and/or organization who has or is actively working on an Open Source Project or who contributes to Open Source in some way.

How are the Fair Share recipients determined?

This can be determined in a number of ways depending on the individual or organization who has pledged to become part of the Fair Share Program.
For example, The OpenBuilds Part Store is dividing its 5% donation amongst organizations and individual projects of their choice. They are always on the lookout for organizations and projects that help make the Open Source movement successful. A great way to get noticed by the OpenBuilds Part Store is to share your Open Source Projects on www.OpenBuilds.com.


How often will Fair Share funds be dispersed?

This will, most likely, vary by organization or individual. There are no checks and balances. It is based on the honor system and it is a Pledge that is made as an unselfish act to financially contribute to the success of the Open Source community and it’s contributors.
As an example, the OpenBuilds PartStore hopes to make monthly donations. However, in the spirit of keeping it simple, this timeframe may vary throughout the year.


Who has received Fair Share Funds?

With the recipient’s permission, we will post details about the projects/organizations that receive funding through Fair Share Program. It will be a great way to see the Open Source community grow.


How do I know that 5% of the Profits are really being donated?

The Fair Share Give Back Program is based on the honor system. So, you will not receive a profit/loss statement or details as to the amount individuals receive. We believe people are good in nature and if they Pledge to donate, they will. For example, the OpenBuilds Part Store pledges to donate 5% of ALL profits whether the profit is earned through an Open Source Part sold on the store or a standard, off the shelf, Hardware Part that has been around for years (screws, nuts, etc.) This makes the accounting aspect simple and, therefore, will help ensure the success of this program.


Can an organization or project receive Fair Share Funds more than once?

Absolutely! You are eligible to receive Fair Share Funds an unlimited amount of times by an unlimited amount of Faire Share participants. As with the Open Source concept, the Fair Share Give Back Program (FSGB) wants to see and help innovators innovate.


Can I donate to the Fair Share Give Back Program?

Yes you can! The Open Source Community thanks you. 100% of donated proceeds will be distributed to an Open Source Project(s)/Organization(s). You can donate through PayPal with with the link below.


Can I opt out of the Fair Share Give Back Program?

There really is no in or out. Its more of a personal commitment to give back to the community.


How much is donated toward other Open Source projects

 When you buy parts from the OpenBuilds Part Store, 5% of all profit is put towards Open Source projects.

Where can I give back to the Open Source community?

There are a lot of ways to give back to the Open Source community. Here are a few good examples to start with.

We expect this list will grow as we find more organizations who are making an effort toward Open Source sharing.

Open Source Initiative – http://opensource.org/donate
Creative Commons – https://creativecommons.net
Open Source Hardware Association – http://www.oshwa.org/membership/
Indiegogo – Open Source Search
Kickstarter – http://www.kickstarter.com/
Fair Share Program – http://www.fairshareprogram.org
REPETIER OS Machine Control – http://www.repetier.com/donate-or-support/
Slic3r  – http://slic3r.org/
Arduino  – http://www.arduino.cc/
The RepRap Project – http://sourceforge.net/donate/index.php?group_id=159590

 There are lots of great avenues for giving back to Open Source do some searching.

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