Bounties are usually offered as an incentive for fixing software bugs or implementing minor features. Bounty driven development is one of the Business models for open-source software. The compensation offered for an open-source bounty is usually small.
When open-source projects require bigger funds they usually apply for grants or, most recently, launch crowdsourcing or crowdfunding campaigns, typically organized over platforms like Kickstarter or BountyC (since 2004 also crowdfunding).
Examples of bounties
- 2018: Mozilla Firefox's WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communications) bug was submitted by Education First to CanYa platform Bountysource for $50,000
- Sun MicroSystems (now owned by Oracle Corporation) has offered $1 million in bounties for OpenSolaris, NetBeans, OpenSPARC, Project GlassFish, OpenOffice.org, and OpenJDK.
- 2004: Mozilla introduced a Security Bug Bounty Program, offering $500 to anyone who finds a "critical" security bug in Mozilla.
- 2015: Artifex Software offers up to $1000 to anyone who fixes some of the issues posted on Ghostscript Bugzilla.
- Two software bounties were completed for the classic Commodore Amiga Motorola 680x0 version of the AROS operating system, producing a free Kickstart ROM replacement for use with the UAE emulator and FPGA Amiga reimplementations, as well as original Amiga hardware.
- RISC OS Open bounty scheme to encourage development of RISC OS
- AmiZilla was an over $11,000 bounty to port the Firefox web-browser to AmigaOS, MorphOS & AROS. While the bounty produced little results it inspired many bounty systems in the Amiga community including Timberwolf, Power2people, AROS Bounties, Amigabounty.net and many more.
Examples of websites listing bounties for multiple projects
- Gitcoin is an open source bounty marketplace which has awarded more than $735,000 through its platform since its launch in November 2017, as of January 2019. It has GitHub integration and allows OSS maintainers to add bounties to specific issues on their GitHub repositories, and award contributors for pull requests that solve the issue.
- IssueHunt is an issue-based bounty platform for open source projects. Anyone can fund specific issues of GitHub repo, and these bounties will be distributed to contributors and maintainers.
- Lunduke, Bryan (2013-08-07). "Open source gets its own crowd-funding site, with bounties included - BountyC is the crowd-funding site the open source community has been waiting for". networkworld.com. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
Many open source projects (from phones to programming tools) have taken to crowd-funding sites (such as Kickstarter and indiegogo) in order to raise the cash needed for large-scale development. And, in some cases, this has worked out quite well.
- "Bountysource Raises $1.1 Million for the First Crowdfunding Platform for Open-Source Software Projects". finance.yahoo.com. 2013-07-16. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
- Sun Sponsors Open Source Community $1M Innovation Award, Sun MicroSystems, archived from the original on 2008-12-19
- Leyden, John (2004-08-03), Mozilla to pay bounty on bugs, The Register
- "Ghostscript: Bug bounty program". Retrieved 14 July 2015.
- "Amiga.org - Kickstart ROM Replacement (Phase II) Assigned". Retrieved 14 July 2015.
- "Kickstart ROM Replacement (Phase II)". Retrieved 14 July 2015.
- "RISC OS Open: All bounties". Retrieved 14 July 2015.
- "Gitcoin OSS bounty results". Retrieved 12 January 2019.
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