I hear a lot of people are in an uproar over Microsoft’s acquisition of GitHub. After all, the quintessential corporate development-for-profit Goliath taking over one of the last bastions of open source freedom sounds really bad for little David. Right?
What will happen to third-party Kodi development now? How does this affect your average Kodi user? Nearly all third-party Kodi development repositories make their homes on GitHub. The freedom to do so is the backbone of the Kodi third-party community. Of course, there are other homes available, and maybe spreading the community out a bit will be to the benefit of all.
GitHub has always sided with the voice of freedom where commercial interest in open source projects has been concerned. Whether coded for unlawful purposes or for tallying the church’s tithe, GitHub stood behind that code’s right to an open forum. Freedom of speech is a basic underlying tenet of any society’s ability to find its own moral ground. Education is the cornerstone of societal evolution. Sadly, most modern societies have become complacent to turn a blind eye and leave the policing of morality to the realm of governmental regulation. This regulation is far too easily corrupted when enough money gets thrown around. GitHub has been a refuge for the reinstatement of societal involvement in its own welfare. Now, some of that corrupting money has been thrown into the fray.
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A majority of developers using GitHub only have free accounts. So many people taking advantage of this privilege has likely become a serious financial burden on GitHub’s ability to continue as it has been. GitHub places very minimal ads and relies on paid accounts for a majority of their funding. Continuing in this fashion may have become a struggle very soon. Their overhead must be outrageous with the resources being used by so many free account holders.
It may be early to tell whether Microsoft buying GitHub will affect Kodi addon development for the worse, but this is an issue we will be keeping an eye or three on for the coming year. Microsoft will likely keep the status quo for the foreseeable future. Radical changes would spur a mass exodus, and Microsoft won’t want to tarnish the “open source friendly” face they’ve cultivated these past few years. But who knows what their hand will move once they see profits to be made in the future?
What this purchase will do to Kodi third-party addon development is anybody’s guess. We can only hope freedom reigns in the new era of corporate controlled development environments. Why does that sound like a bad joke, though? I do understand Benjamin Disraeli’s meaning when he said “despair is the conclusion of fools,” but where does this need for corporate growth end? Sad fact: corporate entities must grow or die. Corporate greed is non-optional.
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