There was a lot of discussions on the tip4commit project recently because of unsolicited emails and some project maintainers not wanting to be associated with it.
See these links for more details:
There are 2 main problems:
- unsolicited emails sent to contributors: it’s against GitHub terms, law in some countries, and many people
- projects being affiliated to a service they may not want
Making tip4commit opt-in for both developers and projects (by their owners) would fix all that but it may somewhat defeat the original purpose of tip4commit.
Anyway, Peer4commit is very different now and the new system is already mostly opt-in (see http://www.peercointalk.org/index.php?topic=2768.0 for the main differences, although not all of them have been implemented yet). But there are still some problems:
The old system is still available and used on some projects. If the option “Automatically send 1%” is checked (which is the default for all the old projects), all the contributors will receive an unsolicited email. To fix that I think to best way is to make this opt-in: if the contributor email matches a registered user with a Peercoin address, the funds are sent. Otherwise nothing is done (no email sent and the commit is not tipped).
In the new system the fundraiser can add email recipients to a distribution. If this email is unknown, he can click on a button to send an email to the user (to ask him to register and set a Peercoin address to receive the funds). This may be considered unsolicited. It would be the fundraiser’s responsibility though: Peer4commit would only facilitate that. I think we should still disable that. It means we won’t add other similar planned features like sending to a peercointalk user or a Reddit user. It would be the fundraiser’s responsibility to make the people register on Peer4commit.
Project owners not wanting a donation system around their project. I understand project owners may do not want people to think they are affiliated when they are not. And I also understand they may not want to receive any money (for legal or personal reasons). But I think they should not be able to prevent someone from receiving money to contribute to their project. So I propose that we display a warning on each project page saying something like “Unless stated differently by the project owner(s), this fund raising campaign is not affiliated to any project. It is an independent initiative.” We could also add a warning when people create a new project saying that if their project is related to someone else’s project, they should ask (or at least tell) the owners first.
Unsent funds. In the 1% automatic mode the funds may actually never reach 0 because there may not be enough commits. And some projects may be abandoned (some probably already are). What should we do with those funds? When there is a fundraiser, I think he should state in the description what should happen in this situation (for example if he disappears for X months). But we need an solution when we don’t have this kind of information. It looks like tip4commit will send funds to the Free Software Foundation. With the new system people can set a return address when they donate, so I think the funds should be returned to the donor first when there’s such an address. Otherwise if the project is linked to a GitHub project, we could ask the project owners’ opinion. And if there’s still nobody to send the funds to, then we’d send them Free Software Foundation. This may be triggered after 1 year of inactivity for example.
What do you think about these solutions?