Dear fellow NewPipers,
The money that had been accumulating on NewPipe’s Bountysource account is no longer accessible to me (Schabi). As a result, the project has lost about €6,400 worth of awarded bounties.
Bountysource is a website which acts as a platform for the placement of bounties for open source development. People can use it to post bounties to fix certain issues or develop certain features.
Developers can take on these challenges, implement the changes, and get the bounty awarded to them. This also happened in the NewPipe project, where bounties were handled by Team NewPipe. I had set up the account for Team NewPipe on Bountysource, which accumulated a significant sum of money over the years.
Bountysource ownership had a bit of a tumultuous history, but the present owner seems to be The Blockchain Group, a company based in France.
Current situation for me
I can attest that their back-end has stopped working, and they have stopped responding to communication attempts. My e-mail to them sent on 7 November, 2023 has not been answered.
Initially, I thought that this was too significant a sum to simply accept as a loss. Therefore, I reached out to a lawyer. However, the costs of hiring one, added to the court fees for initiating the proceedings, are too high to warrant pursuing this, however; not to mention the significant time I would have to spend with a legal case, which I cannot spare right now.
Why so much unclaimed money
Team NewPipe consists of volunteers, meaning we spend whatever free time we find during our days on NewPipe. This means that making a one-time decision like “Sure, we will accept money via platform X” will boil down to someone doing just that, and the decision then gets published. This happened with Bountysource, and it was used by quite a few people.
However, actually deciding on what to do with that money is a totally different challenge. Just paying it forward to active developers would have worked (after finding out a way to split it fairly), but we did not want to get paid for working on a passion project, and we didn’t want to attract developers who would contribute solely for the money.
We could have also used it to fund non-monetary rewards (maybe an online course to get better at programming, or paying for a faster computer to speed up development), but this meant an additional effort to decide who gets what, how it gets there, et cetera. So nothing really happened with the money.
To make a long story short: there has been a lot of discussion on how to improve the situation (e.g. issue #2732), and we ended up choosing to donate all money towards an association.
Therefore, we actually founded said association, targeted at projects like NewPipe. This association can now take money from donations, and spend it on clearly stated goals in an open and accessible way. Sadly, this again being a team effort of volunteers, we have not been able to publish an online presence yet, so you have to bear with us on that front.
Since we now have a bank account to forward the money to, I wanted to access the Bountysource money as well, and stumbled into this situation, where we are stuck as of now.
I can’t offer any condolences, sadly. This is really just a notification to everyone who thought they donated to Team NewPipe via Bountysource: that money is probably lost and didn’t reach us. Sorry.
Best regards, Schabi