Recently the Drupal Association announced accepted sessions for DrupalCon New Orleans. While it looks like we can expect another great DrupalCon (this will be my 7th straight North American DrupalCon), one particular session on the program about the sale of Drupal modules caught my attention. Although I have tried to stay focused on preparing my own sessions, I have had conversations with other people in the Drupal community about “paid modules” that have led me to the conclusion that confusion about this topic persists. So here I would like to offer a perspective on why these kinds of plans consistently fail. Specifically, I hope to expand the scope of this frequently discussed issue and suggest why so many paid module initiatives fail: the Drupal community protects its free software with the same vigor that other communities protect artistic freedom.
I believe that the Drupal community will be most successful not merely by convincing more people to work with us through technological manipulations, but instead by focusing on improving interactions within the community and a goal of cultivating social solidarity. Instead of using technology to grow the Drupal project, we should focus on adjusting our culture in order to improve our technology.