Open-Source as in “work for free”?

It seems like I really can’t sleep tonight. Too many thoughts rambling in my mind and sleeping is probably the last thing I can do. I will try to tire myself until I fall asleep on this chair writing something here on the blog as I haven’t been really good at writing in the last few weeks.

Coming back to the subject of this post, a few weeks ago I was browsing and for some reason I stumbled upon Ari Jaaksi’s Blog, a Nokia guy that follows the development of the N800 among the other things. Specifically I read about the development on the N800 and Ari gave his Status Report regarding the available software. What strikes me is that the N800 is already on the market (and so was at the time of the article) and Nokia is asking people to do some open-source development to add software and features that were present in the N770, but that Nokia could not make work for the N800 in time for the launch.
I am a big supporter of how Nokia helps developers and I think they are the best in the mobile space, but honestly, this really seems to me like asking the open-source community to take over some development that Nokia could not or did not want to do.

I don’t think this is fair to the developers that will eventually do the work (if any). They are effectively working for free to give some more profit to Nokia. It’s an open call from Nokia to ask for free support.
One thing is to develop a software and open your API (and maybe eventually making some money out of this as Google does) another thing is to ask someone to do the work you did not want to do and also expect it to be free.

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