Service as Revenue for OSS? Dicey...
I'm not convinced that one can make a living by depending on providing service for an OSS application. Of course, in situations where the software is used by corporations with deep pockets there's no question that lucrative service contracts are possible..especially for something like a large complex database. However, OSS for end users/small consumers would likely not get much revenue from support. I, for instance, comb resources such as DejaNews and mailing list archives to figure out problems that I'm having with an OSS program; heck, I even do this for commercial software that I have such as WordPerfect8 or stuff on my SGI/O2 box. Of course, many in the Linux community share this DIY approach. People like us are loathe to fork over cash to a tech support line when we can find out the answers ourselves!
And then, of course, there's the argument that this sort of business model would encourage poor documentation of OSS. If your living depends on keeping the support requests coming in, are you going to go through the effort of painstakingly documenting *every* feature and troubleshooting scenario in your program? From an ethical point of view, the answer would be 'yes', but from a business point of view, I'm not so sure.
I'm pretty sure that one *can* make a living producing OSS, but I'm not sure how *yet*...and I'm certainly not sure that the model proposed in this editorial is the way to go.