There is no open source social contract

As someone who maintains and tends to a number of OSS projects, there’s a misconception I’d like to address: the open source social contract. The sometimes implied agreement that once you put something out there, you’re responsible for it: maintaining it, supporting it, whatever.

This is false.

There is no social contract.

There are many people who will ask you to do free work for them — implement features, review PRs, discuss tickets — and asking is fine. But there is no implicit expectation that it would be the Right Thing for you to do work for them, free of charge.

If you find the work rewarding and have the time, great, you can do it if you so please. If not, the project is open source, they can pick it up and do it themselves.

You haven’t wronged anyone by saying “no” when asked to do work for nothing.