[Ardour-Dev] Licensing and enforced payments

John Emmas johne53 at tiscali.co.uk
Tue Jan 20 02:55:49 PST 2009

I'll try to be concise here, but things are getting complicated.....

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Patrick Shirkey"
> 8: Paid for SVN
> +++++++++
> Negatives:
> Many Linux people feel very strongly that any of the above is tantamount
> to signing your name in the blood of your fist born with the Devil.
> Positives:
> People who would otherwise completely neglect to contribute to Ardour
> (free loaders) will be more likely to pay money if they are forced to.
> +++++++++
> IMO, paying for SVN access is a last resort if all the other options fail.
As the person who first suggested paid for SVN, I'd like to clarify that
I do agree with Patrick's conclusion.  But I'd also like to point out that
Patrick's "negative" - even though it's a sentiment clearly shared by many
here - is NOT a cogent argument against the proposal.  Remember that it's
already been accepted that there would need to be a dispensation for anyone
who's making a useful contribution to Ardour in some other way.  And it's
also been accepted (I think) that such a move could be implemented without
breaching Ardour's obligations under the GPL.  So what exactly would the
problem be again??  (don't even respond if your argument is something along
the lines:- "it would make us freeloaders pay instead of somebody else".)

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jörn Nettingsmeier" <nettings at stackingdwarves.net>
> i know those suggestions are meant well, but as they say, the road to
> redmond is paved with good intentions...
> any measures to ensure ardour's financial well-being must first and
> foremost ensure the well-being of the community around it. pissing off
> people by adding nag screens or creating second-class citizen downloads
Some well made points there, Jörn but I remember saying way back at the
start of this debate that the only suggestions finding favour were the ones
where "somebody else pays instead of us".  Every suggestion here has been
valuable - but things like "let's make the Mac users pay", or "let's make a
Windows version and make them pay" or "let's see if we can find a wealthy
sponsor" or "let's see if we can get in with a state-owned broadcaster and
make them pay" are frankly, just pie-in-the-sky.  FWIW, I (and a couple of
other Ardour users) have already approached the BBC who made it very clear
that open source is NOT something they value in any way.  In fact Patrick
put it very succinctly when he referred to "the self absorbed feelings of a
few rowdy Linux users".  One thing these big organisations do NOT want is to
be dealing with geeky, disorganised or uncompromising individuals - and
getting into bed with a state-owned organisation (or with the Windows
community) is really not going to be a walk in the park, as some people here

The reason for this is simple.....  one of the biggest consequences of
creating a commercial market is that you usually (note: usually) have to
abandon your ideals and become "customer focussed".  My guess is that Ardour
would need to compromise very considerably.  For example, the BBC would
undoubtedly need binary versions with VST and AAF enabled.  There's NO WAY
they're going to adopt any system that forces them to build from source in
order to get everyday features like these.  Ditto Windows users.  Why would
the Windows community (which already has an ample choice of alternative
systems) pay for a DAW that doesn't offer these important features "out of
the box"?

I'm not criticising Ardour per se - just pointing out that creating a viable
commercial funding model is fraught with technical and idealogical problems.
Whilst the problems might not be insurmountable, they are considerable and
shouldn't be underestimated.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Patrick Shirkey"
> Voting against a simple way for Ardour to make some cash is effectively
> saying to Paul that you don't really care if he is part of Ardour
> development any longer.
Maybe that's stretching the point a bit far but it does reinforce the point
that I made originally.....  whatever scheme is adopted, Ardour's USERS need
to face up to the fact that they are the beneficiaries of Ardour and as
such, they should be the first port of call for funding.  If Ardour can find
new markets, or a state-owned sponsor or a wealthy benefactor, fine - but
that support needs to be IN ADDITION to support from its general user base,
not INSTEAD OF it.


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