[Ardour-Dev] Licensing and enforced payments

Jan Stary hans at stare.cz
Wed Jan 21 23:43:36 PST 2009


On Jan 22 12:22:59, Patrick Shirkey wrote:
> >>As the original thread is attempting to be a location for ideas to be 
> >>posted and discussion is suggested to take place on a separate thread 
> >>lets start up this discussion here:
> >>
> >>8: Paid for SVN
> >>9: Paid License to: disable crippled interface, Get access to more 
> >>features, Disable RSS ticker
> >>    
> >
> >How does a paid license square with the GPL?
> >
> >The only way I can see of enforcing payment to disable the crippled
> >interface etc. is to deny access to the source code.
> >  
> Well in a binary release that is for example provided for mac users that 
> cannot compile their own software that would not be a problem.
this is going a _bit_ too far.

First off, being an opensource project, you do assume that your
users can and will compile from the source code that you provide,
right? Right?

Now, you are calling it a "problem" if they can compile
their own software. Unbelievable.

(Second off, why would a Mac user not be able to compile
his own software, anyway? BTW, have you noticed that ardour's
webpage provides instructions on how to build ardour from
the source code?)

> If they were able to compile it

(which is what the whole open source idea encourages them to do)

> then they would be able to disable the License code.

(of course)

> If they are not able to compile it

if (false) {

> then they should pay for a 
> License to get access to whatever the License enables/disables.


> >>>9: Paid License to: disable crippled interface, Get access to more 
> >>>features, Disable RSS ticker
> >
> >If you want to stay open source (in whatever sense), you have
> >to provide the source code. And as soon as you do (9), someone
> >is gonna fork your code, with no other change than throwing
> >away the code that disables interfaces etc.
> >  
> And if they do that they will receive the evil eye of the developers and 
> make themselves look like a real *hole.

Exactly who are you speaking for now?
Exactly how will the evil eye make any money?

> I think most rational people and busy developers will not be bothered to 
> maintain a fork of Ardour just to make sure a License key for mac users 
> and people who are unable to compile a binary isn't part of the system.

No. Ardour is an opensource project.  Ardour users can and will compile
it from source code (including Mac users, which you seem to have picked
for some reason).  "Maintaining" such a fork would basically mean posting
a diff with a few carefully placed #ifdef's each time Ardour makes
a (crippled) release.

> If it actually starts to make Ardour some money
> then that will be very good for everyone.

No it won't.

Needles to say, I am all for Ardour (that is: Paul) getting all
the money he can from either users and/or big audio sponsors
(such as SAE). I think that being sponsored by an audio company
is the best way to get funding (did anybody spoke to M-Audio?).

But what you are suggesting in and (9) is cripling
the application AS SUCH. That will not bring any more
money - that will just make it a worse application.

If you want people to pay for Ardour, do it the clean
way. Clearly state that you need money, and ask users
politely to donate. Keep the application itself out
of it.

I personally like the OpenBSD way: provide everything for download,
but also sell the same thing on CDs, augmented with an audio track
(particularly apealling in Ardour's case, IMHO).


More information about the Ardour-Dev mailing list