[Ardour-Dev] Licensing and enforced payments

Patrick Shirkey pshirkey at boosthardware.com
Thu Jan 22 00:01:26 PST 2009

Jan Stary wrote:
> Patrick,
> 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.
This is very much a wrong interpretation.

I am not suggesting we don't provide the source code. I'm suggesting 
that people who use a binary release don't usually tend to care about 
compiling there own version so your suggestion that we would have to 
deny access to the source would not be something that we would have to do.

I am not saying it is a problem for people to compile there own 
software. I am very much for people having that skill. The more people 
who know how the better it will be for Linux Audio however... There are 
many people who do not know, are not prepared or able to learn for 
whatever reason and they will pay for a License if they are given the 
option to do so. That is not to say that everyone who cannot compile 
there own copy will be happy to pay for a license. I am saying there are 
a large number of people who will do so. We are not tapping that market.

> (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?)

There is nothing to stop them from doing so. The code is gpl and yes 
there are instructions for doing it which are easily available. That 
doesn't mean that everyone will compile their own version.
>>>>> 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?
It will not make any money. It will make the person who actively tries 
to stop Ardour from generating income feel awkward and maybe if the 
collective will is turned against that person something unfortunate will 
happen to them like getting stung hit in the face or getting a zit on 
their forehead before a big date.
>> 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.
I'm betting they will find it easier to just compile with the License 
option disabled.

>> If it actually starts to make Ardour some money
>> then that will be very good for everyone.
> No it won't.

YES it will. If Ardour can generate more money that will be much much 
much better for everyone.

Patrick Shirkey
Boost Hardware Ltd.

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